Every second month Anna shares her musings, personal insights, and observations of our diverse lives.
In an age where ‘harder, faster, more’ is the expected status in the workplace, it can be hard to say no, or simply slow down to a manageable pace.
I know that I am a people pleaser, and I have high standards too, so the idea that I might not do a task, say “no”, or slow down a little to preserve my energy and sanity, is not often on my radar.
However, over the past months, my own body has forced this on me. I’ve become suddenly unwell, usually with a thumping headache, and unable to go to work. And more recently I have struggled to meet deadlines.
Some may say that I’m under a lot of pressure at work. I do agree, however, I think the most pressure is actually coming from my own high expectations.
So I have taken time to ask others how they manage pressure. Here are a few gems that really stood out for me.
“I was running myself into the ground at work but I wasn’t unwell to the point I needed to take time off. My dear dad suggested I find a clipboard, practice my serious face and walk around looking busy. I tried it for a day and the difference it made to my well-being, my thought process and my general energy were so great that I continued the clipboard exercise for another two days until I felt I had the energy to continue at my usual pace.”
“I found work would often become really busy and I didn’t stop to even have lunch, never mind a pee. So I decided I needed to book my lunch time and be generous. Twice a week I booked at least an hour lunch break and went to a cafe in town and then took time out to look at shops too. It made such a difference that I felt my output during work hours increased significantly.”
“When my workload increased significantly with a role change I felt behind with all the added tasks and responsibilities, so I blocked out my days with the tasks I needed to do. I was always generous with my time, for example, a task that might usually take 1 hour I would allocate an additional 30 minutes to complete. This way I had allocated time and extra time to get things done. And it works.”
These stories of managing pressure and workload have really made me think that I can easily incorporate more of these practices into my days. Perhaps not the regular long lunches, despite how tempting they are.
Any other pressure-managing tips?