Are you the kind of person who cleans the bathroom while brushing your teeth? Move from one check-out line to another when shopping? Sit at the back of the room during work presentations so that you can finish that budget sheet? Chances are you’re suffering from ‘hurry sickness’.
People with ‘hurry sickness’ are multitasking masters, they think, walk and speak fast
What Is Hurry Sickness?
Two American cardiologist first came up with the term when they found a correlation between typical type A behavior and heart disease. People with ‘hurry sickness’ are multitasking masters, they think, speak and even walk fast and get very impatient with anyone or anything wasting their time. Sounds familiar? You’re not alone – a London Business School study found that 95 percent of the managers in a study suffer from the condition.
Is it really that bad for you?
Being busy is often seen as a virtue but when it becomes a constant time urgency you lose your ability to stop and think, and as a result become less effective. You lose sight of the “big picture,” and risk alienating people around you. Not to mention the physiological and mental health risks that come with constant stress.
Quitting the hurry game is really about finding a dimmer for your ‘get-shit-done’ superpower
Why is it so hard to quit the hurry game?
From an early age we are rewarded for doing, achieving and winning. In high paced industries and corporate environments, it’s often a prerequisite for success, as many of us can relate to. Getting lots done is a kind of superpower that has likely made you pretty successful in your career. So why doesn’t it take you further or make you happier? Think of it as running a marathon at sprint pace. It might give you a lead early on in your life or career, but it certainly won’t make you either successful or indeed, alive as the race goes on. It’s less about quitting the hurry game and more about finding a dimmer for your ‘get-shit-done’ superpower. You need to learn how to dial up and down your hurriedness. Of course, it’s great to be able to switch it on for that big deadline or when you’re trying to get 2 small children out the door. But the default setting in your life needs to be less rushed and you need to learn how to dim the light completely.
The unexpected cure – being pregnant!
I’m a classic hurry sick person who have spent my life chasing efficiencies and trying to do things faster and better. From doing my Kegel exercises in the lift to conference calls in the gym. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first child that I learnt how to live slow. I suffered from severe pelvic girdle pain and could hardly walk. From being someone who would always walk /run up the tube escalator, I suddenly missed my bus every day for being to slow. I even found myself being overtaken by seniors in the slowest lane in the swimming pool. I have often thought it was natures cruel way to cure me from my hurry sickness before having children. I have to admit the relief was temporary, as a mother of 2 children under 3 years of age I often find myself multitasking in the most ridiculous ways. But I am now a sober hurry addict and I can dial up and down my busyness and speed. I finally have a dimmer!
Other ways to cure hurry sickness
If pregnancy with pelvic girdle pain doesn’t sound temping or just isn’t in the cards for you, here are some tips on how to fight hurry sickness:
- Practice doing one everyday thing slowly – it could be the dishes or walking to work. How does that make you feel?
- Question the value of your urgency – What difference will it make if you answer that email tonight? How important is it in the grand scheme of thing?
- Write down the flip side of your hurrying. What are you missing out on when you rush around? What effects on your health do you see? Who are you hurting?
- Trick the system with breathing right. When you’re feeling particularly flushed, take some deep breaths (inhale for 3 counts, exhale for 5). This activates the parasympathetic nervous system (the break system) and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
Let’s make 2020 a slow year!