Recently, one of our readers posted his story in our Community page about having a colleague who was an honor graduate but failed to live up to the expectations of his boss.
It reflects the sad reality of engineering school achievers: the pressure brought about by exceedingly high expectations is too real, especially when it comes to work.
While the one featured in the post still hasn’t found a long-term solution to his work problem, experts have identified what high achievers, among others, do to get more done under pressure. It’s about developing habits to be able to manage the situation.
Here are 8 strategies:
Perform recharge rituals between breaks
An engineer’s daily tasks can get so exhausting, what do you do? Insert some activities that take you out of the hustle for a while.
Studies show that when you invest time in activities that nurture your well-being, you will have more energy, and hence get more done in a day at work. Exercise. Meditate. Read. Listen to music. Do some gardening. These rituals sustain high performance over a longer period of time.
Narrow your focus
Engineers always scramble with tasks, which is why we tend to juggle them all at the same time. Perhaps it’s time to break this habit.
Concentrate on one thing at time so that you could channel your time and energy effectively and efficiently. When you feel pressured to deliver, you have the tendency to worry, mix things up, and not get anything done at work. To boost productivity, break down tasks, set deadlines, and focus on each.
Spend time with the right people
At times when you have the luxury to pick people you can socialize with while at work, choose those who you feel can nurture you and build valuable relationships with.
Engineers do not need toxic people at work, so it’s better that you only engage with them when necessary. For your convenience, reach out to those who make you a lot comfortable and could even teach you when you are struggling.
Sometimes, the sources of stress come from what we read and check with our smartphones. But then again in this age of technology, more people would rather scroll over posts and check what’s up.
Try spending more time in the real world rather than the virtual world. You will be surprised on how much it will give a lot fresher perspective than when you have spent it on Facebook or Twitter.
This is an involuntary human activity, but it could voluntary too especially when you feel pressured, stressed, or distracted.
It is body science: when you breathe deeply more often, it can help to short circuit your stress response and keep you from walking around in a constant state of worry.
Relax and take a vacation
Use that vacation leave! Go somewhere where you will be able to regain your relaxed senses. It is perfectly fine to step away for a while from the busyness that comes at work. Engineers need to have some happy time, too.
Take some off of your plate
Engineers have a lot to do accomplish in a day, with some getting more tasks than the others. But it does not have to be that way.
When you only know how outsource or delegate, it is easier to finish the work that needs to be done.
Sleep or take regular naps
If it is impossible for you to complete that seven or eight hours of sleep at night, then at least take 20- to 30-minute naps in between work breaks. That habit easily improves mood, alertness, and performance.