3 Steps to Managing Your Time to Get Promoted in the Fire Service

Time management skills are something you need to have once you begin your firefighter promotional exam prep and will need to demonstrate in order to get promoted and succeed in your new rank in the fire service. Here are some tips to help you effectively manage your time. 

Time Management

The definition of time management is simple enough, planning how to use your time between various activities and tasks, so why is it so difficult? As adults with families, careers, and seemingly endless other things going on in life, it can be easy to lose track of time in the hustle and bustle of the day, but once you sign up to get promoted you need to be able to manage your time effectively or you will not succeed. 

  1. Understanding

The first step to successfully managing your time is to really think about it. You must be able to understand how much time you have in a day and understand the importance of not wasting any of it. Once you sign up to take your firefighter promotional exam, be aware of the extra time you will need to devote to studying for your written exam, and where that time will come from. Seeing your time as important is a critical step in developing time management skills that will stick with you as you move up in your career. 

  1. Scheduling

Once you understand the importance of utilizing the time you have in your day effectively, you will need to implement a system to make it happen. The best way to effectively keep your day running smoothly is to create a schedule for yourself. You may even need to add in the small details of your day, like breaks and meals. Once you have figured out how much time you are going to need to study in a day or week for your promotional exam, schedule it and follow that schedule. More importantly,  being able to utilize and follow a schedule will be a critical tool once you get promoted in the fire service. With each rank you are promoted to, you will have more and more tasks to accomplish in a single day. You need to be able to keep your schedule moving and not lose track of time to be effective in your new position. 

  1. Self-Awareness

The final step to being able to manage your time effectively is being aware of your habits and how you use your time. Once you start using a schedule at the end of the day or the week you need to be able to take the time to analyze what worked and what didn’t for you and make the necessary adjustments to your schedule. You can start by asking yourself, what is taking more of your time than you thought, what is taking less? Is a certain task or activity an effective use of your time or is there something you can do that is better? Why were you late to a certain meeting but early to the other? Being able to understand your time and your habits will make you use your time so much more effectively and productively, but you have to make a conscious effort in order to make the change. 

The Takeaway

As an officer in the fire service you must be able to manage your time effectively. If you struggle with time management you likely will not get promoted in the first place because of your inability to make it places on time or inability to dedicate the necessary time to study. Time management is a skill that can be learned, so even if you are not good at managing your time now, you can make the necessary changes to improve your time management skills, and get promoted in the fire service.