So we’ve or I should say I have been going on and going about our fast food, on demand world and how many of us have not only have gotten used to getting things when we want, but also have established patterns of always being busy, busy, busy… if we aren’t being busy we aren’t being productive…. What is the next goal?,. the next “to do”?,. the next project?… and not only “what is it?”, but push ourselves to get it done faster and faster. We somehow get a “kick” out of rush of the immediacy of it all…. Ok, now…. You know you have a problem when you can’t slow down even when there is no reason to hurry. You are usually late or very, very early. Being still makes you anxious. Adrenaline feels good, but used as an energy source for long term and your body starts to break down. Often people feel inadequate and insufficient after the rush of “greatness” is over.
Step one: Get to know your triggers:
- Running late
- Doing “should”
- Procrastination or incubating
- Trying to prove yourself
- Not asking for what you need
- Tolerations and little annoyances that need fixing
- Blowing things out of proportion/creating drams
Step two: Monitor your triggers
Write down your trigger; journal your feelings surrounding your triggers; make checklists so you know when they are most prevalent.
Step three: Be willing to stay with the uncomfortablenss of being still and slowing down
It will feel better with practice. Notice your feelings of “I’m not doing enough” and “how can I slow down, I have too much to do”. Notice how much of the urgency you actually create yourself.
Step four: Come up with solutions from some of the triggers:
- Stop trying to fix other people’s problems
- Arrive early
- Eliminate some commitments
- Cut out some of the caffeine
- Say no
- Add breathing space to your day
- Be realistic about deadlines
- Consciously slow down – savor your food, don’t walk fast when you don’t need to, drive the speed limit
- Take some time today to look ahead at what you can prepare for
- Leave time for clean up
- Take a half a day a week to go through looser ends, work out details, planning, setting goals
- Block off a day per month to play catch up – getting to the bottom of your inbox, filing, setting monthly goals, getting rid of tolerations and procrastinations
- Put less on your to do list
Step five: Find healthier sources of energy
- Deep breathing
- Taking work breaks
- Healthy eating
- Notice when you feel stressed and ask yourself what you need
- Relax every day
- Do things that are fun for you
Four treatments that are both traditional and new age.
- Realize that nobody owns your time but you, decide that your time is valuable and recognize that you have the final say in how you utilize your time. Spend time in nature, exercise, meditate, and welcome/enjoy unstructured time.
- Do tasks that are important to you first before turning to the urgent ones that have an instant validation allure, ones that create the illusion of importance.
- Set your priorities every day or week. Technological aids such as laptops and cellphones can assist with this.
- Life balance is crucial. This is an ongoing process – recognizing your choices – is vital.
Decreasing the tyranny of the Urgent
- Acknowledge that a life built solely on the adrenaline rush of urgency is not healthy.
- In your mind or on a piece of paper establish a list of the things, people and items that are most important to you.
- Now compare your important list mentally or visually to your actions and behaviors. Do they match up? If not, why not?-
- Take ownership and responsibility for your condition. Even if you have an urgency based job like a firefighter, this increases the need that your “important” items are included and planned for.
- Be brutally honest about the urgent items you can ditch, avoid or remove.
- Give yourself permission to have a time of transition. Don’t feel guilt or have urgency about reducing your urgency addiction!!!
- In the end, it is your opinion and peace of mind that matters. No one can, on your behalf, tell you the best balance for you.
- Above all – be honest about your situation – there is no personal benefit from misleading yourself.
Some other techniques to fight urgency could be:
- Review your calendar at the beginning of the week. Highlight the priorities and goals for each day. This will help you to narrow your focus. While unexpected emergencies may occur, you will be much less likely to be in a reactive mode if you take time to plan.
- Avoid hop-scotching. Resist hopping form one project to another without finishing what you start. You know what I mean; you start cleaning up a pile on your desk and then decide to create a file system. When you go to look in the files, you realize they have to be thinned, and so on. Finish one thing before you move on to something else.
- Do big projects first. You may have a tendency to gravitate to the projects or work that is easy to do. These often ten to be small projects that are “no-brainers”. Possibly you kid yourself that if you just clean up these small projects, you can give your full attention to the big things. The problem is never getting around to the large projects. So start with the ones you really don’t want to do and the small ones will get done along the say.
- Have a sign that says, “Lack of planning on your part is not necessarily an emergency for me.”
So ending for today… congrats if you have stayed with me… and thanks for checking in…are you bored????….. see you tomorrow for a check in…. now… coffee…