For many women in highly demanding careers, working under pressure is par for the course. From meeting an aggressive deadline to juggling multiple projects and tackling a high-pressure presentation, we all have to perform when the heat is on.
Of course, this is not limited to one gender; however, the situation is likely to take a heavier toll on women for quite a few reasons including cultural expectations.
According to Deloitte’s Women @ Work report, women now make up almost half (43%) of the global workforce and tend to outperform men when it comes to some key performance indicators such as work-life balance and job satisfaction.
This is why we’re seeing more and more women take on leadership roles as well as reinvent the ways they handle projects especially when they have to work from home or any other remote location.
Being a peak-performing woman comes with its own set of challenges. Among other things, you have to balance work with personal life while dealing with gender stereotypes along the way, all of which further compound the pressure at work.
But while stress and pressure are unavoidable, they don’t have to become your constant companions. You can learn how to work under pressure more effectively and even thrive when the stakes are high.
Many successful women have mastered the art of working under pressure, leaving a trail that others can follow by adopting the same mindset and taking corresponding action.
In this piece, we will explore some proven tips that will equip you to better manage stress, adapt to changing circumstances, and excel in challenging situations.
Know your limits and set boundaries to reduce chances of working under pressure
Being at the top of your game can often mean long days, high-pressure projects, and lots of travel. This is especially true in senior-level roles. If you’re particularly bad at setting boundaries, working in a job like this can lead to burnout.
As you work towards growing your career and moving up the ladder, it’s crucial that you understand your limits and set boundaries that work for your particular needs and goals.
Be clear about the time commitments you can realistically make and don’t be afraid to politely turn down projects that will add needless pressure to your workload.
Stay up to date with the latest workplace practices and tech
Whether you’re climbing the career ladder or building your own business, staying on top of workplace trends is important to your professional growth.
For example, you can avoid the pressure of dealing with avoidable sanctions by staying abreast of government legislation that might affect your business or sector and taking proactive steps to manage those changes with your team members.
You should also be aware of the latest tools and technology to automate your tasks, communication, and processes within your team. Consider investing in bots, project management software, and other tools that can help make your job easier and more efficient.
Communication tools, collaboration software, and other technologies are always evolving; so staying current with what’s out there for your needs can help you and your team members become more efficient and productive.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it
While many women are rising into leadership in the workplace, there is still a significant gap in the executive ranks.
As such, if you’re a woman at the top of your game and you’re looking to scale your operations, you may find yourself needing help from time to time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Leverage your support network. Delegate tasks that you don’t necessarily have to do yourself. That way, you are empowering others while saving yourself some stress.
Another good option to explore is hiring virtual assistants.
Normalize saying no when necessary to avoid working under pressure
Being a peak-performing woman also means knowing when and how to say no. Don’t feel pressured to do everything that’s asked of you.
Sometimes you need to say no to certain projects if they’re too time-consuming or don’t advance your goals.
Refuse to take on too many projects at once, Say no to visiting clients or team members at the office if you can easily communicate with them remotely. Saying no to the things that don’t add to your career path or help advance your goals is essential if you want to constantly be at your best without burning out. [Tweet that]
You also need to be mindful of who you’re communicating with and how often. Keep the people that you need to communicate with close and others at arm’s length.
Communicate effectively and often
As you say no to the things you need to say no to, you also need to be communicating effectively.
Communicate with your team members, your managers, your clients, and anyone else who needs to be kept in the loop on the work you’re doing.
Be transparent with your communication, and communicate often to ensure you’re being productive and helpful to everyone around you.
Don’t forget to celebrate milestones
While you’re working towards raising the bar and becoming more effective, it’s easy to forget about celebrating milestones.
This is why you must ensure that you’re also taking time out to celebrate your wins and milestones each week. This doesn’t apply to work milestones alone, but also to personal milestones like reaching certain reading goals or fitness milestones.
Find ways to celebrate your successes so that you’re not only advancing in your career but also feeling good about what you’re achieving in other areas of life as well.
Take time to care for yourself and recharge
As we observed earlier, there are many ways women are outperforming men in today’s workplace. This includes work-life balance.
Many women are taking time off to care for their families or themselves. This is a great thing, but it’s also important to know when it’s time to re-enter the workplace and be ready to hit the ground running.
Take time off when you need it and be mindful of the way your body, emotions, and mind are feeling when returning to the office.
Find ways to recharge your batteries when you need to, so that you will have the energy and full presence of mind to tackle challenges at work.
There are many ways that you can manage pressure as a peak-performing woman. It all boils down to being mindful of ways to keep yourself on track, avoiding stress triggers, delegating responsibilities, communicating effectively, and being mindful of your limits.
Keep these tips in mind so that you can achieve your personal and professional goals in the most efficient way possible.
Always remember that pressure doesn’t have to get the better of you. You can maintain your composure and still do your best work even while working under pressure.