The email hits your inbox and fills you with dread. The results shown on the attached spreadsheet are not surprising, but still tough to view. Your sales numbers are low for the third quarter in a row. Seeing your name at the bottom of the sales team is unsettling. The work ethic, activity, and best practices have been there, but people just aren’t buying. In your last meeting with your boss, you were warned to get your numbers up. Now he’s coming with you on your sales calls to watch and critique. The message is clear: Hit your number in 90 days or you’re gone. The pressure at work is overwhelming because your wife and kids are counting on you to provide.
Dealing with stress at work can be difficult. I have dealt with this scenario first-hand. When everything is on the line and your boss is hovering, it can be paralyzing. It can cause health concerns and relational difficulty at home. When the pressure at work heats up, here are 5 practical things to do that will help deal with the pressure.
Talk About It
Dealing with pressure can be lonely. Talk about it with someone you trust. If you are not married, find a loved one or a friend willing to carry the burden with you. Find someone that is willing to ask you about it consistently. We all need encouragement, particularly when we feel like our backs are against the wall. If you are married talk to your wife. As well-intentioned as it might be to hide it from her, it is the worst thing you can do. Inviting her into it will make her feel needed and is an opportunity to draw closer to one another. Communicate clearly what would be helpful and not so helpful. Her love, prayers, understanding, and support go a long way. It was a game changer for me.
We all need encouragement, particularly when we feel like our backs are against the wall.
It may be tempting to dwell on what you are doing wrong. While it’s good to improve and reduce weaknesses, focus on what you do well. Take heart from the things that are in your wheelhouse and the ways you are gifted. Write down all of the areas you are talented and how they play out in your job. Put your talents to work in the most productive activities. Remain active and accept the results.
Exercise and Eat Healthy
Pressure has a tendency to wear us out. Being in good shape will make you feel better, give you much needed energy, and improve your confidence. Eat the right foods with a good balance. Make sure you are getting the recommended nutrients. The smallest things can make a huge difference. Work out every day even if it is just a couple push ups or running a loop around the neighborhood before you get in the shower. Be consistent.
Go To Bed On Time
Be disciplined about getting plenty of rest. Burning the midnight oil will leave you worn out and impair your sharpness during the day when it counts. If you have trouble sleeping at night, read a book that has nothing to do with your work. If you are married have your wife read out loud to you or read to her. If you are single listen to an audio book, anything that will put your mind at rest.
Start Each Day With A Prayer
The moment you open your eyes, all of the pressure in the world will come flooding down. Stop. Clear it out at least for a moment. Breath deep several times and enjoy the quiet. Give the day to God and ask Him to lead you and give you peace. Then open your eyes and go.