Do you mow your own yard? I have a love/hate relationship with yard work. In the past, I’ve hired people to maintain my yard. However, I’m teaching my son how to mow, edge and use the weed eater.
It’s a life skill every dad should be teaching their son. We take turns using the lawn equipment.
I have a tree close to the pond in my backyard (see pic). In the summer months it can be hard to maneuver around the tree with all of the low hanging branches.
Yesterday, while mowing around the tree I attempted to once again go straight through the branches. Long story short, both the mower and I almost ended up in the pond!
“That’s it…I’ve had it,” I said.
I went straight to the garage, grabbed my tree trimmer and took my anger out on the tree.
After spending ten minutes clearing out a path all the way around the tree I thought, “Why didn’t I do this several months ago?”
I had spent all Spring and Summer battling those branches every time I attempted to mow around the pond.
One decision could have solved several future problems.
This scenario caused me to think about all the other recurring problems in my life and work.
Could there be other future, recurring problems that I could solve with one decision?
I went on to identify several recurring problems that I could solve with very few decisions. I’m sure the same is true with you.
1. It all starts with awareness.
Since most of us live and work in urgency, we never take the time to step back and see the bigger issues. Instead we put out the same fires over and over again.
It’s like choosing to keep blowing out those trick candles instead of dunking them into a glass of water. How many trick candles are you messing with daily?
A great question to ask throughout your day to increase your awareness would be:
Is this a problem that keeps showing up?
2. Create space on your calendar to take care of the bigger issues.
Looking back, one of the main reasons I didn’t cut the branches earlier was because I didn’t think about it until I was mowing around the tree again. By then, my focus was only on finishing the task of mowing in as short a time as possible.
I simply told myself I didn’t have the extra time to trim the branches and drag them out to the road. When you live in urgency, you’ll never have time to solve the bigger issues.
However, solving the bigger issues is what gets you out of living and working in urgency.
Interesting twist isn’t it?
In order to do this, you need to make a list of the bigger issues. It starts by answering this question to any recurring problems you face.
What’s one thing I could do right now to minimize this problem from happening again?
Once you’ve answered this question, take a morning, afternoon or weekend, and make a conscious effort to tackle the bigger issues.
You’ll be surprised at how much time this free up for you in the days ahead.