MM #7: Organized Chaos

It’s 4 a.m. Your smoke detector starts screaming to wake you up. You awake in a panic and the chaos starts. You jump out of bed, clear the house, and grab the family, the dogs, and your phone. You run outside and look back at your house starting to pump out smoke like a train engine coming into the station.

You dial 911 and you wait. You just sit there and hold your family and wait. Others pour out of their homes when the siren comes screaming from down the street.

The fire department comes on scene and flies out of the rig like angry hornets out of a jostled nest. They pull a large hose from the engine and stat running to your house. Next thing you know, more and more firefighters and pieces of apparatus appear on scene and all of them are running, breaking windows, laying ladders into your home, yelling at one another. Some crews go into your house, some climb the ladder to your roof, and some stand out front trying to make the right decisions to save your home.

You continue to stand there in shock at your house on fire but you think in the back of your head, this is chaos.

As a firefighter I understand these looks on people’s faces when we come on the scene of a house fire. To the average person it looks ridiculous, but to us it’s organized. Each member has a job to do and without one piece of the puzzle the whole building could go into flames.

We call this organized chaos.

Think of your life for a second. I know you have moments you feel like chaos has fallen upon you. You’re running here and running there. Your life is all over the place. So how do we slow down this chaos and remove it?

Sorry to say you can’t slow chaos down. Chaos is like a semi sliding down an icy road. You might think you are in control but you aren’t.

The only way to get a handle on chaos is to prioritize what needs to be done at any given second. If you prioritize your chaos, you will feel in control of the day.

How do we prioritize chaos?

1.     Focus on your basic needs first. You are not doing any good being hungry, thirsty, or having to go to the bathroom. Take care of yourself first.

2.     Take a minute and make a list of what needs to be done in the hectic day. Take that list and organize it to let yourself drive in a systematic order.

3.     Ask yourself if you really need to fit all of these chores into one day. Is it really worth your getting this wound up with your day? It’s not the end of the world if you don’t complete your list.

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