I should send my 12-year old to one of my time-management workshops. She's a good student, but sometimes she's off with the fairies (or, more accurately, off with her friends on MSN).
On Thursday, she announced that her Food Technology assignment was due the next day. She had to create, concoct and write about a gourmet salad that must use twelve fresh ingredients and at least eight pieces of kitchen equipment.
While I could write about her woeful organisational skills regarding this assignment, I wanted to highlight instead her ability to work under pressure. Basically, it's down to this: she sings. She dances. She has one eye on Neighbours and the other on her phone in case she should miss an incoming text message. In short, she acts as if there is no pressure.
There are urgent tasks that must be done, whether we flap around or not. If you don't feel calm, try acting as if you are.
What would you be doing differently if there was no pressure right now?
How would your breathing be different? What would you be telling yourself? Which thoughts wouldn't be clogging your mind and causing fear and panic?
Replicate as many of the habits and behaviours that you know work well when you are calm, and you'll have constructed a gourmet salad in no time.