From the time I was very young, I’ve lacked a sense of urgency. I was often late for school, missed my ride to school, and had to walk home because I would put too many tasks into too short a period of time and I would run out of time before I ran out of tasks.
There have been a few times in my life when I have gotten control of time-vs-tasks. I always feel better when I complete my duties and still leave enough time to be on time whether it be for school or a meeting or for work.
I think this habit is related to my tendency to procrastinate. I find that I do what I want to do first and leave too little time to complete what needs to be done.
Some of this habit was learned from my dad. He would lie in his recliner and watch TV including sports, comedies and game shows followed by the news. Then when everyone was tired and ready for bed, he would go down to his basement office and finish his paperwork and often stay up too late. This meant he couldn’t get up in the morning. I feel that this habit was learned by me and practiced because of his example.
There is a desire within me to be organized and to complete tasks daily. Instead, I have stacks of unopened mail and unread offers on my desk that needed to be acted on as they came up. I do pull out items I know need to be handled. The rest are left for another time.
I get roughly eighty emails per day. If I would clean them up daily, they would be manageable. Instead, I find myself avoiding this task until I have thousands of emails to clean out.
These bad habits lead to me often feeling overwhelmed and out of control. My desire is to break these tasks down into manageable pieces and attack them one at a time. It’s no fun to always be running behind.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
How do you eat a stick of salami? One slice at a time.
How do you create a sense of urgency? I’ll be damned if I know.