January 27, 2017
July 1, 2015

Formation of the "Air Mask Theory" to Prioritization

"It's roughly right….." "There's something there...."

I’ve been pushing past the need to have all ideas and thoughts fully perfected before putting them out there.

Collaboration is best served by presenting ideas even when they might be “roughly right”.  In that spirit…. Go with me…..

I’ve been asked several times lately a question that goes something like this:   

“When you have a lot going on, how do you decide where to focus and spend your time.”

Good question, right?  So many people today are juggling so many titles, hats, projects and the rest that prioritization isn’t always a priority!

I’ve been thinking through this and want to make some of the thoughts into a more concise theory. 

There are examples out there of what could be titled “recommended prioritizations”.   If you are a frequent traveller, you might know one example by heart.  If you are travelling with a small child, in case of emergency, you should put on YOUR air mask before that of the child.   

This popped into my mind the other day when, well, lets just say I cut my knee. I ran to the bathroom to try to make the bleeding stop.  But, alas, the cut bled all over my jeans and all over the layer under my jeans.  So I had to take my jeans and the layer under my jeans off because they were soaked in blood.  In the moment, trying to deal with the still bleeding cut, the bloody garments and the discomfort from the pain felt like a lot and I didn’t know what ORDER to deal with these issues in.  For some reason, my brain went to this “put your own air mask on first” concept.  I would need to FIRST stop the bleeding (address the knee) and fix that before I started cleaning my jeans.  Cleaning the jeans first would have just kept my knee bleeding and made more of a problem.  So where is the link?

Putting your own air mask on is like stopping my knee from bleeding and helping the kid with their air mask is like cleaning the jeans.

  • Address the leak before you clean the puddle.
  • Aid the solution before you tend to the consequences.
  • Fix the source of help before you help the dependent variables.

Is this sparking anything for anyone?