Strategies for staying calm under pressure at work
As we mentioned, training your mind to stay calm can be challenging, but the reward is worth the effort. Here are some tried-and-true tips for reducing stress in the workplace.
Practice deep breathing
When the workload is too overwhelming, it's easy to get distracted by other tasks or future deadlines. Deep breathing helps you stay focused on the present moment and the task at hand.
In some cases, you may want to use external tools to help you with your breathing exercises. For example, a timer can help you know how long to breathe in and out.
Taking breaks is a cornerstone of avoiding burnout and stress in the workplace. While you shouldn't be on break more than you're at work, there's nothing wrong with small breaks in between tasks.
The brain can only handle so much stimulation at once, so it's imperative to take mental breaks, such as:
Counting to 100
Listening to soothing sounds or music in a quiet space
Playing a quick game for a couple of minutes
Doing nothing for a set period (i.e., two minutes)
Taking deep breaths and getting some fresh air
By scheduling these breaks into your day, you can refocus your energy and stay calm, even when the workload is getting intense.
Consider your priorities
No matter what, some tasks will always take precedence over others. By prioritizing your to-do list, you can make sure you're focusing your time and energy on what matters most right now.
Also, when it comes to managing stress and taking breaks, consider your personal priorities. For example, do you want to feel more rested or relaxed, or do you want to be better at jumping from one task to the next? Knowing these priorities can help you train your brain accordingly.
Maintain a positive attitude
Workplaces have all kinds of personality types, but those with a positive attitude tend to outshine those with a negative one. Positive feelings can help you feel refreshed and energized, not drained and defeated.
A simple way to reframe your workload is to pay attention to tasks you've accomplished, not those you haven't started on yet. When you focus on your productivity throughout the day, it's easier to feel like you've done something rather than looking at what's still on your list.
No one can handle everything themselves, and there's nothing wrong with asking for help. Co-workers, managers, and supervisors are all there to help you succeed, so all you have to do is ask.
That said, make sure to have specific questions or tasks ready instead of just asking "for help." When you can be clear about what it is you need, it's easier for others to step in and assist you.
Focus on the present moment
As we mentioned, staying calm means staying focused on the present and not the future. In some cases, listening to productive music can help you stay focused.
In other instances, you may just have to train your brain to ignore other tasks on your to-do list until you're finished with one.
Manage your workload
Thankfully, we're living in the age of technology, and there are more tools available than ever before.
For example, marketing automation tools can help you save tons of time and energy while completing the same tasks. By utilizing these tools and being strategic with your efforts, you can improve productivity without feeling burnt out or overworked.
How to prevent stress in the workplace
While managing stress and staying calm are valuable skills to master, you must also focus on preventing stress in the workplace.
Here are some excellent methods to make the job far less overwhelming:
- Use high-productivity tools - As we mentioned, automation can go a long way toward relieving stress without sacrificing productivity. The trick is knowing when to automate and when to do a task yourself.
- Maintain open communication - When everyone is in their own bubble, it's easy for the pressure to build too much. Open communication and collaboration allow you to breathe a little and discuss problems with others. When everyone is working toward the same goal, it's much easier to stay calm and focused on the task at hand.
- Readjust workloads according to needs and capabilities - Some people are really good at completing certain tasks, while others may struggle to accomplish them. It's imperative for managers and supervisors to recognize everyone's strengths and weaknesses and reassign tasks accordingly. Overall, a workplace doesn't have to be a place of true "equality." Instead, it's better to focus on objectives and goals and utilize employees in the best way to achieve those goals.