Apr 24, 2009
Are You Settling For The Wrong Kind Of Pressure?
Bad Pressure: Stress put on you by other people that drains you with worry.
Good Pressure: Stress put on you by yourself that gives you something to shoot for.
The secret of “stress” relief? Turning Bad Pressure into Good Pressure.
Focusing on the 50 things people expect you to get done today will drain you. It’s overwhelm. It’s too much, it’s out of your control.
Focusing on getting the task in front of you done in 25 minutes instead of 30? It’s a race against yourself, a chance for you to prove how kickass you are (and at the least, to do some “heavy lifting”) that will make your focus muscles stronger.
If you don’t like the pressure you’re under, rewrite the rules for how you’re positioning it to yourself. Don’t let other people do the positioning – put some spin on it that makes the pressure work for you rather than the other way around.
It’s not about productivity, or organization, or “peak performance.” It’s about feeling good about yourself, shedding some stress and focusing on becoming a more capable person, because that’s something that makes the next 30 minutes easier to deal with.
Do this: Take something you’re stressing about doing and find a way to break it down into smaller tasks you can devote overwhelming short-term focus (10-20 minutes) to. Close the browser. It’s only 10 minutes. Close the office door (pretend you’re on a call if you have to).
Just take 10 or 20 minutes, tell the world to screw off, because instead of stressing about the crushing pressure of the Overwhelming Task, you’re going to focus on the “good” pressure of proving yourself – even if it’s only for 10 minutes.
Do it now. It feels damned good.
Then do it again, and again, and again.
Don’t settle for external pressure that crushes you when you can leverage some internal pressure that drives you to rock your day instead.
Get to it.