You’re a grown up now, and I’m willing to bet that only a handful of people reading this post are actually a firefighter. But how much of your time do you currently spend fighting fires, dealing with other people’s emergencies, and managing crisis? Probably way too much.
The first thing you have to do if you want to get out of firefighting mode is to start searching for arsonists. Arsonists are people or situations that tend to start your fires. Yes, some are unavoidable, and there’s nothing you can do about those, but many can be minimized or avoided all together simply by better communication and clarification of expectations.
Start making a mental note of the people and situations that contribute to your fires and emergencies. Look for patterns and trends. More importantly, pay attention to how you react and respond. We train people how to treat us, and your actions, attitudes, or behaviors might be contributing to the problem without even realizing you’re doing it.
Who or what starts most of your fires? What can you do this week to put those fires out?