I’m very busy at work at the moment. We have a client that is launching lots of new projects at the moment, and there are more email requests coming in than we can deal with.
Everyone’s trying to do their best to help, to solve as many problems as possible in the time they have.
The other evening the client specifically needed my help on one aspect of the project, so I stayed up working with them until 9:30pm, after beginning the day at 7:30am.
It felt good to help, but there’s a point when it can become counter productive. To begin with, there’s my own efficiency. When I work for more hours, my mind gets busier. Combine this with working late, finishing not long before bed time, and my sleep begins to suffer. This can start a downward spiral for me, where my efficiency drops, I fall further behind, I start feeling confused, as my brain isn’t operating correctly and worst of all, I start making mistakes.
Mistakes lead to more problems, and the situation can quickly get out of hand. My mistakes can prove costly to a project.
Retaining your calm centre when it gets very busy
To stop this downward spiral there are a few things you can do. The most helpful thing for me is to stick to a routine that I know works for me. My morning routine helps to clear the mind and body and set me up for a productive days work:
- I start by doing some body loosening exercises;
- I do some press-ups and squats – a bit of light strength training to get the blood pumping;
- I sit down and spend half an hour on my blog. This helps me to find the connection to inner wisdom, and get focused;
- I go for a half-hour walk around the park. This helps clear my head and put things in perspective.
I try and do this every day before work. The routine is tried and tested for me and helps me immensely. Without it I would get completely lost when we’re really busy.
Then it’s time to work. Even though you’ve found your groove, you might face colleagues or clients who are stressed. They might be panicking a bit and firing that stressful energy in your direction.
You might start feeling the pressure burning. This is the tough bit. How do you keep your composure so that you can stay productive, fit and healthy? How can you keep your own stress levels down so that you can be a true help to those around you?
Staying calm under pressure
This is an inside job all the way. This is when your meditation practice will be really valuable. When someone is panicking and apply pressure, feel the emotional reactions it triggers in your body.
For example, if someone is applying pressure on me, I get a certain feeling in the pit of my stomach, which can vary in intensity between a slight unease, dread or absolute terror, depending on the type and intensity of a situation.
To stay calm under pressure, I’ve had to become used to feeling these difficult emotions, and not letting them go to my head.
Here’s what I mean: if the emotions go unnoticed, they energise the thinking patterns in the brain, you quickly become unconscious, spiritually speaking. You become owned by your thoughts. And then you become convinced that the way out of the stress is to finish everything on your task list! Completely impossible. And untrue.
The way out of stress is to be able to move through each task with efficiency, one at a time. You, and others, must accept that you can each do only one thing at a time.
Keep track of all outstanding issues, via a task manager. There are loads of free online tools that you can use to effectively manage the outstanding items, in priority order.
So learn to feel and accept the uneasy emotions that arise when someone applies pressure to you. Feel the feelings, become acquainted with them. You don’t need to try and get rid of them. Allow them to travel with you through the day. Be aware that they’re in you. That way, they won’t take over your consciousness.
It will not feel pleasant, but the alternative is to continue strengthening them by allowing them to take control, and that will lead to progressively more serious problems.
And it’ll be worth it.
- You’ll be more free from stress and the demands of others;
- By feeling the intense emotion you will A. get to know yourself more deeply, and B. receive lots of new insight and wisdom. Try it!