Chronic Urgency Syndrome

What is Chronic Urgency syndrome?

Chronic Urgency Syndrome is often put into the same category of ailments as Priority Deficiency and Procrastinitis. It is best described as the need to do tasks that are considered urgent as opposed to those that are important. Suffers experience a temporary high from rushing around and dealing with crisis after crisis. You will hear suffers of Chronic Urgency Syndrome saying things such as “I work best under pressure” and “I like to keep busy”. Extreme suffers of this condition are known to deliberately leave important tasks knowing that they will become urgent and will require their immediate attention. For many people working and living in this way gives them an artificial sense of self-worth, power, control, security, and accomplishment. In truth, Chronic Urgency Syndrome is a big contributor to high stress levels and can ultimately lead to long term health issues.

How Do You Catch Chronic Urgency syndrome?

In many areas of today’s modern society, the busier we are, the more important we appear to be. Being busy and overworked is seen as a positive trait. And so, we concentrate on the things that are urgent, running around constantly putting out fires. However, by doing this we enter a circle of urgency that is difficult to break. If you constantly focus on the urgent, you fail to make time for the things that are most important or meaningful to you.

Recommended Treatment

The key to overcoming Chronic Urgency Syndrome is to get better at identifying the things that are important and dealing with them before they become urgent. Most urgent tasks start life by being important but not urgent!!

Identifying priorities is not always an easy task as it involves two balancing factors. You will need to identify the relative urgency and importance of each task. Always bearing in mind the relationship of each task to other matters as well as human and political considerations. As a starter you may consider following these five steps:

  1. list all the tasks that you are currently facing.
  2. Assess their importance (the extent to which they will help you achieve your goals or mission, or those of the company).
  3. Assess their urgency – when they need to be completed by. Remember: real urgency not imagined.
  4. Plan how you will tackle them and how long they will take.
  5. Organise them, using a diary or planning system.

Further Information

 If you wish to find out more about prioritising the important over the urgent. Visit the following article Prioritisation – The art of Maximising Efficiency

Further Reading


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Next Steps

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