It goes without saying that at some point in your career, you will have to work under pressure, meet tight deadlines and deal with stressful situations. Although organisations should care for their employee’s wellbeing and strive to create a calm environment, this is not always achievable. There will be times when, even for the most organised Executives and Assistants, you will encounter working under pressure. Learning to cope with the pressure and dealing with stress is essential for Assistants and of course, keeping yourself healthy during these intense periods. Here are five tips on how to work well under pressure:
Flip your thinking
It can be so easy to feel anxious when you are working under pressure with looming deadlines, urgent requests and a long to-do list to get through. When you are working in this environment, you must see this period as a challenge that you are going to win. Assistants are good at working under pressure. We are creative thinkers and problem-solvers – so whenever you are working under pressure, the first thing to tell yourself is you are going to get through this, and you are going to succeed.
Organise and prioritise
When you are working under pressure, try to stay in the here and now. You have a lot to get through, but focusing on future deadlines isn’t going to get the work done. Instead, take a step back. Every task can be broken down into smaller parts. Prioritise what needs to be done now, today. Organise your workspace so that you have everything at your fingertips and try to keep the space around you calm and tidy.
What are you doing with your time?
If you find that you are quite regularly working under pressure, you will need to think through the reasons for this? The first question to ask is – what are you doing with your time? How are you spending it? Are you procrastinating? How can you reclaim your time so that you are meeting deadlines and finishing projects? If you are working under pressure because you are saying yes to every task that comes your way, you will also have to evaluate this position. You can’t be everything to all people in the office, no matter how hard you try, somethings have to give!
In every organisation, there will be times when the work ramps up, and everyone is under pressure to complete specific projects. Assistants will undoubtedly be heavily involved in these periods, and you should plan to make sure that you are in an excellent position to care for yourself during these periods and handle the pressure. Make sure you have cleared a lot of your work or put it on hold until the stressful time has passed. You know what is important to you and your Executive, everything else can wait.
When you have got through a high pressured period, make sure you reward yourself. When you are in the middle of the work, and you can’t see the endpoint, you can at least think about the excellent reward you are giving yourself at the end of it! It is so important to reward yourself and reflect on what you have achieved. Everyone deserves a reward for their hard work, and you should never deny yourself something that makes you feel good about yourself.