It used to be called stress management — balancing all of life’s competing priorities, “keeping your chin up” during times of adversity, attempting to smile or breathe through unexpected challenges. Today, we at MMCo call it “pressure management” – nimbly adapting to constant change, new marketplace competition, impending mergers and reorgs, unending to do lists, and managing the expectations of family and friends. Many of our clients report that it’s a challenge to find any personal time for themselves anymore. Since there is NO ESCAPE from the pressure, each of us must find our own ways to thrive versus survive with it all! Here are a few of our top tips for pressure management.
- Take time to step back and look at the big picture of your life. What’s going on in all the various areas? When the pressure is up in any area, it takes more energy and endurance just to stay balanced! Adjust your expectations of how much you can truly accomplish at one time. If you consider that most projects take 30% longer than expected, you can be more compassionate and realistic with yourself about what’s practical to take on or not.
- Who and what are you listening to? As individuals, we stay more balanced and aligned when we tune into our intuition and conscience. In times of pressure, there’s a tendency to listen to others (who may not be aligned), or our own chattering and reactive mind. From there, it’s easy to move “off our game”. Make it routine to tune into your higher knowing for guidance.
- As a way to facilitate Tip number 2, become a bit greedy for quiet time to focus yourself and recharge. Everyone requires quality personal time to truly thrive versus survive! Set aside a specific time each day or week for introspection, relaxation or meditation.
- Also be sure to make time for your passions, whether it’s singing, gardening, playing with the kids, or mountain climbing with friends. Whatever you most enjoy doing will rejuvenate you! Often during times of pressure, our hobbies and passions get overlooked or squeezed out of the schedule. Re-ignite your passions and you’ll revive your spirits and overall health and energy.
- Get up and get moving! Expanding into the new and holding with more pressure will be easier to do when your physical body is moving and expanding too.
- Avoid the tendency to multitask. Being fully present means to do one thing at a time in a focused way.
- Remember that “Powerful People Never Rush.” Individuals with a high level of refinement and self-awareness tend to operate in a deliberate, focused way versus operating at a frenetic or hectic pace. When you feel yourself getting hurried, hold on for a minute and take a deep breath to refocus.
- Discern which things or people are distractions for you. Are you getting caught up in unimportant details, or doing someone else’s job for them, or wasting time complaining about situations versus looking for solutions? If you can avoid drainers like these, you’ll free up time and energy for matters that count.
- When you need to push back and say no (as when everyone wants a piece of you at the same time), analyze if there is a part of the other person’s request you can say yes to (as in ‘yes, but later on versus now’, or ‘yes, but what else should I drop to make room for this new task?’). By offering an alternative rather than a flat no, you set a healthy boundary for yourself, yet don’t have to feel guilty about totally refusing the request.
- Once you’ve analyzed a situation and come to a conclusion, make your “yes” mean yes and your “no” mean no. Being indirect or indecisive usually drags out problems and drains everyone’s energy. Communicating your perspective or decision in a timely way is truly more compassionate for all involved!
We encourage you to try out one or more of the above tips this week, and see what you notice.
© 2018 Marie Moran