Life and Death – No time to dilly dally

I should have been a doctor. Sure, I get squeamish around blood. Sure, I failed chemistry in college. But there is just something that appeals to me about hospitals. And before you consider me morbid, let me explain.

My wife recently gave birth to our third child, a beautiful baby girl. I’d been in hospitals plenty of times before, but it wasn’t until this trip that I realized why I am so enthralled by hospitals. It’s not the amazing work doctors and nurses do to heal people, although it certainly is amazing. It’s not even all the high tech gadgetry they use, although it is fancy. What really gets me is how the nurses, doctors, even janitors focus on what is vital.

They don’t dilly dally around. When you are admitted to the hospital they set to work checking your vital signs, asking you questions, and hooking you up to monitors. There objective is simple, figure out what is wrong and fix it. They don’t waste time on unnecessary pleasantries or fluff. There is too much at risk. They know that just a few minutes could mean the difference between life and death.

This got me thinking. What if in my life and at my job I chose to focus just on those things that are vital. What if I cut out all the crap and clutter and really narrowed my focus.

Now, of course, for non profit administrators a few minutes times isn’t often going to make the difference between life and death. But it could mean the difference between a homeless person getting into a shelter for the night, or a child improving her grades, or a big donor having their heart string pulled by your last newsletter and making a big donation.

So I’m challenging myself. What’s the fluff that I do just out of habit and what’s vital to my organizations mission. And how am I going to cut the fluff?

What fluff do you have and how are you going to cut it out? Let us know in the comments.

Photo credit to Crucially

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