Andres Ayrton

Move With A Sense Of Urgency, Not Desperation

Operating with a sense of urgency can be an important aspect of achieving success in both your personal and professional life. However, when urgency turns into desperation, it can have negative effects on your performance and overall well-being. Desperation can lead to stress, burnout, and poor decision-making.

There is a big difference between urgency and desperation, but depending on circumstances, it’s easy to fall into the trap of desperation.

What is a sense of urgency?

Urgency, by definition, refers to a force or impulse that urges action.

This means doing whatever needs to be done when it needs to be done, to move with the intention to make things happen efficiently and effectively.

The goal is to have you stay focused, motivated, and productive, allowing you to meet deadlines and achieve your goals.

John Kotter, the author of the 2008 release A Sense of Urgency, said, “Urgency is fundamentally an attitude; a way of thinking, a way of feeling, and a way of behaving. It’s a sense that the world has enormous opportunities and hazards. [Urgency] is this gut-level determination that we’ve got to deal with the changing world and do something today.

The bottom line is that having a sense of urgency ultimately encourages purpose-driven decision-making and drives positive productivity.

What is desperation?

Now, desperation is a whole other ball game. Desperation is the result of mental and emotional exhaustion. It is a level of hopelessness that spirals into reckless decisions and behavior in order to change it.

Someone who is experiencing desperation is overwhelmed by negative emotions, including sadness, frustration, physical tiredness, low motivation, apathy, and general disinterest.

Ultimately, desperation is birthed from a loss of control of your circumstances.

How do you distinguish between urgency and desperation?

Urgency and desperation can generally appear to be quite similar, but there are quite a few ways to tell the difference.

While urgency involves moving swiftly, it does not mean acting without thought. Actions driven by desperation are often motivated by negative and volatile emotions.

Urgency breeds innovation, motivating you to work towards progress, while desperation disrupts progress by paralyzing you in a state of misery. 

See what I’m getting at here?

How do you operate with urgency and not out of desperation?

There are multiple techniques for maintaining a sense of urgency without slipping into desperation:

Define Your Priorities

The first step in operating with a sense of urgency is to define your priorities. This means identifying the most important tasks and projects that need to be completed and focusing on them first. By defining your priorities, you can ensure that you are using your time and energy effectively and efficiently. Additionally, it will also help you to avoid getting distracted by less important tasks that can deter you from your main goals.

Set Realistic Deadlines

Another important aspect of operating with a sense of urgency is setting realistic deadlines. Deadlines can help keep you focused and motivated, but they need to be realistic. It’s important to take into account the complexity of the task, the resources available, and the time required to complete it. By setting realistic deadlines, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

Stay Focused

Staying focused is key when operating with a sense of urgency. It’s easy to get distracted by other tasks and projects, but it’s important to stay focused on the most important tasks. This means staying away from social media, avoiding multitasking, and setting aside specific times of the day to focus on the most important tasks. You can also use tools like the Pomodoro Technique to help you stay focused for shorter periods of time. Taking short breaks every hour can help you stay refreshed and energized, and it will also help you stay engaged and productive.

Keep it in Perspective

Finally, it’s important to keep things in perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in the sense of urgency and forget that there is a bigger picture. It’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the world if you miss a deadline or make a mistake. It’s important to try to stay calm and not to let the sense of urgency turn into desperation.

In conclusion

Operating with a sense of urgency can be an important aspect of achieving success, but it’s important to avoid falling into the trap of desperation. By defining your priorities, setting realistic deadlines, staying focused, and keeping things in perspective, you can operate with a sense of urgency without sacrificing your well-being and performance to desperation.

Remember, it’s not about the destination, but the journey, and it’s important to enjoy it while you make the best out of it.