Written by Jacob Terranova
Have you ever wondered how athletes keep their composure in such high-pressure situations?
When the game’s tied up and there are seconds left on the clock. When everyone’s eyes are on them, and the fate of the game is in their hands. How do they stay so calm?
Funeral directors are faced with high-pressures situations all the time. Forbes listed event coordinator as the fifth most stressful job. But funeral directors are so much more than event coordinators — they are part grief counselor, part administrator, part entrepreneur, part community leader, and part cosmetologist. Funeral directors run the show.
The public doesn’t grasp the reality of what it’s like being a funeral director. It’s demanding.
On top of all a funeral director does, they need to keep their cool. So here are a few tips on handling pressure like a pro.
Change the meaning of pressure
A quick way to alter a high-pressure situation is to simply change the meaning of it. Instead of looking at it as a make-or-break moment, embrace the challenge. Looking at high-pressure situations as an opportunity to challenge yourself stimulates your adrenaline, and allows you to approach the situation with intense focus and clarity.
In an article for CNN, Dr. Michael Gervais said that we should use stress to our advantage.
“Pressure can be an amazing gift,” he said. “It sharpens our mind, sharpens our focus.”
You also can think of it as a learning opportunity. Don’t get down on yourself if you’ve made a mistake or forgotten something last minute, these things happen. Learn from it and move on.
Avoid unnecessary pressure
What’s the best way to deal with pressure? Avoid it. Of course, in a funeral director’s line of work, there are always going to be high-pressure moments. It’s just the nature of the job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid creating unnecessary pressure.
The two best tools to avoid unnecessary pressure are organization and time management. Get paperwork and other administrative tasks out of the way early and leave nothing to the last minute. Create a to-do list to track short- and long-terms tasks.
And you should make technology your friend. Whether it’s a smartphone or a PC, there are plenty of programs aimed at making your day more efficient.
Find your best hour
Not everybody works the same. Some people find they get their best work done in the morning. Others find it to be midday. And then there are those who thrive at night.
Find the time where you’re most productive and attack your to-do list.
As a funeral director, you’re always on the job. It can be easy to get swallowed up by the amount of work, but you can’t let that happen. A work-life balance is so important for a funeral director to be able to perform their job well. It gets harder to serve families if you’re feeling burned out or have compassion fatigue.
A little time to yourself allows you to fuel and recharge and be ready to approach those high-pressure situations head-on. If a nice vacation is out of the question, try to find time to calm and destress your mind, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day to do a deep-breathing exercise.
Don’t get caught up in the negativity
In jobs where there’s constant pressure, emotions run high. This can sometimes lead to a negative — or even toxic — work environment.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in it. Remind yourself of why you became a funeral director and the reasons why you love what you do, and use them to shift your mood. Everyone’s allowed to have a bad day, but don’t let it become a habit.
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