5 Easy Ways to Quit Putting Out Fires All Day

If it feels like you spend your days jumping from one fire to the next, then you may have some serious time issues. Luckily there’s a fix.

When you’re in “putting out fires mode” you get so bogged down by crisis tasks that the important big picture is all but lost from your time choices.

Here are 5 easy ways to stop putting out fires and start managing your time better: 

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  1. Adopt positive planning habits — better planning will prevent a lot of the “fires” in your day, so discipline yourself to keeping track of appointments and recording notes in a dedicated daily planner 
  2. Spend 5 minutes each morning setting priorities for tasks and activities — when crisis calls, measure it against your important priorities
  3. Consider alternate responses, such as tag-teaming the crises with a family member
  4. Be proactive and create routine fixes for commonly occurring crises, such as delegating last-second errands to a co-worker
  5. Let go of the idea of being the constant “hero.” Quite often people put themselves in “putting out fires” mode because it makes them feel useful. Remember that other work suffers when you don’t follow priorities

Let’s face facts, it’s more than difficult to pursue your goals when you’re busy chasing down a lost shipment or dropping off a forgotten school lunch… it’s impossible. Make a stand to protect your time today.

Please answer this: How do you keep from putting out fires all day?

[U.S. Army photo

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at jeff.doubek@daytimer.com