Uncertainty

The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty. ― David Levithan



One of the oldest business sayings that stuck into my head was ‘Time is Money.’ It’s deceptive in its simplicity because it generates the idea that there's a direct correlation betwen time and money; that if you were to spend more time making money, the more money you make, the more time you can buy to earn additional money. It's a vicious cycle. Before you know it, you're knee-deep in debt, as you bit off (or bought) more than you could handle.

That's not what I'm going to focus on today, though. What I'd like to discuss is your addiction. My addiction. The Urgency Addiction we live in.


This concept is brought to you by the one and only Stephen Covey. He explains that a simple cure for it is to divide your time into 4 different quadrants.


Quadrant One: Tasks that are both important and urgent, including crises, deadline-driven projects, or things that impact the way you work and live.


Quadrant Two: Important but not urgent activities such as project planning, self-improvement, seeking new opportunities, relationship building and overall preparations for the future.


Quadrant Three: Urgent, but unimportant activities; from tedious phone calls and meetings, all the way to walk-in office visitors, interruptions, etc.


Quadrant Four: Activities that are neither important nor urgent, such as mindlessly watching shows on Netflix or Hulu, superficial conversations, or any activity that does nothing to improve one’s mind or measure in progress.


In the tech driven faster-than-light-paced world we live in today, the lines between urgent, important and unimportant often blur. Your perfectionism, then, often turns into your greatest weakness instead of become an ally.


One of my weaknesses is that as much as I'm a perfectionist in some things, I'm even more of a procrastinator in other things. However, we all know that the way we overcome procristination and opression is to make a commitment to do something and see it through. How, then, do we stay comitted? Break down your tasks into the 4 quadrants as explained above.


But there's one problem...


A majority of us are addicted to the adrenaline and rush we get when faced with crises. We thrive off of the pressure, and some of us do well with it. It's also why we have built a natural reflex to answer or check our phones every time they beep, or act on impulse and overwork ourselves every time we worry about something. Our work then suffers because we didn't break them down to achievable chunks. Instead, we got distracted by unimportant tasks which diverted our focus.


In his book "First Things First", he says: 


You retain less knowledge. You take shortcuts. You make too many trade-offs. You suffer too many internal stresses.


One of the things I do to de-stress my mind is that I always have my phone set to vibrate. If I get a notification, I will respond to that notification during my scheduled phone-check slots. Otherwise, it's full-focus on the task at hand, broken down by Pomodoro.


By trying to make everything on your plate of tasks so urgent, you become overwhelmed and ineffective. That's the basic idea behind Urgency Addiction.


Some professions are more urgency-driven then others, so keep an eye on your stress levels and really try to simplify your tasks if you can. Break your life down so that you may realize that your head won't be chopped off if you get to X and Y at a later time.


Take yoga and exercise, for example. They can't be rushed. If you rush the process, you won't gain anything from either one. You can feed yourself lies, of course, but the truth lies in the outcome of your task. Slow and steady wins the race in some things, and urgent things require more fast-paced work. Don't blur the lines. Ever.


At the end of the day, it all comes down to this lesson: "You won’t find your answers by spending all your energy forcing or pleading or begging for one particular outcome." ― Luba Sigaud.