How to Overcome the Tyranny of Urgency


Today’s world is a fast-paced, often overwhelmingly busy place. We are pulled in a million different directions, and it can be hard to keep up with all the demands of modern life. This is especially true in the digital age, where technology has created an environment of constant connectivity and instant gratification.

Unfortunately, this has also given rise to the “tyranny of urgency” – a feeling of being overwhelmed and constantly behind. Fortunately, we have tools to help us manage this feeling and get back on track.

What Is the “Tyranny of Urgency”?

The “tyranny of urgency” is a term coined by Charles E. Hummel to describe the feeling of being overwhelmed by too many tasks and not having enough time. It is a common problem in our modern society, where technology has enabled us to be constantly connected, and where everything seems to move at lightning speed. This can make it difficult to prioritize our tasks and focus on the essential things.

The tyranny of urgency can cause a variety of problems, such as difficulty concentrating, feeling overwhelmed, and struggling to complete tasks. It can also lead to physical and mental health problems, such as high levels of stress and anxiety.

Always keep a track of your time if you want to avoid the tyranny of urgency. The timesheet software known as TimeTrack is both fast and effective. Simply remove your phone from your pocket, activate the timer, and you are ready to begin your workday. The presence and absence of each employee are tracked by our time clock. In order to do this, you do not even need to be connected to the internet; the time tracking is also kept offline.


TimeTrack: Timesheet and a terminal clock




How Technology Contributes to the “Tyranny of Urgency”

Technology has made our lives much easier in many ways, but it has also created a new problem: the tyranny of urgency. With the invention of the internet, smartphones, and social media, we are now constantly connected and constantly bombarded with information. This can lead to an overwhelming feeling of having too much to do.

Are Urgent and Important Tasks Always the Same?

No, urgent and important tasks are not always the same. While some tasks may be both urgent and important, others may only be one or the other.

For example, an urgent task may be to respond to an email that needs to be answered right away, while an important task may be to focus on a project that will take some time to complete. It is important to differentiate between tasks that are urgent and tasks that are important so that you can prioritize them accordingly.

How to Prioritize Tasks?

According to Acuity Training, only one-third of adults make a to-do list to keep track of their day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

The key to overcoming the tyranny of urgency is to prioritize tasks. This means focusing on the tasks that are most important and leaving the less important tasks for later. It is recommended to use the Grid Method to help prioritize tasks.

Here are some additional tips for prioritizing tasks:

1. Determine which of your responsibilities are of the utmost significance.

First things first, prioritize the items on your list of things to accomplish by importance. You might base your decision on the deadlines you have for the week, the expectations of your clients, or the desires of your coworkers. Before moving on to other activities, for instance, you can concentrate on completing a marketing report that is due at the end of the day.

2. Write down your obligations on a calendar.

Having determined which activities are most essential, you should next put those activities into your calendar. When you look at your daily to-do list, it might be simpler to determine the order in which you should do your chores.

When you have a visual reminder of each of the daily chores that need to be completed, you could find that it helps you concentrate more intently on the job at hand. The satisfaction of having accomplished something might also come from completing them.

3. Define your parameters

After you have prioritized your duties for the day, you can further organize them by scheduling blocks of time during which you will be able to concentrate on your job. It’s possible that colleagues often contact you via phone calls, emails, or in-person visits to discuss matters that aren’t time-sensitive.

It is OK to let them know that you are concentrating on a project at the moment and that you will get back to them at a later time. You might politely request that they do not bother you during the early hours, but let them know that you are happy to chat with them in the afternoon.

How to Deal With the Tyranny of Urgency?

Once you have identified the tasks that are most important, it is time to start dealing with the tyranny of the urgent. Here are a few tips to help you do this:

  1. Set aside a specific time block for each task: This will help you stay focused and prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
  2. Break tasks down into smaller chunks: This will make the task easier to complete.
  3. Take regular breaks: This will help you stay focused and prevent burnout.
  4. Set realistic goals: This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
  5. Prioritize tasks: This will teach you to leave the less important tasks for later.

Tips to Avoid the Tyranny of Urgency

In addition to the tips above, there are several other things you can do to avoid the tyranny of urgency. Here are a few of them:

  1. Turn off notifications

    Notifications from emails, social media, and other apps can be distracting and can prevent you from creating a strategy.

  2. Limit your use of technology

    Unplugging from technology for a few hours a day can help you focus on important tasks and avoid the tyranny of urgency.

  3. Take time to relax

    Relaxing activities such as reading a book or taking a walk can help reduce stress and refresh your mind.

  4. Make time for yourself

    Taking time to do things that you enjoy can help you stay focused and prevent burnout.

  5. Learn to say no

    Saying no to tasks that are not important or that are not within your capabilities can help you stay focused on crucial duties.

The Grid Method


The Grid Method is a simple tool that can help you prioritize tasks and avoid the tyranny of urgency. It is a four-step process:

  1. Draw a grid with four sections: “urgent and important”, “important but not urgent”, “urgent but not important”, and “neither urgent nor important”.
  2. Make a list of all the tasks that you need to complete.
  3. Assign each task to a section based on its level of importance.
  4. Focus on the tasks that are in the “urgent and important” section first, then move on to the “important but not urgent” section, followed by the “urgent but not important” section, and finally the “neither urgent nor important” section.


The tyranny of urgency is a common problem in our modern technology-driven world. It is essential for success that you learn to put off less pressing chores in favor of those that will get you closer to your objectives. Attempt different methods and discover which one best suits your needs.

One of the foremost things to master when trying to avoid the tyranny of the urgent is time management. TimeTrack can help you manage time with ease. Using the TimeTrack mobile app, you can keep track of the hours you spend working no matter where you are. You are able to monitor your times down to the minute using the mobile time tracking feature at any time and from any location.