Absurd urgency is harmful to your health and productivity
You are a diligent worker. You take pride in being an effective teammate and performing your duties competently. And sometimes you feel like a headless chicken running around aimlessly.
Yes, no, maybe so? According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, forty percent of American workers experience anxiety during the workday, and 72 percent say it affects their professional and personal lives. Without a doubt, technology plays an important role. The degree to which we are now interconnected has resulted in a constant flow of information and an unmanageable pace.
We are always busy, always panicked, and always rushing to meet these urgent demands, but we are never truly effective. This inevitably results in burnout and is detrimental to our physical and mental health. It also leads to missed deadlines, rework, and employee turnover, which are all costly to the business.
Unreasonable urgency is detrimental to your health and efficiency.
Implement a proactive system to boost productivity
Think about your current workflow strategy. Does it make you work more reactively than proactive? Let’s say you get an email alert, and even though it isn’t urgent, it is insistent, so you instinctively respond. This is a reaction in the moment.
Another type of last-minute reaction is when you promise yourself you’ll deal with something later but then forget about it and have to rush to deal with what has now become urgent. You lose sight of your priorities and put unnecessary pressure on other people in the process. Sounds recognizable?
Operating in the proactive zone is the key to maximizing productivity. This is the perfect moment in terms of timing: not too early, not too late, just right.
To effectively manage your work and boost productivity, implement a proactive system.
No paramedic ever rushes or runs. Even in the most dire situations, they are taught how to move deliberately and composedly. The paramedics are given time to assess the situation, and leadership is communicated in what is probably a charged environment.
Managers must ensure that their actions are equally focused and composed. Instead of allowing others to get caught up in urgency loops, states of frantic activity where everything seems more urgent and critical than it is, you should work to promote and drive a culture of proactive behavior.
The key is to break these urgency loops before things spiral out of control so that your team can reassemble and concentrate on their actual priorities.
Defusing urgency loops helps your team refocus on priorities.
Many things, particularly in today’s fast-paced workplaces, are given the appearance of being urgent when, in reality, they are not.
Recognizing and minimizing unproductive urgency while actively seeking out opportunities to maximize productive urgency is essential to working in a way that is both sustainable and successful in the long run.
You will discover that you have the ability to moderate urgency to your benefit, as well as the benefit of your team, if you become more aware of reactive traps, both internal and external, and train ingrained behaviors to be more proactive.