Keep Calm and Make it Work

Written by Job Daniel

Job Daniel is currently a Senior Project Lead at KUWAITNET.

Every day we are under more intense pressure to accomplish than at any time in our history. Challenging workloads, tight budgets and deadlines, and ongoing change are nearly constant companions. We feel pressure to accomplish more in our leisure time as well.

As said by a great writer, "Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm."

One of the distinguishing features of leadership is how we handle ourselves when the sea is rough. The ability to stay calm and centered in-between multiple demands and occasional setbacks is invaluable. It helps leaders inspire confidence, marks employees for greater opportunities to advance, and enables a more peaceful life.

Losing Our Minds

The term "I'm losing my mind" refers to the loss of reason and focus that occurs when the brain's electrical system is altered as a result of stress and pressure. When a situation is stressful, there are three choices:

  • React,

  • Suppress it, or

  • Hit the Pause Button.

Venting may feel good at the moment but can be costly to relationships and reputation. Suppressing negative energy all the time is exhausting and unhealthy. So what can be done is as follows:

  1. Train your Brain

Hitting the Pause Button offers the opportunity to regain perspective and equilibrium.

Conversations conducted in anger are rarely productive, the better course would be to wait and give both parties a chance to cool down before re-engaging. When the brain's electrical system is hyper-stimulated, hitting the Pause Button will bring back balance, so that a negative interaction or loss of focus doesn't seep into your next meeting or interaction.


  1. Release Pressure

Once you've selected the Pause Button, you can begin to let go of anxiety in the following ways -

  • Breathe: Breathing is the first line of defense. Breathe in slowly through your nose to a count of five. Then breathe out slowly through your mouth to a count of five. Repeat for several minutes until you feel calmer.

  • Write: Unload the weight of worries, disappointments, and conflicts onto paper. Write whatever comes into your head. Just be sure that your writings are not left where others will see them.

  • Delegate what you can: Under pressure, don't take the decision that you can do everything on your own, as it would mean that you'll take on too much.

  • Don't take things personally: It's hard to do things when someone makes a sharp comment or fails to appreciate your hard work. Don't take it personally. It's more likely that the offender is under pressure, too, and isn't handling it as well as he might.

  • Remind yourself of who you are: What values and character qualities define you? Who are you when you are at your best? Pressure can cause us to lose sight of our best selves. Make a decision about which self you choose to present.


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing in the tempting moment”

-Dorothy Neville

Anxiety, Calm, Challenges, Productivity, ProjectManagement, SelfDevelopment, Workspace,