Trying to get too much done at once can actually make you less productive. Hurry sickness—also known as time urgency—is where a person frequently feels short on time, and therefore feels in a rush to get certain tasks done. In more exact terms, it has been defined as “a behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.” (Sword & Zimbardo, 2013). This can take a toll on a person emotionally, mentally, and physically, and can even cause their blood pressure to jump and stay at high levels for prolonged amounts of time (Sword & Zimbardo, 2013).
Although it’s good to stay busy and be able to efficiently get things done, having too much on the go and burning the candle at both ends can result in hurry sickness, and the release of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Thus, it’s important for clients to take a step back when needed and not put unnecessary pressure on themselves. Here are three ways life coaches can help guide clients along in overcoming their hurry sickness.
Hurry Sickness, and the Many Ways in Which it Can Manifest Itself
Initially given its name by cardiologists Ray Rosenman and Meyer Friedman, “hurry sickness” is where a person feels constantly strapped for time, and thus feels a need to perform tasks faster. If any delay or obstacle shows itself, it can cause that person to become increasingly stressed or agitated. More specifically, it releases cortisol, the stress hormone that can lead to depression, as well as triggering general feelings of irritability, anxiety, and fatigue (Cantero-Gomez, 2019).
A number of different day-to-day habits can be signs of hurry sickness as well. These include putting clothes on backwards or inside-out by accident, moving between checkout lines at the grocery store because one looks faster or shorter, and forgetting to complete a task while you’re busy multitasking (Sword & Zimbardo, 2013). Hurry sickness can also lead to more errors and a decline in work quality, as well as causing the mind to be perpetually overstimulated (“How to Beat Hurry Sickness: Overcoming Constant Panic and Rush”).
There Are Many Symptoms That Can Result from Hurry Sickness
In your life coach career, you can learn how to help clients with a variety of personal obstacles and teach them certain life skills—and overcoming a sense of hurry sickness can most certainly fall under that category.
With hurry sickness, the body is constantly being kept at high levels of stress and anxiety, and those with such a strong sense of time urgency can be put at further risk of cardiovascular issues (Ashworth, 2018). However, being in such a hurry can have other implications for wellbeing, such as clients being labelled “anxious overachievers” at their job (Fisher, 2015), or engaging in unhealthy thoughts and behaviours like worrying too much about schedules, not making enough time for leisure or relaxation, or rushing unnecessarily (Ashworth, 2018).
Helping Clients Establish Good Habits in Your Life Coach Career Can Combat Hurry Sickness
While at life coach school, you’ll learn to develop many beneficial habits. One of the most key things you can do to help clients with their experiences with hurry sickness is to help them cultivate healthier habits for going about their day. For example, you can encourage them to relax if they arrive at a meeting five minutes in advance, or to wake up with enough time to calmly eat breakfast (Cantero-Gomez, 2019).
A life coach can also encourage clients to practice simpler habits to relieve stress, such as taking deep breaths, slowing down when necessary, and maintaining a positive attitude (Sword & Zimbardo, 2013). Furthermore, clients can learn to live with a fear of failure or rejection, as well as learning how to temper their expectations and not create unnecessary time pressure for themselves (Ashworth, 2018).
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Cantero-Gomez, P. (2019, February 1). Ten Intelligent Ways To Combat Your Hurry Sickness. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/palomacanterogomez/2019/02/01/ten-intelligent-ways-to-combat-your-hurry-sickness/.
Sword, R. K. M., & Zimbardo, P. (2013, February 9). Hurry Sickness. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-time-cure/201302/hurry-sickness.
Fisher, A. (2015, February 4). Too busy to think? You may suffer from ‘hurry sickness’. Retrieved from https://fortune.com/2015/02/04/busy-hurry-work-stress/.
Ashworth, M. (2018, October 8). Always In a Rush? Maybe It’s Time Urgency. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/always-in-a-rush-maybe-its-time-urgency/.
How to Beat Hurry Sickness: Overcoming Constant Panic and Rush. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/how-to-beat-hurry-sickness.htm.