I need this urgently. I need this by tomorrow morning. I need this first thing Monday (sent to you Friday afternoon). Red flag. Urgent response required. Please treat this as urgent.
Crickets. No response for weeks. The project is put on hold. Follow up, follow up, will get back to you. No response.
Have you experienced this?
Working in constant urgent mode is like having a daily fire drill. What happens when there really is a fire? The team is checked out because they’re used to a fire drill with no fire, and they don’t respond when it really is urgent.
Who wants to be a drill sergeant, who is defined as the person who trains soldiers for military parade exercises? Work is not a military parade. Colleagues are not soldiers.
It’s extremely tiring doing a daily fire drill. Fires are hot and they burn. Don’t start the year burning yourself and others out. It’s ok to ask “is this really urgent?” and to say “I’m able to deliver it on this date given other projects on my plate”. Most are afraid to ask or manage timelines, but with practice, it comes more easily, the work delivered is of better quality as the right amount of time and thinking has been applied.
Urgent all the time may mean you need to take a step back and evaluate how you are managing yourself and your stakeholders. More often than not, it’s about you managing yourself.
BECAUSE, WHEN EVERYTHING IS URGENT, NOTHING REALLY IS.