Scott O. Hirsch explains how to optimize your efficiency while working remotely
DELRAY BEACH, FL / ACCESSWIRE / March 20, 2020 / The news media is following closely the trials and tribulations of Fortune 100 companies as they deal with ramifications of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a serial entrepreneur who’s created multiple $100M brands, Scott O. Hirsch knows all about working under pressure. Working under pressure while working from home? That’s a whole new ball of wax. Here are some of his tips for entrepreneurs to keep their performance at peak levels while under pressure and working from home.
“Often life seems like an endless series of stressful situations, particularly if you’re a CEO or entrepreneur. Work is hard, especially when you’re a startup,” Hirsch says. “Sitting on the beach isn’t very stressful, unless you’re a lifeguard. Working under pressure is tough enough, but working from home, with little interpersonal contact is nearly unbearable for an extrovert like myself. But there are a few ways to get better at working (from home) under pressure.”
“This is easier than it sounds,” Hirsch says. “Got a big deadline coming up and a lot of work to do? Handling pressure is often as simple as making a list (and checking it twice). Make your list and work your way through it. And yes, sweat the small stuff – bang it out so you feel like you’re making progress, and so you can clear your head (and take on the big stuff with confidence). I make lists of everything. You’ll be more relaxed with a list in front of you.”
“Robert Frost once said the best way around a problem is through it – it all looks a lot bigger when it’s standing up than when it’s lying down. Knock it down and get started! It’s often the anticipation of how grueling a task will be that makes you anxious. Use all that stomach-churning to get started. I promise you’ll feel better once you just rip into it. Think of each high pressure situation as some kind of Wizard of Oz – pull back the curtain and it’s not so intimidating.”
“Writer and raconteur Hunter S. Thompson once said he couldn’t get anything written without a looming deadline, and I get the feeling having his back against the wall is what set him alight – this is how he got it done. We all know someone who thrives under pressure, but for the rest of us, deadlines are the monsters under our beds, the skeletal fingers of storm-ravaged trees tapping at the window – except they’re real. One way to quell the fear is to visualize your successful completion of the project. Pressure situations can be more than daunting, but if you’re sitting at your desk in a sweaty panic, you’re not doing yourself any good. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and see yourself finished. See the finished project on your desk…once you see it, you’ll feel it. This will calm you down which, in turn, will help you get done.”
You’ve Been Here Before
“Anyone who performs well under pressure has the confidence that he or she can deliver. The key is to remind yourself you’ve been here before, that you’ve done this, that you can take this on and get it done, much like Kelly Slater, the winningest surfer in history (and a fellow Floridian). Why else would it have landed on your desk if you couldn’t see it through to completion? Look back at your previous successes and remind yourself of how competent you are, of what you’ve already accomplished. As a C-level executive, it’s your job to instill your team with confidence, to demonstrate how the entire organization can get things done. How to manage the pressure. By drawing on your experience, you set a fantastic example for your team.”
According to Scott O. Hirsch, it’s hard to relax in a high-pressure situation, but if you’re rational about things, you understand anxiety and panic won’t help you get it done. “They certainly won’t help you get it done right,” Hirsch says. “Don’t rush. Get a coffee, put on some classical music or bossa nova, and get down to it at a reasonable pace. Haste makes waste, especially when you’re nervous. Work deadlines are serious things, yes, but bristling and flailing your way through a tough situation is only going to make it worse. Keep cool and set an example for your team – demonstrating a calm, methodical approach to projects will help them get their work done.”
“Keep lists, get smaller projects done as soon as they’re assigned so you’re ahead when you end up with something you weren’t expecting, when a deadline gets cut in half…in other words, assume there’s some sort of high pressure situation lurking off near the horizon, impossible to see at the moment but coming in for a landing,” Scott says. “Arrange your tasks so you have some breathing room once the next stressful situation taxis down your runway.”
Whatever happens, Scott O. Hirsch says, use Kelly Slater as an example. “Keep paddling,” he says.