Developing Productivity Under Pressure

If you approach your day with anxiety or relaxation, which will drain your energy
more? Which state will provide you with more productivity under pressure? This is
not a comparison between the tortoise and the hare, because you can certainly
proceed speedily throughout your day in a more relaxed way. Physical tasks
requiring strength can also be accomplished by attacking each task with anxiety or
they can proceed more smoothly with relaxation. The choice is always yours, but
you’ll find that approaching your day and the tasks within it will always be less de-
energizing if they are approached with mindful relaxation rather than mindless
anxiety.
Most people claim that they are under one kind of pressure or another all the time.
By utilizing your time effectively though, you can become more productive and
thereby lessen whatever pressure you're under. Eliminate statements like, "I don't
have the time," because what you really mean is, "I don't want to bother making the
time." The busiest people in the world are always able to find time for what they
want to do, and not because they have any more time than others, but because they
think in terms of "making" the time.
If there is pressure and stress in your life, vary your routine during the day. Do
things differently and problem-solving ideas will often be more easily generated. It is
just as easy to cultivate positive habit patterns as it is to cultivate negative ones.
Monotony is a bad habit. Acknowledge openly to yourself and congratulate yourself
when you have changed a negative habit to a positive one. Pass over non-productive
power stoppers as anger, irritation, revenge and hatred. Turn them into tranquility,
tolerance, forgiveness and love. Your productivity will be assured and your pressure
will be relieved.
If you feel stressful emotion welling up inside of you, say to yourself in a
commanding way, "Stop, Calm, Calm, Relax," and allow the feeling to pass away.
Remember YOU choose your thought patterns. If you give unpleasant thoughts time
to build up, they are harder to control, so recognize and eliminate them early. Write
down the situation causing you pressure, and list all the stressful points. Many times
looking at the written form sheds new light on the subject, and a positive aspect can
be found. After finding the positive aspect, focus energy into it and magnify it. This
has a curious effect of minimizing the negative.
Thought precedes action, so direct your thinking toward action, rather than fear
and worry. For instance, what can be done about the situation? Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Those who don't make mistakes don't try anything. The secret to
productively accomplishing something is not in the "seeking to," but in the "expecting
to" frame of mind. Act as though you have already received or achieved what you
have set out to do. It will work wonders for you!
Laugh at your stressful situation. Look at the people and things causing you
pressure as childishly diminutive in comparison to the universe. Humor is a way of
looking at things in another perspective and often has a relieving tendency.
When you’re under pressure, create some fun for yourself. Make believe you are
a particular guru you have read about. Make decisions and take actions the way you
think the guru would for a day. Lighten up on yourself, and don’t take yourself so
seriously. Sit down and doodle or work some puzzles out for a while to change your
routine. Go play handball or tennis or go swimming at least once a week or when
you feel particularly stressed. Surround yourself with things that make you smile
when you look at them or visualize for a few moments some things during the last
year that made you smile.
Design a tape of positive affirmations for yourself to be played in your car while
going to work or while at home washing dishes. Select statements like, "You are
becoming more productive every day in every way." "You are coping with daily
situations more adequately." "Your thoughts are clearer and your alertness is
keener." By listening to these and other statements during the day, your
subconscious will begin to react positively to them. There is a magic in words, and
your subconscious has a strong tendency to obey suggestions, so make sure they're
positive ones.
In some situations, you can simply sit for 5 minutes in a relaxed comfortable
position and observe yourself slowly taking several deep breaths in and out. Drop
your shoulders and let them hang limp. After the 5 minutes are up, you will feel
calmer and more in control. Your thoughts will be more ordered and less confused.

As soon as we start doing, we learn how to proceed.

........ Bill Mollison