It’s an important topic to discuss and I also feel it’s a lot more relevant to the current generation homemakers, entrepreneurs and middle management executives. We all know that we are living in an age of multi tasking, and we also know what happens when we try to multi task (especially if you are not good at it). In spite of being busy all day, there is a high chance that you might end up doing nothing. That’s the power of multi-tasking! With technology advancements, we are constantly disturbed by the innumerable notifications and messages that pop up every minute. Fortunately, some of them are turning into business opportunities, but at a certain cost. I wouldn’t get into that as it’s another topic altogether. But in the process of trying to be everywhere, you lose focus on those one or two things that you want to master. When you don’t get there, your mind starts developing something called anxiety.
A sales guy is under pressure to achieve his monthly or quarterly sales target. A project manager is under pressure to finish the project before the deadline. A businessman is under pressure to perform and grow quarter on quarter. Not only them, a housewife is under pressure to wake up early and prepare food for the family and work on other chores. A policeman, an advocate, a doctor, a politician, a celebrity, a sport person, every body in this world is under pressure. The good news is, its good to be under pressure. Yes, you heard it right.
A project cannot be completed before the deadline, if that deadline is not specific. A sales guy can never close a sale if he doesn’t have a target to achieve. A batsman will never hit a six if he is not playing the game to win. Nothing can be achieved in this world, if there is no purpose. So, I relate pressure to the very purpose of doing something or achieving a goal. And it is called positive nervousness. Its good to be nervous, because that is the minimum pressure your mind would need to perform a particular job faster and better. That’s how we progress in life and that’s one of the secrets of life. Nervousness is also the very reason for many inventions in human history, otherwise people would just procrastinate everything.
Then what is stress? Stress is exactly opposite of nervousness. In simple words, nervousness is organic growth, and stress is inorganic. One fine day if you wake up and tell yourself to climb the Everest. You will be in stress from that very moment. Neither do you know how to climb nor do you have a choice. What happens when your boss comes to your cabin and says you need to achieve your yearly target in a month? When both the kids fall sick, what happens to the housewife? When the pitch is turning a lot more than you expect, what can a batsman do? So, in a way, when a lot of things are dependent on external factors; or if you want to achieve a lot more in less time, that’s when stress kicks in. This is dangerous and harmful to your body as well as mind. This could also lead to health issues.
4 tips to convert negative stress to positive nervousness:
- Planning: My wife has a weekly breakfast calendar. This drastically reduces pressure on her mind early in the morning since she already knows what to cook. Likewise, if you maintain and follow your weekly calendar, you can bring down a lot of stress and convert that to positive nervousness and complete tasks on time.
- Circle of influence: I would like to mention Stephen Covey’s theory. Study your environment and understand things that you could influence or control. Work on those things where you have a larger control on, so that you can convert the work pressure to nervousness, instead of stress. You could find some interesting info on http://uthscsa.edu/gme/documents/Circles.pdf
- Focus: A bird in hand is better than two in bush. Focus on one thing that you could complete, instead of three or four things that simply hang in air.
- Celebrate: Mind is only as powerful as the attention that you give it. If you don’t pat its back, it’s not going to work for you. Keep acknowledging and incentivize so that it stays calm and happy; and in a way helps you to control your mind more than vice versa.
So next time when you are under pressure, use the above techniques to convert that stress or anxiety to positive nervousness. Trust me, life will be a lot more easier.