Put out the fire first.

Forest Fire

Listening to some podcast which I’ve long since forgotten the name of, I heard a top executive talk about how there was always the fire of the day to put out.

This small comment changed how I thought about my work.

We have a list of things to do, but the most important task may not be in the sprint yet.  That’s why we have a buffer.  Use buffer points to put out the fire.  Leave room in your daily to do list for these unknown issues that pop up.

And how do we do that?  It all comes back to the people you work for.  If they come into work with some burning issue on their mind, address it first.  Their fire is more important than anything on your to-do list.

Small fires are easy to put out.  Putting them out is one of my keys to happiness.

Let it grow big because you’re “too busy” and the fire will spread, and you may not be able to put it out.

Daily fires are a thing.  Put them out before they grow.

Photo credit:  US Fish and Wildlife Service

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