How to Survive in a High Pressure Work Environment

3 minutes

In this hyper-competitive world and work scenario, the ability to survive and grow depends on how well we are able to deliver in short time. The work goals have to be clear, specific and timebound. Multitasking adds on to our platter of work roles and sometimes simultaneously handling more than one project creates an El Nino phenomenon in our life.


Why? Because IMAGINED worrying can lead to more pressure.

Surviving in a high-pressure environment requires an understanding of our AQ [ adversity quotient ] i.e. how much pressure we can endure and deal in a balanced way. Here, our inbuilt stress mechanism can come to our rescue.

But many see stress as something unpleasant – something that needs to be avoided. But, ALL the stress is NOT bad stress. In fact, we need it for our SURVIVAL because it is a body mechanism which gives us the ability to withstand strain (exertion).

In short, Stress is the ability of our body to deal with CHANGES and our lives are full of unexpected changes. This mechanism can be used optimally by keeping our thoughts and emotions in place,  managing time and tasks effectively.

Let’s look at ways to manage stress better in a work environment.

Changing the irrational thoughts can create calmness and peace within. Pressure building thought,

How will I ever get this work done, I’ll never finish my work on time on time

leads to anxiety; while pressure relieving thinking

Let me take it one step at a time. If I focus on what I need to do now rather than on how much more there is to be done, I am sure to make steady progress

can get work done faster.

1. So ask yourself –

Can I look at the situation in a different way?
Am I jumping to conclusions which could be wrong? What is my evidence? let me review the facts.
Am I concentrating on the worst possible but by no means the most likely outcome?

2. When you are feeling helpless, believe that you can control or influence the course of events

3. Analyze the situation and list things which are beyond your control, for instance, the other person’s nature/ behavior etc. And don’t waste too much energy on them – try to focus more on the things you can do and work on it.

4. List down the details needed and make a plan of how you are going to go about the work – time lines, the list of information and resources needed. Taking charge of the situation will help in you in having a sense of being in the drivers seat.

5. Make a realistic plan and break the task into small manageable parts. Make a mind map of the entire work and list down relevant things needed. Prioritize the work, and allocate time accordingly.

6. Manage the changes and ambiguities by thinking of alternatives and by being adaptable.

7. Acceptance of delays and having ways to cope with it will help in reducing the load and in keeping yourself free from worries.

8. Keep yourself motivated. Take breaks to drink water, keep some snacks to munch on while working, keep different colors pens (yellow, green, light blue) at your desk. Not only you can use them for writing, sometimes different colors can change your mood as well.

Malini Shah

Ms. Malini Shah is a special friend at YourDOST. She is a practicing Counselor/ Behavioral Trainer and EAP [ Employee Assistance Program ] professional. She has Co Founded Aastha Chrysalis Center - Transformation through Faith in Mumbai, India. Her functional experience is in Counseling and Therapies [Cognitive and Gestalt, Play and Art Therapy, Guided Visualization], Parenting ,Career Testing and Guidance, Life Skills Development Program for Students, Psychological Testing, Learning & Development, Coaching, HR –Recruitment & Selection and Management Training ,Psychometric Testing, Emotional Issue, Trauma and Grief Counseling, Exit Interviews.