5 factors helping you perform under pressure

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to thrive under pressure while others crumble? According to the Yerkes-Dodson Law, there is a sweet spot for stress where we are most productive. Too much or too little stress can lead to negative outcomes.

The Yerkes-Dodson Law was discovered in 1908 by psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson. It states that there is a relationship between arousal and performance, with optimal performance occurring at an intermediate level of arousal. The article explores several factors related to this law such as motivation, multitasking, anxiety and fatigue, all of which can affect performance.

There are three factors that influence how we respond to stress:

  1. The task itself – some tasks are more challenging than others and require more focus and energy.
  2. The person – some people are more easily aroused than others and find tasks more stimulating.
  3. The environment – some environments are more stimulating than others and can cause us to be more aroused.

The Yerkes-Dodson Law helps us understand how to get the best out of our employees. Motivation, for example, is essential for getting the most out of any task; however if motivation levels become too high it can lead to burnout or exhaustion. On the other hand, multitasking can be beneficial in certain circumstances but when it is done excessively it can cause mistakes due to lack of focus on individual tasks. Similarly, anxiety can positively drive performance but if it becomes too intense then it will start to hinder progress instead. Finally, fatigue should also be managed properly as working long hours without rest or breaks can significantly reduce productivity levels over time.


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Overall, the Yerkes-Dodson Law provides useful insights into how stress and other factors interact with one another to influence performance levels amongst managers, business owners and supervisors. By understanding what triggers these reactions and how best to address them accordingly they will be able develop better strategies for improving their results in both the short term and long term. The Yerkes-Dodson law is an important piece of information for anyone in a leadership position. By understanding how this law works, you can create a work environment that is optimal for your employees’ needs and help them achieve their full potential.

Find out more in the original article here: https://www.healthline.com/health/yerkes-dodson-law#factors

This article summary was created by Eleanor Shakiba

Eleanor is a leadership trainer, success coach and people skills expert. She helps managers and business owners build thriving teams and organisations, using tools from Positive Psychology. She's trained more than 60,000 people during her career as a corporate trainer and professional development consultant. Her mission is inspiring talented people to become leaders who make a difference.