Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Time Management the Firefighter Way

I have to admit that if I practiced time management as a firefighter, like I recently did as an entrepreneur, very fews fires would have been put out and very few lives would have been saved.

I don't think I'm much different than most entrepreneurs. I am very susceptible to "shiny object syndrome". I'll have a plan for my business and get to work. I'll make some decent progress and maybe even start seeing some results.

But then what happens?

Well, something pops up in one of my Facebook groups or maybe a "limited time offer" appears in my email inbox.

The grass is always greener right?

When somebody (me) has a choice between a "new opportunity" and doing the work and improve on what I'm currently, which is sexier?

New opportunities are always sexier. Of course, the thing I'm doing now and needs improving was once a new opportunity itself!

As a firefighter/paramedic, new opportunities weren't an option. We were assigned a fire or a patient and we stuck with that task until the fire went out or the patient was delivered to the hospital.

I couldn't fight a fire for a couple of hours, get bored, and decide to turn the water off and head over to a really cool car accident I just heard about over the radio!

So what do firefighters and paramedics have/do that entrepreneurs don't?

There's 2 things.

My ImageTime Management Tool #1

The first thing we have are SOPs, Standard Operating Procedures. Everything we do as a firefighter/paramedic is dictated by an SOP.

How we approach a fire. The drugs we administer. The speed we drive. When we use the siren....

SOPs reduce "at the time" decision making. When you make decisions under stressful situations, mistakes are made. Emotions need to be removed from the equation. That is why SOPs are created in a calm, quiet environment, by a team of people taking time to think about and lay out the procedure.

How would your life be different as an entrepreneur if you worked from some preset SOPs?

Time Management Tool #2

The second tool we have is a Code of Conduct.

This is another set of "rules" that we use to dictate how we conduct ourselves.

This is how we conduct ourselves even when we know people aren't looking.

As a paramedic, when I encounter an unconscious, or even conscious, patient I would frequently look through their medicine, kitchen cupboards and fridge.

Unconscious patients can't talk, and conscious patients lie!

I need to know their medical history and I can't trust that they'll tell me the full story. So by finding their meds, seeing what they eat and how they live, I'll have some insight into their health prior to this acute incident.

But I never abused that tactic. I never took money off their dresser. I never publicly shared the bizarre "adult" toys I may have come across.

I had a Code of Conduct that I would follow and I never wavered from it.

Again, what if you had a Code of Conduct that you followed as an entrepreneur? How do you think that might effect the way you conduct and manage your business?

Here's a video where I go into these concepts in a little more depth. And below that video I've posted my own personal Weekday SOP and my Code of Conduct.

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