Are you Hurry Sick?
In 2015, Professor Richard Jolly of London Business School identified that 95% of the managers suffer from Hurry Sickness. So, the chances are this applies to you.
Hurry Sickness is “a continuous struggle and unremitting attempt to accomplish or achieve more and more things or participate in more and more events in less and less time.”
It may go something like this….
Your conference call is about to start but you can’t fight the compulsion to reply to an email, check your diary and read through a couple of papers. If you get a spare minute you soon fill it with your never ending to do list.
Are you always against the clock, thinking fast, talking fast and acting fast? Do you have a sense of urgency with every waking hour and feel pressured to get things done?
Do you remember a simpler life when you allocated a whole morning to deliver one task? Now we try and fit hundreds of things into the day and if we don’t achieve them, we feel irritable, anxious and stressed.
With advances in technology we can literally do several tasks at the same time and therefore we try and squeeze unrealistic time pressures into our busy lives. We are always in a state of 24/7, connected with the world and always available at the click of a button.
So, what happened to down time? If you take a lunch hour the chances are you’re eating a sandwich at your desk whilst checking your emails. On your way home do you spend the time reflecting on the day? No, you use your Bluetooth to make a few calls. When you finally reach home, do you sit down and relax? No, you grab a bite to eat, rush off to the gym and return to spend time preparing for your 9am meeting.
Stressed? You will be unless you slow down. Stress can also increase the risk of a range of physical health problems including headaches, stomach upsets and high blood pressure. It can even increase the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Stress also plays a key role in the development of anxiety disorders and depression.
In 2017/18 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 57% of all working days lost due to ill health.
Work-related stress accounts for an average of 23.9 days of work lost for every person affected.
So, what’s changed? Western society is fast paced; with more opportunity and accessibility than ever before. We have choice and fear of missing out means we fit an abundance of activities into our lives, spinning many plates which eventually spirals out of control.
You may feel like you’re on a constant hamster wheel and when you finally take a break, you are totally exhausted and don’t want to lift a finger.
In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.
When was the last time you sat in silence; no distractions and just focused on the now? Can’t remember? That’s because you are constantly preoccupied and obsessed with achieving an unrealistic set of tasks.
It’s time to step off the bullet train and re-think your daily working life. Getting the right balance can be challenging but implementing some simple strategies can have enormous benefits.
So, what can you do?
Improve the way that you use your time
Be realistic and prioritise, focusing on the essential and setting aside trivial tasks. Set ground rules and don’t feel pressured to take on every task asked of you.
Only 52 % Executives agree their time spent matches their organisations’ strategic priorities.
Schedule important activities for the right time of the day. Think about when you find it easier to learn, plan or be creative. Is this a morning task? Or should you leave it for later in the day? This way you work smarter not harder.
CEOs with high Delegator talent generate 33% greater revenue.
Be assertive and don’t be afraid to delegate certain tasks to the team, both you and your team will benefit from this. Take time to understand your teams’ strengths and then delegate tasks you know will be completed successfully.
Strengths-based teams know how to deliver on what’s expected of them, individually and as a group. 67% of employees agree they are engaged when their Manager focuses on their strengths.
Good Delegators know that they can’t accomplish everything themselves. They are willing to relinquish control and hand tasks to others freeing up time to focus on what’s important.
Be more Self-Aware
It’s easy to let negative thinking spiral out of control when you’re overloaded with work. Become more self-aware and don’t let emotions run high. Stay positive, it’s important to be adaptable, resilient and remain optimistic when faced with challenges.
The key is to stay balanced and manage strong or difficult emotions without letting them manage you. Developing Emotional Intelligence will help you become less reactive and more responsive, calmly finding the right solution.
You’ll become more aware of your emotions and how you affect others around you; giving you a new perspective.
Studies indicate that Emotional Intelligence may be the key attribute that distinguishes outstanding performers from those who are merely adequate.
Make Mindfulness Mandatory
Slow down and get some head space; diarise 10 minutes a day to do Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great tool to manage your wellbeing and mental health. It can improve your ability to orient attention and be less distracted. It helps us recognise that we are not a slave to our thoughts and that we can choose how we respond.
You don’t have to be spiritual to participate, anyone can do it and nowadays, a growing number of businesses are recognising what mindfulness has to offer.
Mindfulness can reduce anxiety levels by 58% and reduce stress by 40%.
So, what actions are you going to take?
If you want any further information on this article, drop us an email and we’ll happily talk to you – email@example.com
1. Professor Richard Jolly, London Business School Review, 3 Reasons to Stop, Think and Sleep, December 2016
2. Cardiologists Friedman, M. and Rosenman, R., ‘Type A Behavior and Your Heart.’ New York: Knopf, 1974
3. Paul Bradbury, BBC Science, What is Stress, 2013
4. National Statistics HSE, 2018
5. Health Executive Agency- Work-related Stress, Depression or Anxiety Statistics in Great Britain, 2017
6. Mental Health Foundation Study, 2018
7. Mckinsey Quarterly, January 2013
8. Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal and Bryant Ott, Gallup, Delegating: A Huge Management Challenge for Entrepreneurs, 2013
9. Simon Cooper, Gallup, Why Aren’t All Organizations Strengths-Based? 2016
10. Daniel Goleman, Harvard Business Review, ‘What Makes A Leader’, July 2017
11. Krushe, A., Cyhlarova, E. & Williams, J.M.G., Mindfulness online: an evaluation of the feasibility of a web-based mindfulness course for stress, anxiety and depression, 2013