Pull the weeds

I have been avoiding my front yard for weeks. I also have not been watering it [1], so it hasn’t been growing all that much. However, the weeks somehow find a way to keep growing. Every time I turn onto my street, those nagging weeds stare at me like my 6 lb. poodle who insists she hasn’t done anything wrong. I seem to consistently come up with excuses why I shouldn’t move my capable self outside and attack the yard.

This morning however, was a new day and I decided to stop making excuses. Sarah had a recovery run [2] so I used that time while she was away, to make some progress in the garage and in the yard. I’ll spare the details on the atrocities of my yard, except for the realization I had while pulling weeds.

It seems that weeds can always be compared to sin in life, and how it’s best to address the root of an issue in life, rather than only the surface issue. I agree with that, but today I was comparing weeds more to the workplace – particularly organization, planning, and next actions. Over the last few weeks, I have been trying really hard to work out of Omnifocus and capture everything that comes to mind or into my email inbox, no matter how small or irrelevant-seeming. I want to get in the habit of having a consistent workflow and process.

A couple weeks ago, I found this post at SimplicityBliss.com which shares how to do a daily review with Omnifocus[3]. I think I found the post because I was researching how to better use contexts[4]. Anyway, it’s been a huge help for me and is the first thing I do when I sit down at my laptop in the morning[5].

So, back to the weeds-pulling. It has been a little challenging to re-orient myself with how I keep track of workday items and emails that get dropped on my plate. It’s so much easier to avoid capturing and to instead do when I think of something, or when I see that email that won’t take that long. That’s what I will call, a “performance mentality”[6]. This mentality might make me look good to a few people, because I respond to them quickly or always say “yes”. But in the end, does this approach help me achieve my goals?[7] Nope. My goals, and the needs of my coworkers and business partners, will be better served if I take the time to “pull the weeds” (bad habits), create a clean foundation to work from, which is organized and efficient, and then work and carry out tasks from that place. I must say though: creating that clean foundation and weed-free working area is half the battle. It’s not about how much you know, like Dave Ramsey says[8]. It’s about changing our behavior.

What’s the hardest part about modifying behavior or following through on a plan of action?

  1. What’s the point? I live in Texas.  ↩

  2. She’s training for the Marine Corp Marathon this October  ↩

  3. A quick 10 minute process to get a jump on the day  ↩

  4. Another journey in and of itself!  ↩

  5. No, I don’t check email first. That doesn’t come until 10am.  ↩

  6. You know, it’s all about looks and performing well for people around you  ↩

  7. It’s not all about me, but I do need to take responsibility for my career  ↩

  8. Personal Finance is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge  ↩


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