Does it ever feel like you’re putting out fire after fire at work – that you’re mostly just reacting to other people’s requests rather than getting meaningful work done? There’s a good chance your team members feel this same way. It’s a sign of a culture of false urgency when everyone treats every task and to-do item as a high-priority must-do.

When this happens, leadership expert Lolly Daskal says it can have far-reaching consequences, from stress to stifled creativity to burnout. As a dedicated leader, Daskal says it’s important to try and eradicate this false sense of urgency. We explain her ideas on how to do this in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

  1. Make deadlines attainable. Some deadlines can feel not only unreasonable but also completely unattainable. Daskal encourages leaders to set realistic deadlines that inspire their team members to complete quality work but without undue stress.

  2. Cultivate a culture of communication. Open communication is key to eliminating a false sense of urgency in the workplace. Do your team members feel comfortable expressing their concerns over quotas or workloads? Daskal says it’s important to encourage open communication by creating an environment where everyone feels at ease talking about what’s on their mind.

  3. Prioritize and delegate. If your team doesn’t know what’s most important, it’s easy for everything to feel urgent. Leaders should always strive to help their team members prioritize tasks, Daskal says, and effectively delegate responsibilities. This can help prevent overload.

  4. Foster a healthy work-life balance. Are your team members regularly working late, arriving early and working on the weekend? Help them slow down. Remind them of the importance of getting rest and unwinding. Well-rested and content employees are more productive, Daskal says.

  5. Lead by example. When you lead a team, you set the tone. Daskal says leaders can inspire their team members by demonstrating a poised and composed approach to work.

Some things at work are truly urgent, but not everything needs to get done right away. Make sure you’re not fanning the flames of a culture of false urgency at your company. Take a step back and assess what’s on your plate and what actions make the most impact now. When everyone can focus on what’s truly impactful in the moment, your entire organization benefits.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Lolly Daskal is the founder of Lead From Within, a global leadership and consulting firm. She is a leadership coach, consultant, facilitator, speaker and author.