In my previous job I have been described as workaholic, a person that managed to rise to every complex challenge and think my way out of it. I have been through managing complex system fallouts on Monday after midnight software elevation to the live site on Sunday that packed their own sets of adventures. I have been through complex negotiations with customers and vendors balancing company’s strategic goals with major customer’s often unreasonable demands.
There were a few things that allowed me to find balance in my life and mental state in very high stress situations:
- Keeping clear goals and acceptable outcomes in minds eye. This allows me to separate essential from secondary when the heat is up.
- Build checklists and achieve consensus on major points with anyone on your side of the engagement. If you are going into production elevation dry run checklist with your team. If you are going into contract negotiation make sure you are in tune with management’s common goal.
- Lay down on the job. If you feel overstressed and reactionary it is clearly the time to hit a major pause. Pour out that coffee you are heaving and down a full glass of water. Pay attention to your aches and pains and muscle tightness. Sit down and focus on the aches and pains in your body. They are the ones that are feeding your mind with troubling thoughts and obscure the fact that reality is not nearly as bad is you make it out to be.
A great deal of stress can be alleviated through:
- carrying about your teammates and managers.
- Being honest, but not accusative,
- basing your statements on clear facts and not suppositions and
- addressing conflicts early.
Also anything to give you more sleep and keeping your body in better shape works.