Don’t create a false sense of urgency

By Laura Bergells on
Not urgent

I got a special offer in the mail on Saturday. It was marked “Urgent”.

I felt puzzled. After all, the mail isn’t an urgent medium. The postal service takes its time.

But I skimmed the letter, anyway. It offered me 20 bucks if I would do a thing.

I don’t even want to know what the thing is. I read a few paragraphs and got bored. I shredded the letter.

A few moments later, I got an email from an organization marked “urgent”. I read a few paragraphs of babble, then deleted it.

We all know the score by now. Messages marked “urgent” aren’t urgent.

Twenty bucks of “free” means I’m going to become an indebted servant to some corporate scheme that’s going to drain my resources and patience for years. And if it takes someone 3 paragraphs to get to the point, there’s no urgency.

If it’s really urgent, you don’t say “urgent”.

You say “fire”. You scream “get out”.

I don’t need corporations creating a false sense of urgency for me. Children are being separated from their families. People are being rounded up in the streets. We’re surrounded by matters of real urgency.

Marking something “urgent” means it’s “urgent” for them to make money. It’s not urgent enough for your immediate response.

You’ve got better things to do with your life.


Laura Bergells is a writer and instructor. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.  You can also find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.