I use to run through the halls of my workplace in 4 inch heels, buzzing on adrenaline and locked in a state of overstimulation. Working against my own time clock focused on urgency and movement, I was disconnected from my thirst, pain, hunger, and exhaustion. The pace of work can be intense. Sometimes we do not have the power to change the deadline or the urgency of the situation, however, if we find ourselves in a constant state of “hurry”, then we would be wise to pause and check in with ourselves before we burnout, decrease our effectiveness, and erode our personal and professional relationships.
Recently a client shared they are working on bringing awareness to when they mistake movement for productivity. I appreciate their frame of this challenge - demonstrating busyness and urgency does not always equate to progress toward what’s most important. I hear many versions of this in my work with individuals and groups. This frantic sense of always doing and being in motion is a growing issue called “Hurry Sickness.”
When we are in a constant state of “hurry”, we can miss important details and leave things incomplete, which only adds to ours and others’ stress and anxiety. “Hurry Sickness” shifts our focus away from being present, aware of our mental and physical state, and prioritizing what’s most important over to speed, accumulation, and accomplishments. Without creating moments to pause and check in, we aren’t able to self regulate and set realistic limits. We actually become less effective.
Remember that it is important to just be, without moving and doing. Prioritizing moments of focused calm create productive breaks to check in mentally and physically. Checking in provides insights that help you wisely choose your next steps vs blazing through missing all the important queues, indicators and warnings that are trying to get your attention while you are in fast-forward. Bring awareness to your urgency and movement tendencies and be truthful if these are supporting you to do what is most important. If the list of what’s important feels overwhelming, then it’s time to reprioritize.
What’s creating the urgency propelling, sometimes hurling, us forward? Is our urgency real or created? Are we aware when we are creating urgency for ourselves and when we are creating urgency for others and can we connect that to a truly time sensitive need? Sometimes we can wrap ourselves up in the momentum and can mistake that for productivity. It can feel extremely uncomfortable to sit still in silence doing nothing, to let things settle and see the sense of urgency for what it is, valid or artificially manifested, before moving again. Be open to all that the stillness has to offer.
As we head into the holidays where busy can become busier and stress levels can rise, try finding pockets of time to be still and see what you notice about your movement and sense of urgency. Ask yourself if that “hurry” is intentionally connected to a true need, or if it’s a defense, distraction or deflection mechanism preventing you from doing the important work of prioritization, time-management, asking for support, taking a break, building connection, and self-care.