With the upcoming launch of Happy Woman Happy World, the first book of The Women’s Code, my team is on red alert. Aside from all the excitement over the completion of the book, I find myself FREAKING OUT at all the things that are piling up on my to-do list. Frankly these days that list is longer that the veil on a wedding gown. I am not kidding!
Some people crumble when put under too much pressure, some people can still perform but don’t thrive under pressure and then there are some people (like me) who find this pace rather exciting. I do some of my best thinking when I feel like I am sitting in the middle of a pressure cooker.
Here is a good article that has good tips for staying calm at work.
I was looking at my list and wanted to run away or go for a workout to clear my head. This got me thinking about how The Women’s Code outlines how to deal with stress. One thing is for sure, we can’t make our lives do exactly what we want and other people will not always act like we want them to, either. That means that the only thing we have control over is ourselves and that is where we should start. That leads to my question – how can we remain calm under pressure?
First, let us lean on the three Pillars of The Women’s Code. Awareness, Support and Collaboration, and how to use them in stressful situations:
- Our very first action is always to take a step back. What is going on? We look, we see, we decide what is the most important thing that needs our attention right now. We do that ONE THING first. We repeat the process one step at a time. My tip is to not look at your entire to-do list but to break it down into lists of five things to do. That way you keep yourself focused. I use a long list and a daily list. Try it and let me know what you think.
- The second step is to ensure that you are supported. Can you ask your family or partner to chip in more on some of your regular tasks? Find people to run your errands and get help wherever you can. Women often make the mistake of thinking it is faster if we just do it ourselves. But, if we fail to ask others and train them in what we need, the end results are often disastrous because we end up doing everything ourselves. Take the extra time to explain what you need done and let someone else do it. Do not judge your helpers for not being perfect. They are not trying to compete with you – they are helping. Appreciate their effort.
- The third component is to remind yourself that you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Others around you can be more qualified than you for certain tasks. While I am very good with our client relationship management system, Jennie is the go-to girl on the team. My choices are – either I waste my time figuring it out or I pay her to do it. The first choice is not really cheaper because it will take me much longer to figure out the same thing it takes her minutes to complete. Find better ways to delegate and let others collaborate and contribute.
The trick to stay as cool as a cucumber is to consistently remind yourself to keep the lines of communication open. Even when you are tempted to think that those around you must see how hard you are working – the truth is that just about everyone will prefer clear communication over a complete breakdown.
Got it? Stay focused, break it down, ask for help, communicate your needs, and let others take over or help you.
Now I’ve got to go back to work…