Note: This blog originally published in July 2011.
Even though it may be the first thing that pops in your head, “Under Pressure” is not just a great Queen and David Bowie collaboration. I’m sure anyone who’s worked in a business setting, had to pay a bill, or basically anyone over the age of 13 knows what I’m talking about.
Constantly spinning my wheels
I feel like the pressure is constantly building at work and there is no relief in sight. Working in a startup isn’t the typical 9 to 5 setting by any stretch of the imagination—there are always people to reach out to, emerging competitors to beat, and work to be done.
Let me elaborate. if I work 12 hours a day, that hard work won’t pay off until a month or two down the road because my success is measured on the consistency and timeliness in which I’m able to sign partnerships. This means I have to constantly spin my wheels and keep my eye on the prize or the minute I slow down and the agreements stop coming in, I have to waste more time to try to explain why.
Writing never-ending term papers
It’s situations like this that make me truly miss college when I would thrive under a deadline and have the immediate high of turning in a paper just in the nick of time. Now the sense of accomplishment is long gone and the feeling of being stuck in a rut is beginning to set in. It’s like every day I have a term paper due, but no matter how hard I work or how many hours I put in, the paper doesn’t get finished and once I finally DO gain some traction I wake up and I have 10 more term papers to write.
How much can you constantly stress yourself in a given situation? There comes a point when you finally say, “I will do what I can and not let the pressure get to me”.
Treat yourself to simple pleasures
One thing I advocate is treating yourself to the simple pleasures in life, like a glass of prosecco on an outdoor patio in the summer or the occasional massage coupon. Another thing that is great for maintaining sanity is weekends away. Away from the city and your job, away from cleaning your apartment or repairing your bike— just taking some time for yourself to be with your friends, lie in the sun and hopefully not think about all of the stresses waiting for you to return Sunday night.
As time goes by I get better and better at managing stress by thinking in the future tense and not letting the pressures of work get to me, but there are still days, like today, when I want to run away to South America and never return.
How do you get through stress at work? What do you do to survive under pressure?