PMP #258: How to deal with ‘fires’ at work


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Isn’t it frustrating when you’ve planned your time have a clear agenda for what you’re going to work on, only to receive an email or to have a colleague derail your day by coming to you with an issue that requires urgent attention? These ‘fires’ often require us to stop what we’re doing and put everything else on hold so we can deal with this seemingly important and urgent issue.

As someone who values productivity, dealing with “fires” is something I really try to avoid. Not that I ignore them. But I do my best to make them less disruptive and frequent as possible. We generally do our best work when we can work uninterrupted on high-value tasks and projects. Stopping what you’re doing to put out a fire takes you from this proactive state of mind into a more reactive state where you’re now having to prioritise something urgent over the thing you really want to be doing.

So, what’s the best way to deal with these fires? How do you make them less disruptive and get back to what you’re doing with as little downtime as possible? Let’s explore…

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Intro/Outro Music: "Synthia" by Scott & Brendo

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