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How to Stay Calm Under Pressure In the Workplace

Learn our strategies for staying calm under pressure to improve productivity and reduce stress in the workplace.

Stress is a big deal in the modern workplace. According to research, up to 62 percent of adults in the United States have high levels of stress, with burnout and fatigue being common side effects.

Unfortunately, that stress can have a wide array of other side effects, and it can lead to an unproductive and unhappy workforce. Businesses, both large and small, can generate work-related stress, so it's imperative for employees and managers to know how to deal with stressful situations.

One of the best options is for individuals to learn how to stay calm at work, even when workloads and deadlines are looming overhead. By recognizing what triggers stress and managing it effectively, employees can be happier and more productive.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about how to stay calm under pressure at work.

The importance of staying calm in the workplace

What draws the line between successful people and unsuccessful people? While there can be many factors, the ability to remain calm and combat stress as it occurs is a huge one. In many cases, even just having a positive attitude and outlook on life can be the difference between success and failure.

So, before we dive into specific ways to remain calm in a stressful situation, let's look at the value of this process.

In most cases, knowing the benefits of staying calm can help provide the necessary motivation to reach a specific goal. Here's what you can expect from learning how to control your emotions at work.

Improves decision-making

It's easy to get overwhelmed and backlogged in high-pressure situations. As new tasks pile up, they can become distracting, making you less productive and more erratic in how you handle each task.

Staying calm can help with decision-making because it allows you to stay focused on one task at a time. This way, any anxiety about other tasks doesn't affect the job at hand, enabling you to move from one task to the next smoothly and efficiently.

Also, staying calm under pressure at work helps you make more informed decisions rather than acting out of anger or fear. When your mind isn't stressed out, you can see more clearly and understand the pros and cons of each decision.

Enhances communication

How easy is it to communicate with someone when you're stressed and anxious all the time? When worry sets in, each interaction feels like a waste of time, even if you're discussing the task at hand.

Staying calm allows you to see the bigger picture and understand how to communicate more clearly and effectively. Because you're not in a rush to get to the next task, you can be more open and honest with yourself and your co-workers when communicating.

Also, those who can remain calm are more likely to ask for help or assistance with a problem, which spurs creativity and problem-solving and even allows you to solve larger tasks at hand.

Boosts productivity

Learning how to stay calm under pressure enables you to focus more on your work and less on how stressed out you are. There's only so much precious time in a day, so it's crucial to be productive at work.

Calmness is generally a reflection of control. When you're in control of your time, your emotions, and your energy levels, you can greatly improve productivity in the process. That's not to say you're necessarily on top of everything or ahead of schedule - only that you are in control of the situation.

Reduces stress

Stress typically occurs when you feel overwhelmed. However, changing your mindset and attitude can actually go a long way toward reducing that feeling and staying calm.

While this process isn't always easy, training your mind to stay positive and focus on one task at a time will lead to lower stress levels.

Creates a positive workplace environment

Unfortunately, when one person is stressed or burnt out, their anxiety and negative feelings can spread to others pretty quickly. One person is short or rude to another, who carries that negativity to the next interaction, and so on.

By maintaining positive feelings and remaining calm at work, it's much easier to have more positive interactions with those around you.

Open and collaborative communication is essential for any workplace. Positive people will always be on top of their to-do lists, while negative people will be overwhelmed with anxious thoughts that they can pass on to others.

What causes pressure in the workplace?

Pressure is a natural side effect of the workplace, especially in a fast-paced field. While strategic leadership can help mitigate much of this pressure, a lot of it is inevitable.

Some common reasons why pressure can build up for individuals, departments, and entire companies include:

  • Heavy workload: Many workers report having too many tasks on their plate at one time, so it's hard to keep up with their to-do list. Also, as companies consolidate workforces and reduce employee sizes, workloads become even heavier and create more pressure.
  • Deadlines: Nothing can ramp up the pressure like a tight deadline. Unfortunately, one problem can turn into multiple when you fall behind. For example, if you miss one deadline for one task, you'll struggle to catch up with the next one, and so on.
  • Clients: Ideally, clients will be easygoing and love everything you do for them. Unfortunately, in the real world, clients can be demanding and high-maintenance. In some cases, clients can add pressure by requesting last-minute changes or adjustments that take more work than they realize.
  • Inefficiencies and redundancies: When workers have to go through hoops to complete a task, it can be frustrating and stressful. When combined with everything else, inefficient workplace operations can increase pressure by creating bottlenecks and time-consuming processes. When the pressure gets too great, the entire system could collapse.

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.

Take breaks

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.

Seek support

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.

Combat stress for a calm and productive work environment

Staying calm at work doesn't have to be an insurmountable task. But with tools like Mailchimp and the right mindset, it'll be easy to remain calm and focused when you feel stressed.

Whether you need to hire for your small business or manage an increasing number of clients, these tips and tricks can make it easier to adapt and overcome challenges. Success is always within reach if you know how to get there.

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