Are we addicted to Urgency?

Published by Kathryn Anda, PEPworldwide on 5 December, 2013

When we rush to perform a task or an activity, we are much more likely to make mistakes and less likely to achieve the positive long-term results that we intended.

Nature often has some strange and unusual couplings. Have you ever observed a rabbit coveting a snail shell? What about a crab cuddling with a butterfly? These can be unusual illustrations of a commonly used quote: “Make haste, not speed”.
What exactly does this quote mean? Stripping things down to the basics, the message is simply that every activity that we perform should be done with the correct balance of both diligence and urgency. When we rush to perform a task or an activity, we are much more likely to make mistakes and less likely to achieve the positive long-term results that we intended.

Many people feel so overwhelmed and overstressed that they experience the constant pressure of urgency that can lead them into a world of pain. This feeling follows a person throughout their work day and through every thread of their daily life and prevents them from completing tasks, or completing them in a substandard manner. To quote Bilbo Baggins, this stressed out state leaves a person feeling like “butter scraped over too much bread”.
Why do we experience this constant urgency and panic and where does it originate from? The natural human response to the loss of control over our workloads is stress. Stress is also known as the “fight or flight response”. It is the body’s natural mechanism of protecting you from danger and it can help you to stay alert, be more energetic and focused and may even save your life in dangerous situations. In a work situation, however, as more demands are piled onto us, our stress levels start to escalate. There is a fine line between demand and efficiency and when we are tipped too far one way we become stressed out.
While a little bit of stress is normal and can even help a person to better direct their focus to complete a myriad of tasks, too much stress is not good. When we have too much stress, it has a serious effect on our physical body including cognitive symptoms like memory loss, emotional symptoms like moodiness, physical symptoms like aches and pains and behavioral symptoms like nail biting.
Too much stress has an effect on our efficiency at work. Physiologically, stress causes our bodies to be filled with a potent mixture of adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline which causes a rush of blood to go to our head, which prepares us to deal with the danger we face or to turn tail and run in the other direction to save ourselves.
When we face long term exposure to high levels of stress, we can be putting our health in serious jeopardy. Chronic stress can disrupt every system in the body. It suppresses your immune system, making you more susceptible to disease and illness. It increases your risk of stroke, heart disease and heart attack and can raise blood pressure to exponential levels. Stress can speed up aging, making you look old before your time and it can be a leading cause of infertility. If you are constantly exposed to stress, you even risk your brain “rewiring” itself which can lead to depression and anxiety.
Stress can also lead to digestive issues, problems with sleeping, obesity, skin rashes, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain and heart disease. The effects of stress are as damaging as smoking cigarettes. It is important to get a handle on stress before it takes over your life. When you feel that the stress in your life is out of control, you need to take control of it. You always have the ability to manage your own schedule, change your work load, and change the situation that is stressing you out. Setting aside time to relax and rest is one very important way that stress can be managed. Mediation, deep breathing and yoga are all ways to activate your body’s relaxation response. By regularly practising relaxing activities, you can reduce stress levels and boost your feelings of serenity which can also help you to remain calm under a great deal of pressure.
Some people become addicted to the levels of stress that they experience every day, and thrive on it. Since stress is extremely harmful and can shorten your life, you should consider finding ways to reduce your stress and urgency cycle at work. Remember, “Make haste, not speed”.

From source:

workplace stress, workplace efficiency, time management, personal productivity at work, work-life balance, prioritising


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