Work it Wednesday: Under Pressure

Being under pressure isn't just a catchy 90's tune.. But it's still fun to rock out to...

What to do when you’re under pressure at work? Being under pressure at work, or experiencing stress can be daunting, and can make you feel like you are in sink or swim mode.

For some people this feeling can be paralyzing, because at the end of the storm you can end of feeling like a complete failure.


For Ramon, a local politician, stress and high pressure are terms he is all so familiar with in his line of work. Sitting in his humble office, decorated with pictured frames of the capital, I began to think how stressful it must be to always have to be “politically correct,” and maintain an even temperament when dealing with such a range of personalities.


Ramon, in a very eloquent way, admitted that his position could be draining, with all the meetings, the constant emails and phone calls, and the pressures of the general public.


He seemed at ease when he spoke, unfazed by the level of demand his position required of him. I started to wonder how a man could manage such a tight schedule and still maintain a healthy work life balance.


Was it because he was passionate about what he did, so ultimately work and life merged into one form? Or was it because he was just that organized? Or was it that he had chosen a partner who was okay with his demanding schedule and took care of the household items.


I wondered what the perfect equation could be? I finally nerved up the courage to ask, “How do you do it? How do you maintain a demanding schedule, manage to attend all the city wide events, stay up to date on politics, and have a healthy relationship?”


Ramon, in a slight monotone, answered, “I delegate. I connect people to the right people. I make sure everyone is being assisted in the best manner. If I am not the best person of contact, I make sure they have the right person.” He added, “I also keep a work life calendar and a family calendar and I don’t overbook. I learn to say ‘no’ where I absolutely can not commit- I prioritize.”


After my informal interview with Ramon, I gathered my notes and realized he had spent a whole hour and a half answering all my questions about politics and about work life balance. I really thought about how Ramon was also a master at being genuinely connected to those he spoke to.


Maybe to truly remain calm within a storm may be to focus in on one item at a time. To live in the moment you are in. Our interviews was not interrupted by continuous calls, nor were there external obstacles like an open computer sitting in front of us. Learning to prioritize and say ‘no’ may come with experience on the job, but learning to remain in the moment is a practice we could start to practice now.



**Names were changed to protect the privacy of my interviewee**