By: Devin Ball
Director of Operations
Do you spend parts of your week addressing issues that unexpectedly require immediate attention and will create a much bigger issue if left unaddressed? At Big Buzz Idea Group, we refer to this phenomenon as “putting out fires.”
If you’re a living, breathing human, chances are you’ve had to “put out a fire” before. Putting out fires usually requires you to push other scheduled tasks further down on your to-do list, which could mean that today’s tasks become tomorrow’s tasks, this week’s tasks become next week’s tasks and so on.
As day-to-day duties are pushed further and further down the list, so are small tasks that we’ve set for ourselves to help us achieve a long-term goal. As the to-do list grows, the due dates get farther and farther away, and “fires” start to become more common. Even your long-term goals turn into fires because you haven’t been able to chip away at the smaller tasks leading up to them.
Before long, small fires can become a daily occurrence. When that happens, one fire begins to blend into the next and all of those small fires start to feel like one, big, raging, never-ending bonfire.
No one likes to work this way. No one wants to work this way. It just isn’t sustainable.
With any job, fires are inevitable – but bonfires are preventable. Setting aside time to tackle your own tasks is key. Depending on your workflow and preferred style, set aside time each day, week or month, and chip away at those long-term goals. Be intentional. Schedule a realistic amount of time to accomplish each task. Put that time on your calendar. Get ahead of the small tasks that lead up to your big goal. When you set aside time to tackle the smaller tasks that add up to the long-term goals, you’ll start to notice fewer fires and ultimately, smaller bonfires. Over time, the bonfires will subside leaving time for the smaller fires that are inevitable and beyond our control.
Even you can prevent bonfires.