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[bctt tweet=”How do you keep your cool under stressful deadlines? ” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]

Even if you’re lucky to have a job that doesn’t entail working with deadlines, one thing for certain is there will be a time in your life where you will find yourself under an intense pressure situation, that can either make or break you at work.

While it’s good to work with deadlines, they can be incredibly stressful. Deadlines give us an idea of the amount of time we have to work on something and help us to complete tasks on time; that’s the good. The bad? Tension mounts and we start to feel like we’re running out of time the closer we get to a deadline.

The biggest secret is to remain calm. Here are a few tips on how you can remain composed under deadline stress.

1. Make sure your deadlines are realistic

If your deadlines are always too short, you’re likely to feel stressed from the moment the deadline is set. The solution is to figure out whether the deadline you’ve been given is realistic; then to have a sense of how much time is needed for the task.

all-stressed-out-gifIf you’re given a deadline that seems unreasonable or too tight, find out whether the deadline is flexible and if you can make a case to have it extended. Deadlines are real but sometimes they can be negotiated. Don’t be afraid to ask for more time if you feel the deadline is really unworkable.

[bctt tweet=”Deadlines are real but sometimes they can be negotiated. Don’t be afraid to ask” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]

2. Choose a positive response

I came across this quote which says; “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” When faced with a situation that puts you under pressure, you generally have two responses. You can choose to change either the situation or your response to it.

Even if you have no power to do anything about the set deadline, you have the power to choose how you respond to it. Instead of thinking negative or allowing the deadline to make you tense, you can choose to refocus your thinking to a positive response. This will lead to a positive action, such as “I can do this” or “How can I do this?”.

A positive response will help you to remain calm and focused on what needs to be done. Learn how to defeat the panic signals.


3. Think about the progress you’ve already made

Instead of freaking out, it can be tremendously helpful to take a minute to reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far. Do this first before turning your attention to the mountain that remains ahead of you.

During a challenging workday, focusing on the meaningful progress you’ve made so far, can boost your emotions. Also, it can motivate you to keep going until all the work is done. It is the “small wins” that keep us going, especially in stressful scenarios.

[bctt tweet=”It is the “small wins” that keep us going, especially in stressful scenarios” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]

4. Listen to a relaxing song

Certain people are naturally gifted with a calm personality, and it gives them a competitive advantage under stressful situations. But if you know you’re not one of them, you need to learn some calming practices. Calming practices are a lifesaver  when under pressure.

When under stress, you can strengthen your calming muscle by listening to music that really relaxes you. Listen to a calming song until you feel deeply relaxed. The experts say music has a unique link to our emotions; it can be a highly effective stress management tool. So put on your earphones and turn that music on.


5. Take a deep breath

That feeling when you look at the clock and your heart rate starts going up. The easiest way to remain calm under stress lies in something you already know: you just need to breathe. When you’re feeling stressed, take a few minutes to focus on your breathing.

Close the door or isolate yourself from all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe properly. The process of controlling your breathing will help your brain focus only on the task at hand and will lift the cloud of stress from your head.

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6. Total recall

Can you recall one or two situations that caused you serious stress in the past? Remember how you handled that stressful deadline and came out victorious! Bring back that feeling of being confident and being in control of the situation.

Let the positive experiences from your dealing with stressful situations guide you wisely through the new challenge you are facing. Remind yourself that today you are stronger than yesterday.

this_whitney gifYou can tackle it just like you tackled it before!

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