How To Perform Better At Work While Under Pressure

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Pressure comes with the territory for most jobs. Just about every job has some kind of deadline situation. You have to complete a task in a certain timeframe. And it can get much more pressured packed than just that. Sales numbers. Performance expectations. Quality expectations. All kinds of things.

And there can be pressure not just on performance, but from working with coworkers and all that stuff.

So it’s normal. You probably deal with it well most of the time. But what about if it feels like it’s starting to pile up and get ahead of you?

Here are a few thoughts for making sure you’re performing well under the pressure of your work.

1. Ask for someone else’s thoughts on the situation

Sometimes when we’re under pressure we start to lose a little focus on reality. We get so wrapped up in what we’re doing that we get lost in the situation. This is good, but it can also be negative if things get too far gone.

It can help to ask someone you trust to assess the situation. See what they think of it. This way you can determine if your views and reactions are reasonable. Even if the person isn’t doing the same job as you they can often ask questions and help you determine the true situation and how you can best approach it and perform well.

2. Look for ways to relieve stress outside of work

Pressure and stress come from many different areas of life. We can only handle so much. If you’re going through a particularly stressful time at work, it may be wise to look at other areas of your life to see if you can ease something else so you can focus on work.

Maybe put off the remodel project. Or cut back on the vacation planning for a little while. There can be good things in your personal life that help to relieve stress and pressure. Look to add those in. But usually looking to remove other things will give you the space necessary to handle stress at work.

3. Play back past stressful situations and they turned out

Think back to the last time you had something filled with pressure going on at work. You probably got through it. See how you handled the situation. See if there is anything you can learn. Maybe how you can try doing something differently.

Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo gave good insight into this process in an interview after he retired. Romo was an undrafted player. He was a backup for three years before becoming the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys partway into his fourth season. The interviewer asked Romo how he was able to make that ascension. Romo said it was many things, but he talked about his process of post-practice and post-game assessment. He would watch how he performed in certain situation, especially pressure situations, and see where he needed to improve.

You can do the same thing with your work.


Pressure is part of life. We deal with it all the time. Some seem to naturally perform well under pressure. But most of us struggle at least a little. And sometimes it can be really stressful and we underperform greatly. But that doesn’t mean it always needs to be that way. Hopefully these little tips can help if you’re feeling the pressure at work.

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