Cutting the grass

One of the great things about our home is our beautiful garden. It’s pretty big, is very productive and it backs onto a field and then woodland. Strolling up to the top of the garden to watch the sunset has got to be one of my favourite ways to relax and put the day into perspective. However, this long garden does have a lot of grass which takes a lot of mowing.

As the seasons have progressed, I’ve enjoyed seeing the snowdrops, then the daffodils and primroses start to bloom against the lawn which has regained its luxuriance after a harsh Winter. Over the last few weeks, we’ve started to comment on how long the grass was getting. My reaction was ‘oh, it’s fine – we don’t need to start cutting it yet. It looks okay, really natural and anyway, the primroses are still in flower’: anything to put off the dreaded moment of having to bring out the lawnmower and commit to a couple of hours of mowing.

The other day, I finally gave in. I don’t actually mind the mowing, it’s getting the mower started that thwarts me. In the battle of (wo)man against machine, the machine wins every time. Anyway, that problem dealt with, I got on with the mowing. Some while later, it was done. I didn’t ‘scalp’ the lawn to within an inch of its life, just tidied it up, carefully avoiding those lovely primroses. As we walked up the garden that evening, I had to admit that the lawn now looked great.

So what does my lawn have to do with my work or your work? I’ve noticed that over time, my good habits seem to start to wear off. Have you ever felt the same? Filing emails; sticking to regular one-to-one meetings with direct reports; making time to get away from your desk and research new ideas; leaving on time; writing up meeting notes straight away; getting to the gym three times a week … maybe you recognise something from this list.

The impact of the slackening off isn’t always that noticeable – like me and the lawn, you probably think it’s all okay. The question is – do you want your work or your life to be okay or do you want it to be great?

Today’s pebble for your contemplation:

do you need to ‘cut the grass’ in your work or life?

What do you think?


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we can work together?

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3 Responses to Cutting the grass

  1. Roger Martini says:

    Like when I’m running: I have to slacken off to recover. I need time to recover, repair and for my body to adapt to the greater demand. But slackening off for too long sets me back: my next running session is no better than the one before. To be great rather than just OK means doing the difficult bit: picking up the pace or going for the next run when it would be so much easier to take it a bit easier…

    (And this makes me ask: why am I running? For what? Or for whom?)

  2. Ursula says:

    Thank you for the reminder. I will be paying more attention to the work lawn, primroses and all!

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