Guest author Steve Herriges, originally sent via email, Monday 5/4/15.
Yesterday morning I was out on the ice-age trail walking my dog and I came up on a farm field and the farmer was out there with a skid-loader tediously working his way along the edge of the large field pushing branches and debris away from the field edge, further into the woods.
My first thought was wow, this farmer has a ton of things to do, the weather is perfect, and here he is messing around trying to gain a foot or two of additional room around the perimeter of this large field. I know this guy farms on his own and doesn’t have time to waste. He could easily be sitting in his tractor pulling the planter as close to the edge of the woods as he can – and probably never know the difference. And he would save himself a lot of time. And that is true – at least for this year.
But every year the weeds and brush will creep in a foot or two farther, and before you know it 10 years down the road he would have lost an acre or two around the perimeter of this field. Props to him for taking the time to clean the edges.
So, surely by now you can see where this is going. As I was walking and had time to think, I thought “Boy – that concept could really relate to what we do.” Or any profession for that matter. We all have branches on the periphery of our core work that should be cleaned up, but how often are we taking the time to do it? We keep pushing forward on the obvious, and often times easier, tasks that define 80% of our primary role. As we leave those branches lay around the edges, we begin to sacrifice productivity.
Or personally, are there edges you need to cut, conversations that need to be had, bad habits that are forming quickly? Do you find yourself disgusted and worrying more than you enjoy the ride?
Without the discipline that this farmer had, these affects continue to accumulate over time until one day you say, what happened?
You’ve chased and chased. Your anxiety spread. Now you are overwhelmed…because those edges never got cut.
I ask that you not forget to take the time to do these less desirable tasks that drift to the side of your desk or in your head.
They may vary for all of us. What is on your edge?
I have some goal related details that I have been putting off I will focus on that. Others may have sku descriptions that are not quite right, price book pages that need to be updated, showroom space that needs to be labeled better, a report that needs more attention, too much dirt on the floor of your truck, that nagging service engine light that you ignore for now, that pile of files on the back corner of your desk that will get filed “when you have time,” or those very important follow-up calls. This is how we will get to ZONE 4. This is how we supply happiness; how we get better!
Have a great week!
– Joel Fleischman. Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply. (drexelteam). You can follow him on twitter: @JoelmFleischman. Since 1985, our business success has come from building others UP.