I have lived with self-imposed urgency most of my life. I think having children has encouraged it. At times I have made myself so busy, I feel like my head is going to propel off my shoulders. I’ll tell you something; it would probably do me a world of good if my head would leave my body for a bit. It just gets in the way sometimes.
You know that acute sense of having to get something done? That’s what I refer to as Self-Imposed Urgency. We experience the feeling, even though there is nothing externally demanding that we must rush. It’s like when we race through traffic, flipping people off because they won’t get out of the way and we need to get home. Only when we get home, there is nothing to be done. Or when we have a to-do list that we run around to complete before the end of the day so that we can go out to a function…only it’s already afternoon, and we need to get ready. Our heads are telling us that we must finish the to-do list first! There’s no impending doom if we don’t. But somehow in our minds we have managed to work ourselves up to a point of urgency that has no truth to it whatsoever — that’s self-imposed urgency!
When I think about it, my self-imposed urgency has kept me from being in the moment. It has kept me from focusing and seeing all the options available to me when I have a situation that I need to deal with. But most of all, it has kept me from having fun. I tend to put a lot of things off until I’ve done everything I’ve told myself I have to do. I’ll go to the party next time. I’ll go meet a friend for dinner next week. I’ll just get this and that done first.
I have had to learn the difference between being motivated and getting things done in a timely fashion as opposed to acting as if my goals/tasks are a life-or-death scenario. They’re not! I can do both: complete my tasks and have fun.
It’s no wonder it feels like there is never enough time in the day. Sometimes I can get so caught up in the urgency of doing that I hit a wall of exhaustion. My body can’t cope with the “constantness” of it all. I have had to teach myself to walk away from what I am doing and take a moment. There is nothing that can’t wait. Well, most of the time, there is nothing that can’t wait….
In today’s culture, it’s often said that “time is money.” No wonder we are all running around, stuffing as much into our lives as we possibly can and exhausting all our senses in the process!
Today, I will catch myself when I am running around like a chicken with no head. I will ask myself: “Does my sanity have to suffer because of my so-called deadline?” If the answer is no, then I will slow down, take a deep breath and remember that I only live once.