How to choose between “urgency” and “calm” at work

Architect Rem Koolhaas observed, “We live in an almost perfect stillness and work with incredible urgency.”

What if time were not money?Does the mere thought of work bring you stress? On Sunday night as you prepare for the week ahead, do you accept heavy thoughts of deadlines, sales quotas, and pressure from other leaders or your employees? Why does it seem that work must be hard in order for our work to be effective?

“There’s not enough time.”

In my consulting and executive coaching work with CEOs and business executives – busy professionals like you – I often hear, “There are not enough hours in the day.” I see the stress in their faces. I feel the stress as they walk into my office.

The “not enough time” mentality creates a negative work environment rife with lack and fear.

At work we teach people how to treat us. We allow leaders, coworkers, clients, and customers to make urgent demands. The chaos and confusion of our work life impacts our personal life – and our wellbeing.

We have a choice. We can choose to be in flow with projects and deadlines. We can choose to set mindful boundaries and clear expectations.

 It’s time to create a world with businesses that work for everyone.

Deepak Chopra is working to do that with a project he launched in 2015. In this project, he poses a stirring question: “Can we use business as a force for good, for everyone?” (Learn more at

I believe that business CAN be a force for good. And I believe it’s time to start a new conversation about what we choose work to be. It’s time to raise awareness that health, happiness, wealth, and connection to a clear vision – a higher vision – creates relevant work and engaged people.

That’s why I’m committed to guiding leaders to co-create a clear vision and higher profit.

Let’s start by creating a world that works for everyone. This is a tall order, so where do you start? You can take a moment to visualize a clear, positive vision for your week. You can meditate. You can set intentions or affirmations. I encourage you to do this daily, especially every Sunday night before your work week!

Stop saying, “There’s not enough time.” Replace this with the calm knowing that you can complete what is yours to do joyfully each day.

Here are 3 things you can do right now to build a world at work that works for everyone:

  1. Take 10 minutes every day to walk around the building or a nearby park. This can do wonders to engender calm, inner peace, and perspective.
  1. Set aside another 10 minutes in your office to breathe and feel your intuition. Do not answer your phone or respond to emails during this time. You might be surprised how much this spurs creative thinking! Invite your co-workers to claim a 10-minute window of their time each day as well. Also, don’t take calls outside of office hours, on weekends, or while on vacation.
  1. Reduce your stress with meditation, reading, study, prayer, journaling, walking, or whatever you do to find your calm center.

Be still and know.

Remember, you can love the work you do. In addition, your work – and your business – can be a force for good. The key is choosing calm, not urgency, throughout your work week, beginning now. Your people – and profitability – will reward you.

Share your story!

How do you overcome urgency and be calm in the workplace? I’d love to hear your story. Contact me at