We know that stress is bad and chronic stress can make us sick because our body shots down systems on our body like the immune system to keep us prepared for the dangerous situation we´re in.
In other post we talked about pressure, (click here to read the post) and it comes from a situation where we are challenged to meet the demands, we only have one shot at a certain project and the outcome depends of us, we have control over it and we know we need to get certain results, the best ones. Even when pressure can lead to great results and exceed expectations for some people it can lead to stress.
Pressure can lead to stress when we get assigned a project where we´re not sure if we can make it, we´re unsure if we can meet the deadline and exceed expectations. If it´s a project we don´t feel comfortable because we lack knowledge and skills and if on top of that we are not interested on the project, then this is when pressure becomes stress.
Another way that pressure can lead to stress is when you have so many things to do and you don´t know where to begin, some of us find it hard to say no so we end up accepting a lot more projects and work that we can deal with, we only increase the workload because we cannot say no.
How you respond to any situation has an impact on your levels of stress, pressure comes from the outside, it can be from your boss by giving you more work or a project but your perspective and attitude is what determines how much you get stressed. If you doubt yourself and your abilities and skills then you will start questioning yourself and getting anxious thinking you won´t meet the deadline or the results.
We can all cope with some pressure and it can lead to amazing results, maybe we can use that opportunity as a way to prove ourselves and others that we are capable of but, you can get to a point where pressure is just too much and you start getting all the negative effects that lead to stress, you know when it´s too much when the quality of your work starts to lower, when you feel unsatisfied and lack motivation, if you continue when you get to this level you are at risk of burning out. Most of us cannot deal with pressure when it´s too much, some of us get anxious or depressed, others get aggressive, others prefer to isolate and find ways to deal with it alone but all of them lead to stress.
What you can do is first of all know yourself and accept how much work you can deal with, then learn to say know. If you get offered a project that you know is going to come with some level of pressure and you are not sure about getting it done, then maybe it´s better to say no. It´s really important that you know and accept how much is too much for you and what´s the best way to say no on each situation.
One way or strategy that can help you reduce stress caused by pressure is to be organized, organize your time and activities, create a “to do list” and a “not to do list” and make sure to consider your priorities. Both lists are important, one helps you do the activities that are high priority while the other make sure that you don´t waste your time doing things or activities that doesn´t lead to a positive outcome. You can also find out what the bests time to work for you, some of us like to do the hardest activities or high priorities in the morning while others prefer to do them in the afternoon. We´re all different so find out what works best for you.
Another point you can consider is to set 2 or 3 hours each day to work on you to do list and concentrate on one activity at a time, when you concentrate and are completely focus on one single activity for 2 or 3 hours in a row, without distractions that´s wen you are able to get the best results, you finish the task faster.
These are some ways you can make sure that you use pressure to your advantage and that it doesn´t turn into stress. If you´ve been struggling with pressure or stress leave your comments and questions down below or on Twitter, we´ll be glad to help.
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