When you're at work, you're on, putting out one blaze after another, without distraction or delay.
FEMA head Craig Fugate. Confirmed by the Senate in 2009, Fugate has turned a disastrous department into a point of problem-solving pride.
Make your best work friend be a contemplative soul. Why? As Kellogg professor Thompson says, you'll provide a complementary contrast to each other. And as much as you can, relax. "The best way to put out a fire is with equanimity from as centered a place as possible," says Huffington Post president and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington.
A brief period of mindfulness "allows things to flow out of the mind rather than preoccupy it," says Dawa Tarchin Phillips, CEO of Empowerment Holdings, a mindfulness-based leadership program. In that release, "mental and emotional real estate open up."
Use Any.do to quickly swipe off tasks as they're completed, and at the end of the day, iDoneThis will send an email reminder asking what you accomplished, finally giving you a moment to stop, reflect, and plan as needed. More apps for the Firefighter>>
A version of this article appeared in the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Fast Company magazine.