Joy Journal

Every Friday, you can receive the Joy Journal, which will give you information, inspiration and tips that you can use in your pursuit for joy.


The collateral damage of an ASAP culture

Fight the need to make everything feel urgent


So many people I’ve encountered in the last few months have appeared overwhelmed and frenzied—almost out of breath. It seems that so many requests and demands are being made of them, and many, if not most, have a high sense of urgency attached to them.

I feel like work has evolved into an ASAP culture. Even if a requester doesn’t say something needs to be done “immediately”, you still try to do it quickly so as to appear responsive and service oriented. This mentality creates a number of challenges:

  • Always-on pressure mounts because you never feel like you can put your mobile device down.
  • Productivity declines because urgent tasks swamp your day and the important work doesn’t get attention.
  • Stress increases because the “emergency” feeling triggers adrenaline and cortisol.
  • Quality decreases because you may not give adequate time or thought to each request.
  • Relationships suffer and become transactional because don’t have the time to connect beyond the task at hand.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the negative impact of ASAP:

  • Be more consistent in establishing priorities in workload.
  • In communication, be clear about when you would like a response.
  • Discuss with your team members what projects, people, types of tasks, clients, etc. need an ASAP approach (and what doesn’t).
  • Review The Eisenhower Matrix to remind yourself of how to manage the Urgent vs Important dichotomy.

Author note: We will be enjoying the holidays for the next few weeks so your next Joy Journal will arrive in your box on January 6. Happy Holidays!


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