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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 22nd, 2023

The two words, work, and pressure have become synonymous. A large percentage of managers regularly experience pressure at their workplace. Several factors such as attaining target, meeting project deadlines, cost constraints, and conflicts with colleagues create immense pressure on the managers. Hence, you must learn how to handle pressure at work to stay focused on your job with better motivation and satisfaction.

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, work pressure can reduce the motivation of managers and affect their productivity. Works pressure is also associated with the lack of job satisfaction and a higher attrition rate.

This can not just help to prevent the psychological impact of work pressure on your health, but also improve your career prospects.

Executive Summary:

how to handle pressure at work

1. Understand What You Control

Stress occurs when we feel the situation is out of our control. This feeling creates a sense of helplessness and wears down our confidence and concentration.

Hence, the first thing to learn how to handle pressure at work is to differentiate between the situations you can control and those you cannot.

For example, if the project deadline is near, you know you have the ability to rework the schedule. You can break down the tasks and create a new schedule. The situation is still under your control and applying your management skills would help you navigate through it.

But, certain situations are beyond your control such as job insecurity, global recession, etc. Accept these situations and focus on improving your performance instead of feeling demotivated due to it. This will help you avoid losing your job as your performance would speak for itself.

Thus, identifying controllable factors from uncontrollable factors will help you take the proper decisions and move on in the right direction.

2. Control Your Breath Pattern

When you are anxious or under pressure, your breathing pattern tends to be faster and irregular. This can promote the release of a negative hormone that can worsen stress. So, whenever you feel like under pressure like before meeting your manager for appraisal, monitor your respiration and track the changes in the breathing patterns.

This will allow you to set in the right breathing rate and pattern and help you feel relaxed during the meeting.


3. Eliminate Distractions and Interruptions

At your workplace, everyone is busy carrying out their individual responsibilities and no one really has the patience to wait for you to respond at the time suitable for you. Hence, you are bound to be distracted or interrupted by phone calls and emails popping up while you are working on an important presentation.

If you are worried thinking how to handle pressure at work, just take a few preventative measures to avoid such distractions.

For example; inform your colleagues that you will be available to answer the emails only during a certain window unless it is something really urgent. You can reply to the emails faster when you have a specific time devoted just to this task. This will enhance your efficiency and reduce pressure to meet the demands in a limited time.

Do not hesitate to keep the door closed while working on important tasks that demand complete focus.

4. Take Short Breaks

An effective way how to handle pressure at work is to take frequent breaks. At times, you will be hounded with multiple glitches in the project at the same time. Such situations often create a mind block due to which you are not able to think of any innovative ideas to deal with the problems.

At this juncture, what you need is a few minutes away from your desk.

Simply leave your desk and walk around for 5 minutes. Try to take your mind away from the situation by looking at something beautiful and pleasant like a park in your campus.

A study published in the BioMed Central Public Health has revealed that exposure to such restorative environments can improve your ability to concentrate and provide relief from negative emotions like pressure, stress, and fatigue.

This will freshen up your senses and unblock the network of confusion in your mind. So, by the time you return to your desk, you will be ready to think with a new perspective and find innovative solutions to the problems.

If it is difficult for you to go out, you can exercise in the office itself using an exercise ball for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will relieve pressure on your mind and allow you to focus better.

You can also avoid the negative thoughts stressing out your mind by using the meditation-headband to meditate at your desk and refresh your mind.

Meditating for a few minutes before any client meeting will help you avoid pressure and allow you to answer all their queries with confidence.

5. Be Flexible and Adaptable

As they say, the only thing that’s constant in the universe is change and this philosophy applies to your job responsibilities as well. Every day at your office is going to be different.

The market statistics, workforce, your colleagues, job demands and even your office hours can change frequently. This can prevent you from setting a routine and cause a feeling of uncertainty and pressure each time the change occurs.

You can avoid feeling extremely pressured by adapting yourself to the changes. You need to evaluate the new factors and determine how you can accommodate them in your routine. This will ease the pressure and help you perform better.

Extra tip:

Check out our books about productivity and focus selected with executives in mind and learn how to do more in less time. Become an expert in productivity at work!

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I told you earlier that the two words, work, and pressure, have become synonymous. But, it is up to you to set apart the common links between these 2 words. Follow the tips given here for how to handle pressure at work. This will help you avoid undue pressure and improve your job satisfaction.

If you have any suggestions to avoid pressure at work, please leave a comment below to share the tips with us.


One Response

  1. Ryan D. says:

    I will be sharing this with a friend of mine. Great advice. I have been trying to help him get through some of his work stress. He is going through a divorce and work is being all the more demanding which is making everything feel 100 x’s heavier for the guy. I feel bad. He is like a brother to me. I want to help him. I hope your advice here can. Thanks man!

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