That Emergency is Bullshit

You roll out of bed and grab your phone. Finally, that awful noise we refer to as an alarm clock has been silenced. You notice several e-mails from a co-worker, all flagged as urgent. Your heart rate quickens, blood pressure rises, and your mind starts racing. This is what we call panic.

You have been drawn into someone else's frame. Another person's perceived emergency has now become your perceived emergency. And because perception is reality, you are now living in a real life emergency.

Two hours later you're finished. The corrected reports have been sent out to all of the people who aren't going to read them and your heart rate finally settles. Now what was it that you meant to focus on first thing this morning? That thing you identified as really important, the kind that should have transcended all of the other busy work. Suddenly you can't remember but you realize you haven't eaten breakfast yet and you have a meeting starting soon.

Return to panic. And so it goes.

Or I should say, so it goes if you let it.

If you stop and take the time to analyze these "emergencies" and you're truly being honest with yourself, I think you will find that your emergency is bullshit. If you fail to address this emergency correctly, will you still be here tomorrow? Is anyone else's health in serious danger?

When a so-called emergency presents itself, stop to take a breath and re-frame the problem. More likely than not, it is really an opportunity to take a step forward with a creative solution. Instead of being reactive and instantly going to correct the report, ask how the report came to be incorrect in the first place? Is there a root cause that should be addressed which could prevent any future "emergencies" of this type. Will the business come to a screeching halt without this report being corrected? Probably not.

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