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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.

5 Responses to “Are You Settling For The Wrong Kind Of Pressure?”

  • Apr 24, 2009 KatFrench

    Wow, I needed to read this post today. So in honor of your timely post, I hereby dedicate this related Blip: http://blip.fm/~4vwy9

  • Apr 24, 2009 Sean Platt

    I have no problem with pressure. I’m rarely stressed no matter how much I have to do. In fact the more on my plate, generally, the tighter my focus. However, that’s when I’m applying the pressure. When it’s others, not so much. But I guess that’s why I work for myself and have since like forever.

    Sean Platt’s last blog post..Serial and Milk: Available Darkness – Chapter 1

  • Apr 24, 2009 Positively Present

    I love how you’ve defined pressure as “good” and “bad” because I think this is so true. If we don’t have some type of pressure, most of us would just sit around and do nothing. But too much pressure (and that can include the pressure you put on yourself) can be a very bad thing.

    I love the task you gave your readers. I’m going to try it out! Thanks!

    http://positivelypresent.typepad.com

  • Apr 24, 2009 Brain_storm

    amazing article
    thanks , i believe its very very useful

    keep posting , and i will keep reading :-)
    have a Challenging urself day

  • Apr 26, 2009 Linda Hampton RN, MSN

    All too often we settle for what we think life has to offer. But I believe God won’t give us a vision that we cannot have. So when you settle you’re not happy about it and it causes you to feel stressed. Breaking things down into smaller tasks will let you complete the task and feel good about it while in process. Thanks for Rocking my day.
    Stress Solutions For Busy Women

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