A business associate of mine used to fax me on a regular basis. (This was before e-mail.) And every darn fax said URGENT at the top in big bold letters. At first, I found it curious. And then, it became annoying.
Come on. Was every fax of his urgent? Of course not. And what was the result? I stopped giving any of them my immediate attention.
Being overly urgent is not the most effective approach to accomplish your goals. You see, people – especially people who may be in a position to help you – get tired of everyone wanting everything done today (or yesterday) just because they want it. So if, for example, you are always demanding that your projects be completed now, now, now – even when they don’t deserve that priority treatment – people will quickly learn to resent and/or ignore your demands.
Sure, you can sometimes achieve faster results by labeling them “urgent.” But do it too often, and you will simply alienate those involved. You can’t expect to keep getting bumped to the head of the line.
Have consideration for other people. Your spouse, colleagues, co-workers, joint-venture partners – anyone you deal with regularly – have a “rhythm” to their day. And when they incorporate you into their schedule, doesn’t it make good sense for you to make that a pleasant (as opposed to stressful) experience?
By recognizing that many people won’t feel a need to respond to your urgent requests, it becomes your responsibility to motivate them to get whatever it is that you want done in a timely manner. You don’t want to be a tyrant, but you don’t want to be a pushover either.
You can also apply this kind of thinking to your personal goals, whether you’re learning how to play the piano, taking French lessons, or creating an Internet business. If you treat every step of your new venture as urgent, you’ll burn yourself out. To achieve the best results, work each step into a specific important-but-not-urgent time slot in your schedule.[Ed. Note: Accomplishing your dreams – even the big ones – doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Simple steps – like limiting the number of “urgent” requests you make – can help you achieve almost any goal. .]