Slave To Crisis Management
by Kathy Gates
Are you a slave to crisis management? Do you maybe even pride yourself on the
fact that you can put out more "fires" in any given day than anyone else you
But did you also notice that there’s an emptiness that seems to nag you as well.
Yes, you did lots of stuff, but was any of it meaningful? Did any of your
actions truly reflect who you are, what you want your life to be about?
When you put things off (procrastinate), you tend to get confused and mix up
things that seem *urgent* in your life. All of a sudden, ringing telephones, TV
show schedules, the drycleaners closing time, or going to the ATM before
breakfast, all become what your life is about. And things that are a true
priority to you get relegated to the back burner.
Sound familiar? It’s a natural human trait to do things that we enjoy and that
come easily and naturally to us. Procrastinators in particular will focus on
attending to "comfort" tasks which are most convenient, interesting, or easily
It could mean visiting with friends, or watching TV, hiking, playing a game,
surfing the message boards on the internet. It could even be "useful" tasks,
such as cooking big meals, or scrapbooking, or walking the dog.
As these tasks are being attend to, however, other tasks begin to pile up, and
soon a backlog of responsibilities begin to cry out for attention. Suddenly
routine things become urgent, and you are forced to drop current tasks to attend
to the urgent things.
NOW...what is urgent has become priority, whether you want it to be or not.
This is where the confusion between urgent vs priority tasks occurs.
Once you have taken care of the tasks which became urgent due to neglect, (this
might be getting a tank full of gas, or going to the ATM, or filing a report
with a deadline), then it’s easy to return to the comfort of the non-priority,
non urgent things again. The comfort things.
However, the obvious, the inevitable result is that the cycle begins again, and
you will once again be rushing from task to task as it becomes urgent.
Meanwhile, the comfort of the non-urgent, non-priority comfort tasks still lure
the you, because it helps you "feel" like you’re actually getting something
But deep down, as we started this article saying, you also feel an emptiness, a
feeling that you missed something, something important, something valuable to
you. A feeling that you’ve lost your way.
But if you cling to this HABIT, (and yes, procrastinator, it is merely learned
behavior and can be UnLearned with practice), the result is inevitable that you
become a slave to crisis management. It’s impossible to establish priorities in
an environment such as that.
The stress will overwhelm you. And you’ll over and over again seek some solace,
seek some stress relief by attending to tasks that are neither urgent nor
Stop the cycle! Choose consciously. Choose according to your priorities.
Procrastination will evaporate right before your eyes.
Professional Life Coach Kathy Gates specializes in helping people who are ready
to create a simpler, less stressful, more joyful and meaningful lifestyle. Get
information on her "Beat The Procrastination Blues" program at