How to thrive under pressure

Late nights. Deadlines. Dozens of emails. Common factors many of us face, especially in the world of Production.

How to cope? I’ve created a list of 5 Top Tips that are sure to lower your blood pressure at work.

1. Play music: Music helps tremendously. Some may argue that it can distract you from your work. Not the case for this writer. Pandora has been a Godsend for me these past few weeks. I even played Christmas music while working on a Friday night. Let yourself be lulled by your favorite tunes, especially if you tend to work solo like I do from my house. Pick a band or song that matches your mood in a given moment. Did you just have a flash of brilliance that your client is going to love? Or is he/she driving you nuts? There’s a tune for those situations. Of course, if you are working in an office, get those headphones out!

2. Breathe: Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But taking deep breaths when you’re stressed really does help. During my most stressful moments, I heard the words of my athletic trainer saying, “Breathe! Breathe!” – and that’s exactly what I did. Really made a difference. And you don’t even have to go to a Lamaze class!

3. Develop a rapport with your colleagues on the project (if you haven’t already): Misery loves company. Triumphs are better in twos. You get the idea. Share your thoughts/ideas/emotions/wins with fellow co-workers assigned to your project. Is something baffling you that you need input about? Do you need a second opinion about a creative idea? Are your eyeballs about to fall out from squinting at a document for nearly 12 hours straight? Don’t be afraid to vent a little, whether it means stopping by someone’s cubicle, sending an IM or text, or picking up the phone. What your mother taught you is applicable in this situation: getting things off your chest works wonders for stress.

4. Take short breaks: No matter how much work you have on your plate, it’s essential to take short breaks from time to time. Run out and grab a sandwich. Take a walk. Phone a friend. Jump on the treadmill. Your eyes, head and stress levels will thank you.

5. Finally, keep a calendar nearby: Remember, projects end. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Acknowledge that your stress is temporary and will disappear soon. Stare at your calendar and look forward to positive events on your horizon: a Christmas party perhaps? Dinner with friends? A hot date? A fun shopping excursion? Focus on all the good stuff you’ll be doing once the project is over. In short, always look at the bigger picture and you’ll be okay.


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