It will happen. At some point in your career, you WILL need to perform under pressure. More importantly, you will need to perform really well. With the high level of competition and the fast pace of today’s world, the need for instantaneous, quality work is greater than ever. And as rewarding as it can be at times, being creative can also be exhausting. Thus, working smarter will trump working harder, especially when you’re under a tight deadline. So here’s how you can stay cool while igniting the spark to fuel your creative fire. (Hint: It’s not as easy as fixing your air conditioner from Cary NC AC Repair!)
I get it: Deadlines means less procrastinating and more working. But the best creatives in the business value their daydreaming time. Psychologist Rebecca L. McMillan observes that mind-wandering creates a “creative incubation“, which can be used to describe how some ideas reach us “from out of the blue”. Most probably, you have a few minutes in your day to just sit and let your mind wander. Often times, that’s the spark to get the juices flowing. But so many times we hastily rush into the next task, the next meeting, the next email draft because of the pressure to finish everything quickly. Instead, we should take some time to daydream. (Just make sure that your eyes are fixated at an object and not at a person, or else that could get weird.)
2. Get Disconnected
We see emails, phone calls, texts, and instant messages every day at work. But sometimes the best way to get your creative juices flowing when you’re under pressure is to disconnect. And I don’t mean going out for lunch and listening to your iPod. I mean taking a break from it all. No phones, no music, no emails. Just your work. You’ll be surprised as to how much work you can actually get done. In her book, Sleeping With Your Smartphone, Harvard Business School professor Leslie Perlow talks about how taking a break from your devices can aide originality and collaboration with your team, which may be the key to churning out a creativity idea during crunch time.
3. Sip Your Warm Beverages
In my (long and extensive) experience as an intern and student, I found that the first few sips of what I’m drinking soothes my mind the most. I was never a fan of chugging down energy drinks but whenever I take a few sips of warm coffee or tea, I feel just as relaxed and fresh. Doctors have always recommend drinking warm water with lemon for its nutritional benefits but there hasn’t yet been much research on its effects on the mind. But I can say that it definitely helps me feel like my mind is being reset and refueled, so perhaps it may help you too!
How do you continue to be creative while under pressure? Thanks for reading and please comment below!