And I’m back with another one!
Now I’m back from the motherland, I have a bit more structure in my life and I thought a blog post about performance under pressure would tie in nicely with the month of January, as many set themselves targets and goals for the New Year, but also a lot of young adults who are still in education may find that there is a lot of pressure creeping up on them due to upcoming exams, assignments, or even dissertations!?
I’ve decided that I’m going to start a ‘How To’ series, something which I’ve done in a couple of previous blog posts and was received well by you guys…
I’d like to start this week with a blog on how to perform under pressure which is something I’m still attempting to master so I thought I’d share some useful tips on how to achieve this.
Performing under pressure, I’m sure you will all experience at some stage throughout your day to day whether completing work tasks or just menial tasks in general. Personally, a little bit of pressure is something I genuinely thrive on. I like the idea of feeling ‘tested’ however in the same breadth I’m one of those over-thinkers/doers and tend to create unnecessary pressure for myself…
With that said, I hope that you find the below tips helpful and easy to apply to yourself.
If you have any useful tips you’d also like to share, please feel free to comment below!
I hope you enjoy!
•FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND AND NOT THE OUTCOME•
Definitely one of those things better said than done, however potentially the one key thing which can help you to slow down and focus rather than panic. A lot of the time when I’m faced with pressure that I’m unable to cope with, it’s because I overthink. If this is the case for yourself, just slow down. If you have to take a break then go ahead and try that too, but ultimately focus on one thing at a time and see if this change in pace helps with the dynamic of the situation overall.
I work in a very fast paced environment at times, which requires me to not just only focus on the task at hand, but on several situations and if this is similar for yourself, prioritise the key areas of the task you are completing. It doesn’t need to be an extensive list, but just do something which allows you to focus on one at a time.
Finally, the outcome will be reflective of the effort put into the task/situation so therefore I say focus on the task and not the outcome. If you rush, panic or dwell on a situation the outcome will never be favourable. As mentioned, focus solely on the task at hand and if you have to keep repeating this to yourself (out loud or quietly) as a reminder-go ahead! I do this, it helps…a lot!
Taking control of a situation will benefit the way that you look at it overall. There’s something about being in control which always has a positive outlook. When I feel as though I’m in control or have to take control, I feel a lot more confident and at ease and this often helps to relieve any pressure that’s building up.
The larger picture can be quite overwhelming so focus on a particular area that you feel comfortable with or feel confident to tackle. This point is very similar to the above point, however different in the sense that point 1 looks at focusing on one task at a time and this current point looks at focusing on a particular area of the task that you can control. Enabling yourself to do this will make a task that once seemed overwhelming and too large to grasp, become very small and easy in comparison!
•STAY POSITIVE/REFLECT ON PAST SUCCESSES•
Before any task can be tackled or even complete, there needs to be some kind of structure on how you prepare for the situation. Use this time to actually prepare, not just for the task ahead but perhaps look at previous scenarios.
How did you succeed in that situation?
What didn’t work out so well and how can you improve on this?
Often I’ve found that situations I panic over or struggle with under pressure, tend to be situations where previously I’ve not been so successful. Usually, the best way to look past this is by reflecting on areas that I know I can improve on and perhaps this will help relieve some of the strain. You’ll find by doing this that you are not making the same mistake twice. Always remember, mistakes are meant to happen so we can learn from them and correct in future scenarios! Even if naturally you are someone who struggles to perform under pressure, reflect on a time in the past where you struggled to perform under pressure but still came out victorious…is there anything you can take from that past success and mould into your current situation?
Finally, I mentioned keeping positive; Reason being and potentially the most obvious point here, is that thoughts evolve into things. If you go into a high-intensity situation with a negative attitude or mindset this will naturally reflect on the situation. Change your outlook; be positive and courageous…believe in yourself!!
As always, I will end with a quote…
“The measure of a person is not how they act when things go smoothly, but rather how they act when they are challenged”