I had a good friend ask me the other day to create some graphics in Photoshop for her and I did my solemn best to politely decline. “I can’t, I’m under the gun. I have a deadline to hit. I’m launching a new product in just a few days.”, was my weary reply.
With all the sympathy she could muster, she hit me square between the eyes with some astounding words, “Great, have it to me tomorrow! You do your best work under pressure…” and she hung up.
When the fog cleared, I started thinking about what she said, and I’ve seen begun to see clearly that she is right. Not that I really want her to be right, mind you…
The “Hot Seat”, which I have just been introduced to in Dr. Ben Adkins’ The [Syndicate] is a perfect example of this in action. But why is my friend right, and why does the hot seat work?
Pressure, in the form of hard deadlines, forces a person to cut out the endless second guessing and painfully slow decision making and make split second decisions. It forces them to say, “This is good enough, I can fix it if, and only if, I have time later!”. It forces them to manage their time and resources in a way they don’t usually do.
But pressure does far more than that…
Probably all of us have had experiences where we come under a sudden stress -emergencies, shocking news, etc… and time seems to slow to a crawl for a few moments.
We become hyper aware of our surroundings, our adrenaline surges, we can have actual physical reactions such as shaking and nausea.
I don’t understand the things that are really taking place in our bodies at these times. However it works though, the net effect is that those moments lock hard in our consciousness. We are amazed later at the detail of memory, the unnatural strength or speed we obtained, the clarity of thought we possessed, on and on… we really do operate on a different level in those moments!
I’m not saying that we should work under an unhealthy level of stress regularly, but we can harness these same phenomenon to work for our benefit day to day.
Are you a procrastinator? I sure have been! There’s nothing like telling a few dozen people your launch date to put you on the spot and kick in the fight mechanism. This is helpful pressure.
I also find that when I work under a deadline, I retain new information better, I avoid time wasting distractions, and strangely… I act with much more decisiveness and confidence.
Last night I had one of those terrifying, time slowing experiences after a Mastermind meeting. I was working in my FTP client on a site and suddenly, I’m not even sure how… I erased my “public_html” folder, and possibly more. If you don’t know what that means… it means every website on that server had vanished into thin air, gone. I can’t tell you how stunned I was. I was literally sick at the prospect of how much work I may have lost.
This increased my launch pressure maybe tenfold! Would I have to redo EVERYTHING?
I thought for a moment that my entire business had vanished before my eyes and I would be spending today applying for jobs. Pressure however, caused me to very quickly and clearly consider what had happened, and the possible solutions.
You could say I got real lucky, within a few hours I was up and running again with very little lost work, and as far as I know I am fully recovered at this point. I attribute getting things back up fast to the fact that I HAD to – and right now! I must acknowledge that my web hosting company handled it like a champ at nearly 3 a.m. Huge kudos to HostMonster! 10 years and they haven’t let me down yet.
What could have been, without the pressure of an upcoming launch day on me, a long and deep wallow in self pity with a much different outcome, has become just a blip in the road with a serious lesson learned about the importance of backing up my sites.
Pressure can help you to plow on when it seems impossible to do so!
This morning I am taking the time to write this very lengthy post for several reasons:
- I want you to know you aren’t alone if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- I wanted to acknowledge and embrace the benefit of working under pressure.
- I wanted to lock this thinking into my mind before it slips away.
- I wanted to give back by letting you learn from my mistakes.
Possibly the best reason? I figured taking the time to write this would give me even more time to spend with my new friend – pressure.
(If you’d like to learn more about The [Syndicate] – Click Here Now)