Your First Priority

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October 6, 2014 by JImbo

Last drill weekend was pretty busy as usual. We had about 17 “priorities” to work on… simultaneously. Therein lies the problem.

You see, the very definition of “priority” means that one thing that is put before another. By “prioritizing” you must put one thing ahead of another. You simply can’t have more than one “priority” at one time.

You can put things in a list prioritized one before the other. You can have important things to do. You can’t have 17 “priorities.” That just stresses you out for no reason.

Freaky picture, right?

The most things a person can handle anyway is generally about 3-5 at one time.

That’s called your “Span of Control.” A good rule of thumb is that if you’re working on more things than you can count on one hand… you aren’t working on at least one of them. You may SAY you are, but any more than that are really sitting undone on the “back burner.”

Besides our limited human mental capacities, there are also physical limits. Even if you can multi-task, it still has limits as long as we’re three dimensional beings. You can’t physically DO anything in more than one place at a time.

Just something to keep in mind when you feel overwhelmed. If you think you, are count it out on one hand. Prioritize what NEEDS to be done. Put the rest on back burner.

As First Responders are taught when they begin training, take care of yourself first. Make sure YOU are safe before you help someone else.

It’s not selfish. It’s common sense. For example, if you see someone drowning…make sure you can swim before you jump in too! Who saves YOU?

By trying to do more than you can handle, you aren’t getting any more done. Don’t apologize for it. You’re only human.

There’s only one you.

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