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The Danger of Time Urgency

One of my most significant edges as a professional is my sense of urgency.


But too much of a good thing can be a bad thing: with urgency comes stress. Which begs the question, "how can I not rush while maintaining my sense of urgency?"


Time urgency leads to negative habits:

  • Constant worry about schedules

  • Keeping overly tight deadlines

  • Multi-tasking

  • Rushing when rushing is not necessary

  • Covering anxiety with activity

The end result of each of these negative habits - I am less able to enjoy the now.


I remind myself of the following affirmations as I work through the downside of time urgency:

  1. I control time pressure, and therefore time is not a pressure in my life - Time can be my enemy or my friend. I choose whether to be uptight or relaxed based on time. When time is my friend, I am relaxed. When time is my enemy, I lose time at a rapid pace, which causes fear.

  2. I must listen - When I am rushing, I do not hear or comprehend the words being said around me. I am unable to get out of my head and focus. Under stress I reduce my ability to interpret. Naturally, my relationships suffer. I must listen to improve my relationships.

  3. My worth comes not from what I do - I have to do nothing more. I have limitations. Everything is not equally urgent, I must prioritize and tackle one thing rather than visualize 20 to-do's. My worth comes from who I am rather than what tasks I complete under duress.

  4. I must prioritize myself - I am able to make the most significant impact in this life when I have taken care of myself first. I am most pleasing to people by being myself. Rushing to meet everyone else's needs disallows me to take care of myself. I will not risk my wellness for others.

  5. Work and play are separate - The time requirements in the confines of my work day will not spill over in to time away from work. My nights and weekends need not be scheduled to the minute.

  6. I must slow down - Not everything needs to be done quickly. I must allow myself to do things as a child would - unconcerned about time, playing at my pace in the present rather than the future (the result of this may prove better than the result if I were rushed).


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