Let’s start with what it even is.
A sense of urgency is a feeling or mindset that a particular situation or task is time-sensitive and requires immediate attention or action.
It is the sense that something is important and needs to be dealt with quickly before it becomes too late or the opportunity is lost.
I hate to break it to you, but your life (at least the one we know of) is such a case.
How I got mine.
I got mine from my dying — at a fairly early age- parents (my mom at 43 and later my dad at 62).
Not that I’d recommend it, but it was the silver lining.
I decided my life was too short to live in a hectic city and a dead-end job, so I grabbed my partner and our cat and moved to sunny Spain.
But you can only repeat that so many times before you have to find a more sustainable way to generate your sense of urgency again.
Clearly, saying goodbye to your loved ones is not a sustainable way to sustain it.
And then life happens, and you sort of forget the whole Memento Mori bit.
How can the sense of urgency help us live a more intentional life?
It can be a powerful motivator that helps us live a more intentional life.
When we have a sense of urgency, we feel a heightened awareness of the importance of time and the need to take action quickly.
It can help you focus your attention, prioritize tasks, and take action to achieve your goals.
The not-so-great side of a sense of urgency?
It can also be a source of stress and anxiety if it becomes overwhelming or if there is a constant feeling of pressure to act quickly.
It can quickly (pun intended) turn into Time Anxiety when things stop being fun.
„Are you WOKE yet?!”
Time anxiety is a feeling of stress or unease that is triggered by the passage of time.
It is the crippling feeling that time is running out or that there is not enough time to accomplish everything that needs to be done (more on that another time; if we’re lucky, that is).
Striking a balance.
Like in any good salad dressing, you need to strike a balance between the acidity and the sweetness, the need for urgency, and the need for proper planning and preparation.
A sense of urgency and agency in life.
The point is to not sleepwalk through life or be just a cog in the machine.
I’m at the stage where my mind cannot keep up with the body aging (ok, I might be a bit of a drama queen here).
If you’re in your 20s, your 40s seem like a distant planet in the vast Universe- you might have heard of it, but it doesn’t seem real;
When you’re in your 40s, your 20s seem like they happened five years ago.
I remember my 93-year-old grandma saying, bewildered, she couldn’t believe how old she was.
So let’s get to the fixes (about f’’’k time, Anna!).
Here’s my shortlist of recommended actions:
- Start where you really are. That means being aware and (sometimes brutally) honest with yourself about it.
Meditation and mindfulness practice help; so do journaling and other forms of reflection.
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. A healthy dose of self-compassion — and humor — eases the creases.
- If you’re into reading (if not, get into reading!), start with „Four Thousand Weeks” by Oliver Burkeman.
As I read somewhere, it deals with time and the ultimate time management problem: the question of how best to use our ridiculously brief time on the planet, which amounts on average to about four thousand weeks.
Worry not. With its uplifting tone, it will not give you more anxiety.
„The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.”, a book by palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware, might.
- Do the math, accept the reality, and double down on what matters.
- A little bit of pep-talk can hurt you, either. So here it is, a Holstee Manifesto:
Time to be the captain of your own ship!