When you feel like you’re always short on time, you’re operating under constant stress. Usually, we have way more time to get things done than we think we do. Here’s how to untangle the construct of urgency and move through your day with more ease.
Without a doubt, the most stressful experiences I’ve had have all involved a sense of urgency. When the clock is ticking, everything gets a little more intense. You have to act quickly, move through decisions, and just try to make things happen — even if they don’t turn out exactly how you’d want them to.
Ticking time bombs
Sometimes a little pressure is a good thing. If you’re a procrastinator, time pressure may be the only thing that activates you. But I can’t help but wonder how often we apply a false sense of urgency, thinking there’s less time available than there actually is. I’ll bet this is what many of us are doing in the vast majority of times we feel stressed. But whether there’s not enough time or we just feel like there’s not enough time, the impact is the same:
When we’re constantly operating under time pressure, we’re living in nonstop stress.
What happens if you remove this sense of urgency? How might your strategies and decisions shift?
A different path
Take a situation that you’re faced with and ask yourself: what if time was a non-factor? How might you operate differently?
As an entrepreneur, I’ve asked myself these questions many times. When running a business, there’s a lot of perceived pressure to grow “quickly.” It’s easy to feel that progress is happening too slowly, that there isn’t time to build slowly. But is this really true?
How might I operate my business as someone who doesn’t feel a time crunch to succeed quickly? Well, I would probably sleep in more, for starters. I’d rise slowly, take my time, eat a full breakfast. I’d move through my day with ease. I’d sit down to get some work done when it felt right. I’d sleep on important decisions. I’d feel more content with exactly where I am.
But that’s just me. I love learning from people about what they would do with more time.
There’s a balance, of course. If you move too lazily you may not be able to keep up with some of life’s demands. But for the average, motivated person, I’m not worried about you being too lazy —I actually encourage you to bring more lazy into your life!
Taking back your time
As a professional to-do list crusher, I’m often brought into my clients’ urgency constructs. My team members and I often notice that more urgency is applied than necessary. We always try to hit our members’ timelines, of course, but sometimes it seems like the best thing you can do to move through things efficiently is to slow down.
When you start moving too fast, you make mistakes. You miss the chance to explore options because you worry it will take too long. You move forward with an option you’re not thrilled with because it’s there now — and you’re not willing to wait.
The truth is, when you move this fast, you’re probably setting yourself up for more work in the future. You’ll have to go back to make up for those mistakes, losing time in the process.
It’s amazing how easy everything gets without the constraints of time. That’s why we’re passionate about helping our clients free up their time through mindful delegation! Here’s where we like to start:
Find something in your life that feels urgent. Now, ask yourself, is it true that this needs to happen quickly? If you answer yourself honestly with “no, it’s not true,” this is your opportunity to drop the urgency construct you’ve built around it.
Notice how you feel now? The relief is immediate. Now consider what your next step might be.
Take it one step at a time — your time is your own.