When you woke up this morning, the odds were very good you didn’t allocate five minutes out of your day to read this post. You didn’t know it existed until you received an email about it or found it through some other means. By definition, reading this post is a disruption. Our days are full of them. If you work in aviation, disruption management is likely at the root of what you’re working on most days. For many, the quickest route to disruption resolution seems best—likely because there’s another disruption waiting to be managed. But stepping back in the heat of the moment to think long term about a disruption may prove to be worth the time and effort.
In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the late Stephen Covey tells a story about a man walking in the woods. This man comes upon another working feverishly to saw down a tree. The first man says, “You look exhausted. Why don’t you take a break and sharpen your saw?” The second man replies, “I can’t. I’m too busy sawing.” If that sounds like the schedulers and dispatchers in your operation (or you if you’re a scheduler or dispatcher), read on for some ideas that might offer a break and a chance to sharpen your saw.