How much of your time is spent putting out fires? For many of us, it’s way more than we care to admit.
How many little problems do you spot in a typical day that you would fix, if only you didn’t have to run off to another three-alarm blaze?
Now this: how many of those infernos gained their momentum because someone ignored them when they were barely a spark? Or better yet, how many of them were the pile of kindling that we should have just picked up in the first place?
When someone brings a simmering concern to our attention, a frighteningly common reaction is to point to the fire of the day. The implication being, “there’s no time for longer-term thinking — we have to worry about right now!”
A less common approach is to address the little issues that quietly threaten to engulf us tomorrow. Or next week. This is more than just nit-picking. It’s an investment in our ability to be more productive, and proactive, in the future.
The trick is to recognize the pile of kindling before another missed opportunity lies in smoldering ruins.
[Photo: “Kindling” by Madeline Tosh]