It is very easy to get distracted.
It’s easy to lose momentum.
It’s easy to procrastinate and push-off your greatest desires or priorities.
It’s easy to lose that sense of urgency toward your time and purpose.
You don’t have a sense of urgency toward your time and purpose when:
- You’re not clear on what you want
- You don’t believe you can control the outcome or timeline
- You don’t know if you can succeed
- You don’t believe it’s extremely important and timely
If you understood the value and importance of your goals, you’d have extreme urgency. We don’t have all the time in the world. Time ticks on. But not only that, there are consequences.
For example, I have six kids (I know…). If I don’t have urgency toward helping them grow and develop as people, they will be grown before I know it. But, they will not be who they could have been.
Two Forms of Urgency You Must Master
There are two forms of urgency you must master:
- Urgency toward your day
- Urgency toward your desired future self
Urgency toward your day means you get up and get going. You aren’t dragging through your day. Instead, you’re aggressively getting what you need to done.
Again, I have six kids. My wife is homeschooling them. If I have urgency toward my work, I’ll get up early and get it done so I can get home and help my wife. If I don’t have urgency, I’ll drag through my day and avoid getting home. And because I’ve been distracted and dragging, I’ll show up that same way at home. I won’t be engaged. I’ll probably be staring at my cellphone.
How you do anything is how you do everything. If you’re not urgent about your values and priorities, you’re probably disconnected and distracted all-around.
If you have urgency toward your day, you’ll be present and engaged where it matters most. You’ll see value and importance not only on your time, but on the consequences that come from how you spend your time.
Urgency toward your desired future self means you’re clear on your big picture goals. These goals could be two-five years out. Maybe they are 10 years out. Sometimes it can be hard to have urgency toward long-term goals, like retiring or publishing a book, etc.
But what would happen if you did have urgency?
What would happen if you got laser-focused on your major goals, and removed all distractions?
There’s an important quote you must understand from Robert Brault: “We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”
You’re not kept from your goals and dreams by the obstacles stopping you. Instead, you’re stopped by “clear paths” to “lesser goals.”
Those “lesser goals” are usually distractions. Going on Facebook. Checking your email. Watching YouTube videos. Relationships that aren’t serving you. Hobbies that are merely an escape from what matters most.
Whatever “lesser goals” you’re actively allowing into your life, they are stopping you from having a sense of urgency toward your future self.
What Would Happen If You Had Urgency?
What would happen in your life if you had urgency toward your goals?
What if you were hell-bent on getting where you wanted to go?
What would you have to get rid of?
What “lesser goals” would you have to drop?
What habits would you need to change?
Changing your life is hard, yes. But living life, in general, is hard. It’s hard to make $50,000 per year and it’s hard to make $500,000.
Whatever life you choose for yourself will be filled with challenges. But discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons.
If you’re not actively using your time in the most valued ways, then you’re going to have regrets. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talked about having a “personal bank account,” which you deposit into and draw from.
Having a personal bank account means you trust yourself. It means you believe in yourself. It means you have character.
Having a personal bank account is worth far more than having millions of dollars. If you have a personal bank account, and if you do what you believe, then you can have anything you want.
Commit To Your Future Self
“You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.”—Meredith Willson
Right now, you have a choice.
You can continue letting your time pass by. You can continue withdrawing from your personal bank account, getting yourself deeper and deeper into debt of character and purpose.
Or, you can develop a sense of urgency. You can get clear on what you value. You can get clear on what matters most to you. And you can begin living your life like you really believe it. You can become who you really want to be.
Get urgent about your time.
Use it well.
Get urgent about your desired future self. Become that person and create that life as soon as possible. Don’t delay!
Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work. His blogs have been read by over 100 million people and are featured on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Cheddar, Big Think, and many others. He is a regular contributor to Inc. and Psychology Today and from 2015-2018, he was the #1 writer, in the world, on Medium.com. He and his wife Lauren adopted three children through the foster system in February 2018 and, one month later, Lauren became pregnant with twins, who were born in December of 2018. They live in Orlando.
Image courtesy of Magnet.me.