According to Stephen Covey’s book, First Things First, I’m “addicted” to urgency. This is clearly a bad thing. I put “addicted” in quotes, because – despite the fact that he seems quite serious about the designation – I don’t actually “seek out” urgent situations.
As a cigarette smoker, if I run out of cigarettes I will go out and get some ASAP. If it means I have to borrow money to do so, I will. If I can’t, I go a little bit crazy. If the period I cannot smoke is extended, I go more than a little bit crazy. I am addicted to cigarettes.
I frequently find myself in urgent situations and I admit that I get off on it sometimes, but I do not seek out (other than choosing freelancing as a career) urgent situations. If I run out of urgent things to do, I breathe a sigh of relief and go take a nap.
There’s quite a bit of difference between the two, so I don’t consider myself addicted to urgency. I’m drawn to it, I’m prone to it, I’m unbalanced enough to find myself smack dab in the middle of it, but I don’t seek it out, I don’t want to live like this, and I’m doing my damnedest to change.
Recognizing that urgency does not improve quality is a major factor for me. Now, when I’m getting closer to a deadline, I seek ways to plan my work/energy ratios to ensure I can get the work done without relying on a rush of last-minute urgency to see me through. The quality of my work shows a difference, too.