Do you get distracted easily?
Do you find it difficult to get motivated to work?
Your problem isn’t ADD. You have no sense of urgency.
How do I know?
I don’t, but there’s a quick way for you to know if you lack a sense or urgency or not.
Do you do your best work under a tight deadline?
Are you able to accomplish 10x+ the night before a project is due then you can do in the weeks prior?
You know why that is — you are most productive when you have a sense of urgency.
Why You Need a Sense of Urgency
A strong sense of urgency effectively replaces several other powerful factors in our lives…
A sense of urgency provides:
- Motivation to get started now
- The ability to stay focused until the task is complete
- An emotional attachment to the desired outcome
When we feel a sense of urgency, we ignore distractions like social media and texts from friends.
We have a purpose and a mission.
Our body is flooded with fight-or-flight hormones and we rise to the occasion.
As a result, we do our best work in the shortest amount of time.
There’s just one problem…
Most of the time, an organic sense of urgency is the result of a negative situation.
We have a sense of urgency out of fear and panic because we procrastinated too long. Or perhaps you’re in a life-threatening situation, which is generally something you want to avoid.
Whatever the case may be, our sense of urgency is an emergency response to save our ass from failure or misery.
So that brings us to the next question…
What if I could have a sense of urgency without being a lazy piece of shit for weeks on end and then a nervous wreck for 24 hours?
You can, and if you choose to, you will.
4 Ways to Develop a Sense of Urgency
I’m not going to tell you that I jump out of bed every day fired up with a passion to attack the day.
No, I stumble into the bathroom blurry-eyed to get ready for the gym and then I head straight to the coffee maker.
But the reason I get up, instead of hitting snooze and sleeping in, is because I have a sense of urgency that I carry with me daily.
Not the balls-to-the-wall sense of urgency you get from a high-pressure situation — but enough to keep me disciplined and focused day after day.
That’s all you need.
Look at Where You Could Be
I don’t know about you, but few things irritate me more than wasting time.
I simply have no tolerance for it anymore.
I don’t believe in living with regret, but I look back at years where I wasted precious time that would put me significantly ahead of where I am today and it makes me disgusted with myself.
When you sit down and crunch the numbers, you will always come to the same conclusion:
The amount of progress that you can make towards any goal in a single day is incredible.
Just imagine the most productive day you’ve had in the last 6 months. Now imagine if you were that productive every day for the past year.
What would your life look like?
Now imagine what your life could look like if you started doing that today and each day going forward.
Raise Your Expectations (of Yourself)
Expectations are a motherfucker. They’re great initially when we’re full of hope, but when our expectations aren’t met it can be soul-crushing.
Generally speaking, you’re better off not having specific expectations of other people and circumstances you can’t control.
People and circumstances are always going to let you down at some point. That’s not being negative either, it’s a fact.
You can’t expect other people to forever meet your expectations of them. People change, circumstances change, your expectations might not be reasonable, unpredictable outside factors might come into play, etc.
However, I do believe we can set expectations of ourselves because we are 100% responsible for what we do.
You can’t expect to accomplish everything you want to in life.
But you can expect to give it your best shot.
When you set higher standards for yourself, you have a greater sense of urgency.
I’m not productive simply because I know hard work pays off — I expect myself to be productive and that provides a daily sense of urgency to meet my own expectation of myself.
The Pomodoro Technique
I wrote about the Pomodoro Technique here. One of my favorite things about the Pomodoro Technique is how it creates a sense of urgency by working all-out in 25-minute intervals.
It’s a challenge of how much you can get done in that small window.
In my opinion, the sense of urgency created by the Pomodoro Technique is far more impactful than the short, frequent breaks are.
I’m sure it’s different for others, but that’s what I like best about it.
Have a Vision for Your Life
I mention this a lot for good reason.
You need to have some sort of purpose in life. It doesn’t have to be huge, like ending world poverty, but it can’t be small either.
It has to resonate deeply with you. Think beyond what excites you and ponder on the legacy you want to leave.
Your vision is the ideal outcome of your life.
Once you figure out where you want to end up, you can start moving in that direction and the details will fill themselves in with time.
I’ve had a vague idea of what I want to accomplish in life since I was a young boy, but over time I’ve focused on a more specific outcome.
The more specific my vision gets, the more real it becomes, and the more urgency I have to make it my reality.
I know this sounds like a bunch of woo-woo nonsense, but the truth is no one can tell you what vision to have for your life.
I can only stress how important I believe it is — you have to figure out your vision for yourself.
There’s no mistaking the sense of urgency a strong, clear vision provides.
All of the greats had it, and you can spot it in the people who are rising to the top today.
The difference between those who appear motivated 24/7 and those who are lazy isn’t usually a lack of desire for more, but the lack of a sense of urgency to go get it.
P.S. The quicker you buy my book, the sooner you’ll have it read.
99 Habits For Those Who Want it All
This FREE guide includes 99 action steps to get in shape, feel excited to start the day, and accomplish more in less time!
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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