Saturday, 23 April 2016

Finding the time to think

I will probably come at no surprise to you to learn that I think a lot about what I do at work. A few weeks ago Chris Tritabaugh shared a tweet with his followers (I'm one of them) that made me think....about how I think...I think?  The article explains how successful people spend a lot of time thinking and not actually doing physical work. Now I am in no way implying that I am successful. I think that is a rather subjective thing to proclaim. I do, however, spend a lot of time thinking about grass....and stuff.

When talking with other superintendents about how I blog the question often arises, "how do you find the time to blog?" The answer came to me when I read the above article about thinking. For me, blogging is thinking, it is putting what I am doing and thinking in writing. It just so happens that I share this with the world (that part doesn't take any time just guts). When I sit down to write a post it is during time of reflection. Times when I am making sense of my observations and data. It is these times that I reflect on the past and plan for the future. Part of being a good manager is planning for the future right?

From my own experience and from talking with other superintendents about it I think we can get in trouble if we try to physically do to much. How often do we hear about how we see the course in a completely different way when we golf it instead of drive around in a frantic furry trying to do everything we wish we had time to do? It is extremely important that we take the time to think, observe, and plan.

It is during times when I don't make time to think that I find myself getting into trouble. Things happen that require corrective actions and then I end up being like a dog chasing his own tail. This just isn't productive.

I also think that if you don't have a grass killing blog like me it would benefit you to maintain a journal. For me the act of writing it down helps me organize my often jumbled thoughts in a more clear way. Proofreading my posts 3 or 4 times often brings out further ideas that I wouldn't otherwise have time to think up.

Now if you think this is a waste of time think again. I estimate I have saved my club well over $100,000 in the past 4 years by thinking and blogging. I break even on that ROI if I spend 20 hours a week blogging and thinking for 4 years straight! I might spend 3-4 hours a week thinking and writing so my ROI for thinking is HUGE!

So the next time you ask yourself "where does he find the time" I suggest you make the time to tour your course and think about stuff. Schedule it. It's probably more important that edging those cart paths or weeding that garden and you might come up with a way to improve your operation. Even if you aren't improving or coming up with another crazy fusarium management scheme you might catch something early and save yourself a ton of problems in the future.