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13 Secrets to Performing Well Under Pressure

Listen to music

By listening to music, you're able to literally distract yourself from your anxiety.

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Learn to be ok with discomfort

If you know you have a high-stakes event coming up, become familiar with feeling pressure and learn to work through it. 

For example: If you need to give a presentation to cowo...

Establish a pre-performance routine

Whether it’s taking a few deep breaths, doing some light stretching, or having a quick phone call with someone you trust, spending your last few minutes doing something active before a big event will prevent you from spiraling into worry, so you can perform confidently.

Shift your attention away from worries

... and to the task at hand. 

Mindfulness can help you regain a sense of calm and focus your attention, so you can avoid being caught off guard by your anxiety. You can see it for what it is, and choose to direct your attention elsewhere. 

Intrinsic motivation and procrastination
Intrinsic motivation and procrastination

Understanding the key components of internal motivation is a good step to find the source of your procrastination.

A study showed that participants with higher self-esteem and a higher resi...

Time pressure and procrastination

Leaving a task to the last minute may makes us feel like we are working faster to complete the task. However, it does not mean we work better.

Time pressure generally impairs performance because it limits thought and action. Parkinson's law suggests that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." The key is to find the right balance between productivity and performance.

Shallow breathing

We loose the ability to breath deeply naturally as we age: deep breathing comes naturally to children, but we lose the ability because we’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight, low-level str...

Controlled breathing

... is the fastest, most effective way to trigger the relaxation response, enabling you to think more clearly and perform better under pressure.

Navy Seal tricks

The Navy SEALs use 2 breathing techniques that force the body into a more relaxed state when they’re in a high-pressure situation:

  • Tactical breathing
  • Box breathing.