What is hurry sickness and how you can overcome it
Have you ever been unable to relax and calm your mind because thoughts are racing through your head? Are you constantly panicked about the number of tasks you have to do, and miss important details because of it? If so, you may be suffering from hurry sickness.
What is hurry sickness?
Hurry sickness is a ‘harrying sense of time urgency’. It is a continuous struggle to attempt to accomplish and achieve more and more things or to participate in more events in less and less time.
People who have hurry sickness think fast, talk fast and act fast. They multitask and rush against the clock, feeling pressured to get things done and getting flustered by any sign of a problem. Hurry sickness is also a lot more common than you may think, Professor Richard Jolly of the London Business School found that 95 percent of the managers he studied suffer from the condition.
What causes hurry sickness?
Hurry sick people are conscientious and work hard, but they struggle to acknowledge the limits of what they can take on. This leads them to commit to more than they have time for.
Also, or 24/7 state of connectedness means that we increasingly suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out)- so we are reluctant to disconnect and slow down. We fret that a deal might fall through if we don’t reply to an enquiry quickly. We also worry about how it might look to take time off or to say no to a task. The need to stay available means that hurry-sick people remain constantly ‘switched on’.
This cycle of panic is easy to get used to and accept even though it runs people down.
What are the consequences of hurry sickness?
When you busy yourself too much, the consequences can cost you. You can lose the ability to stop and think, and you become less effective. Error creeps into your work, you lose sight of the ‘big picture’ and the quality of your work will start to dip as you are valuing quantity over quality.
Additionally, hurry sickness increases your body’s output of the cortisol hormone, which can cause long term health problems, such as depression and burnout. It can affect your personal relationships, too. ‘Go-fast’ working habits travel home with you, and they can make it difficult for you to spend time with friends and family as your mind is stuck in a state of overstimulation which makes you tired and anxious.
Ways you can overcome hurry sickness
- Question why you are being asked to do something
Your hurry sickness might be due to you agreeing to peoples tasks too often, and taking on too much. It is important to question the rationale behind the demands made of you, so that you can politely say no to tasks that fall outside your job description, which other people are better qualified to do, or which you don’t have time for.
This will allow you to have more time for things that matter more.
- Stop multitasking
The issue with juggling multiple tasks is that you are not going to be able to work to your best ability or you won’t complete anything. Focus on one thing at a time and you will do a better job and be in less of a rush.
- Prioritise your workload
Make sure to plan your order of work. Focus on what is essential and then do the other tasks as and when you can without the pressure.
- Work on your time management skills
Good time management can help you get more done in less time. Switch your focus from activities to results, from hurriedness to effectiveness, and give dedicated, uninterrupted time to the tasks that matter.
- Slow down
Take regular breaks, even if it is just to ‘stretch your legs’ as it can help you to slow down and collect your thoughts.