This is a fun episode for me because I get to use my military experience in the business world. It never ceases to amaze me how often my military experience helps me in the business world and how my business experience helps me in my military life. The military does a lot of good things that the private sector can learn from and vice versa.
What to Expect From Episode 19
In this episode I talk about a very common topic in the Army, priorities of work. I use the example of setting up a patrol base. When you are out in enemy territory on a foot patrol and are going to stop for a significant period of time, you set up what is called a patrol base. The Army preaches the importance of prioritizing your tasks, so you do the most important things first that are going to have the biggest impact on your ability to survive and complete the mission. Here is a simplified version of what the priorities of work are.
- Establish security. You create a 360 degree perimeter and place your weapon systems in the best place and make sure everyone has an area they are responsible for.
- Continually improve your fighting position
- Weapons maintenance
- Personal hygiene
- Drink water
- Rest/sleep. (Not everyone at once.)
When you set up a patrol base after a long, hard march, typically the last thing you want to do is clean your weapon and what you really want to do is eat and sleep. The priorities of work make sure you do the important things first. If you don’t create a strong security posture and clean your weapon and are attacked, things will get ugly real fast and you’ll wish you had skipped dinner.
The same is true in business. It is really tempting to eat and sleep or maybe watch TV as soon as you finish your driving for the day. You probably have more important things to do like figuring out where to fuel so you buy the cheapest diesel, and getting that next load so you don’t get caught sitting once you drop off your current load. Being disciplined in the little things and doing the most important things first is what makes you successful with the big things.
I broke the priorities of work into two categories and we talk about them in more detail in this episode.
Priorities of Work During
a 10-Hour Break
- Take care of any urgent equipment issues
- Find your next load
- Personal time. (Eat, exercise, relax)
- Sleep. (You have to make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep before you drive again; this is critical. If you haven’t finished the items listed above and it is time to sleep, stop doing those items and go to sleep.)
- Prepare for the day:
- Plan your route and where you will fuel.
- Handle issues with truck/trailer.
- Sweep the trailer.
Priorities of Work While at a Shipper/Receiver
- Get backed into the door ASAP
- Take care of issues with the truck
- Find loads
- Work on the business, for example, enter expenses into your accounting system
- Eat, sleep, relax
Here is a picture of the trailer that burned.