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Grow with Grunder: Cancel out the noise

February 16, 2021 -  By
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Shovel in dirt (Photo: onecooltree/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Photo: onecooltree/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

It won’t be long now until we’re at the point of the year where our to-do list seems to overpower us, and it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. At Grunder Landscaping Co. (GLC), we entered 2021 with the largest backlog of work we’ve ever had in the history of our company, and 2021 has the potential to be our best year yet. I’d like to ominously remind you that spring is coming. It will be here soon, and we all need to be prepared to quickly jump into action when demand for our services is at its all-time high.

Our priority at GLC now is to work our plan for the year and avoid distractions. In the peer groups we run, we call this “staying the course.”

Experience has shown us that when our team works hard on a plan and even harder on sticking to that plan, we are able to be more successful than we would be without a plan. When I’m struggling with my plan and I have to reduce the noise on a personal level to get it all done, I fall back to these tried-and-true tactics:

  • When it comes to my to-do list, I take the advice of my friend Jim Cali: only handle it once, or OHIO. If a task or email will take me less than five minutes to handle, I address it right then. I delegate what needs to be delegated and add any larger tasks to my to-do list. I keep my inbox and my to-do list as close to empty as I can, filing away or archiving any informational emails I may need later. A great way to keep your to-do list short is by never having to add things to it because you practice the OHIO method.
  • I create games and artificial deadlines for myself. I’ll often pick a task on my to-do list and force myself to finish it before I can eat my lunch, get a fresh sparkling water, take a break or check my phone. This may seem small, but scheduling deadlines on my calendar and forcing myself to complete something helps keep me organized throughout the day.
  • I make time for rest. I have been known to work long hours, but I’m making a big effort this year to have downtime on nights and weekends to reset. Rest allows my mind to work through some challenges in the background, and I frequently get my best ideas when I’m off the clock. Each weekend, I still dedicate some time to planning my week and my Monday. It’s hard to have a good week if you don’t have a great Monday, and spending 20 minutes on Sunday looking ahead helps me do that.

Being clear on what’s important helps you understand what’s necessary and what’s just noise. While some noise is unavoidable, I encourage you this month to look around and find things you can do now that will reduce noise for you and your team later this year, allowing you all to stay the course!

If the busy season is still just too noisy and you’re looking for strategies to keep you sane as your team navigates it, I encourage you to join us for our next virtual event, “Time Management for the Landscape Pro.” This event will dive deep into how you can conquer the busy season by prioritizing better, minimizing distractions and reducing the noise. I hope you’ll join us!

Marty Grunder

About the Author:

Marty Grunder is president and CEO of Grunder Landscaping Co. and The Grow Group, based in Dayton, Ohio.

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