Firefighting is taxing the organization’s energy and resources

I am not sure whether you have encountered this scenario in your working life – the boss summonned you to his office and demanded that you prepare something for him before the the end of the working day and it is already 3.30pm or you are given a memo asking to attend a very important meeting pronto and you do not know head or tail what the meeting is gonna be about and the guy who is suppose to go is on sick leave and his handphone is conveniently dead or you received another memo asking you to prepare for the organisation’s strategic planning for the next ten years or so – all coming when you are in the middle of  trying to get some decent work for your department. All these mini crises to be solved within shorts notices have all the hallmarks of what the management people called firefighting. I noticed that firefighting more often than not take the zeal out of normal preplanned jobs. You’re all fired up and focussed on doing something then you are rudely interrupted and asked to channel your energy and minds on something else. I found firefighting a very taxing experience to the mind and soul. It basically throw the proverbial spanner into the works. Ok, make that monkey wrench! It forces your focus and train of thoughts to a shuddering halt and you have to refocus on something else. It gave the impression we hardly plan our work. Take for example last week, we were in the middle of prepraring for works scheduled for next week when it was announced that the external audit people is coming. To satisfy the cravings of the audit for documents, we had to pull resources and reroute them to the demands of the  bosses thus incurring the wrath of the the people  who had to take over. In doing so we are actually contributing to haphazardness of the  management orgnanisational structure.


One thought on “Firefighting is taxing the organization’s energy and resources

  1. Remedies:
    * hold on to the principle of sound time management;
    * do not submit to the tyranny of the urgent;
    * be prepared to give up promotion chances!

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