This morning, I had the great good fortune to attend CarbonCopyPROs “Wake Up” call, hosted by John “JJ” Jackson.
I love getting on this call for fifteen minutes every morning because it’s a smoothly delivered “check up from the neck up” and helps to hold me accountable to my goals, whatever they may be.
This morning’s call particularly struck home.
On the call this morning, JJ asked whether I was an “Urgency Addict.”
“Hmmm,” I wondered, “am I an ‘Urgency Addict’? What is one, even?”
JJ went on to explain that an “Urgency Addict” is someone who is addicted to being needed, someone who welcomes the distraction from the focus on their own goals to go sailing off with “Here I Come To Save The Day!” a semi-whisper on their lips.
Why would someone abandon their own project and sabotage their own goals like that?
Well, first of all, it’s not a conscious thing. The “Urgency Addict” doesn’t realize that that’s what’s going on. The Urgency Addiction temporarily meets a need in the addict – the need to feel needed.
By dashing off to help someone else, we feel busy and busy-ness is valued in our society; it’s a status. Constantly abandoning our own goals to help others accomplish theirs makes us feel more appreciated; it falsely enhances our self-esteem.
JJ adroitly pointed out that until we come to value ourselves, we won’t value our own time. And until we value our own time, we won’t use it wisely.
So, while abandoning your own goal to help others accomplish theirs may make you feel more appreciated, it sidetracks you from your purpose and creates a false sense of significance.
“But I’m a leader,” you might be thinking. (I thought that, too!) “I can’t NOT respond to a call for help.”
A good rule of thumb to follow is this: “Work where you’re deserved, not where you’re needed.” In other words, if you see that someone is honestly putting in the effort and still requires your expertise, they deserve your help…step in and lend your counsel.
If you’re responding to a plea for help out of a need to feel needed, recognize that not every problem is a call to you to jump in to solve it. Most of the time, our associates are best served by learning to solve the problem themselves.
And how can you avoid being an “Urgency Addict”?
Recognizing that you’re vulnerable to urgent pleas and that saying “no” is a struggle for you is a good first step. As JJ said, “Identifying your response pattern can help you to avoid the “hook” and can help you to stay focused on what you’re really called to do.”
Whatever you’re called to do, you’ll achieve it with greater ease when you stay focused on what’s important, not what’s urgent.
Learning to recognize the difference between the two – urgent vs important – will have a profound effect on everything you do.