Urgency Addiction

Some friends were talking about the problem of urgency addiction. Here was some ideas I told them about:

I’ve coached quite a few people with urgency (adrenaline)テつ addiction. You know you are addicted when you can’t slow down even when there is no reason to hurry. You are usually late or just barely make it on time. 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
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Step 1. Get to know your triggers, like:
Running late
Doing “shoulds”
Trying to prove yourself
Not asking for what you need
Tolerations and little annoyances that need fixing
Blowing things out of proportion/creating dramas
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Step 2. Monitor your triggers
Write down your triggers. Journal your feelings surroundingテつ your triggers. Make checklists so you know when they are most prevelant.
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Step 3: Be willing to stay with the uncomfortableness 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. テつ
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Step 4: Come up with solutions from some of the triggers:
Stop trying to fix other people’s problems
Arrive early
Eliminate some committments
Cut out caffeine
Use systems
Say no
Adding breathing space to your day
Be realistic about deadlines ( I found I had missed deadlines by about two days, so now I add two days to all my deadlines)
Consciously slow down – savor your food, don’t walk fast when you don’t need to, drive the speed limit
Taking care of the tolerations
Take some time today to look ahead at what you can prepare for
Leave time for clean up, putting projects away, filing and returning calls
Take half a day a week to go through loose ends, work out details, planning, setting goals
Block off a day per month to play catch up – getting to the bottom of your in box, filing, setting monthly goals, getting rid of tolerations and procrastinations
Put less on your to do list
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Step 5: 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

Do you have any ideas to share?



  1. Ye Net June 23, 2007 at 6:59 am

    What does the IT worker do? Their whole life is fixing other people’s problems. Or the police officer? The promises are made by managers, so they’re not in the worker’s control. And the manager won’t let you take a day to catch up because tickets are backing up.

  2. Theresa February 2, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    The worst? People who get upset when you’re trying to get things done. They don’t see any need; they’ve got all day to do what they need to do. No schedule, no plans, little/no idea what they’re going to do today, much less tomorrow or any other day, and so why should you?

    Plus having to drag them along when you’re trying to get somewhere on time, or heaven forbid, EARLY. “Oh, but we don’t have to be there until 8.” Yes, that’s the major deadline, but traffic is horrid after 7:15 at the latest, and there’s a good chance drivers aren’t watching what they’re doing anyway. (We live only a few blocks from a K-12 school.)

    Plus, especially in freezing weather, there’s always a chance the car doors are frozen, or the car won’t start, or something else will happen. All 3 of those have occurred. Also, there have been several accidents near both places that I work.

    Yes, there are days when I’m the holdup (*cough, cough, this morning, cough, cough). It’s VERY frustrating when I’m trying to get out the door and gone, or get a straight answer, or plan something, and they just want to be as slow and draggy as possible….

    Or when it’s blatantly obvious that things need to be worked on, and they’ve heard about it time and time again, and it’s-excuses-but-nothing-gets-DONE-or-STARTED-time.

    Just thinking about it, writing this, has my muscles tight and my adrenaline going.


  3. Beth Dargis February 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Sounds like you need to let them know when you need to go at least an hour beforehand. Then give them the deadline at least 10 minutes before you actually have to leave. Often the heightened urgency from someone else, will create rebellion and wanting to dig heels in for the other person. So actually acting calmer, might make things go faster and smoother.

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