Hey CLIP’ers, Dave Tucker here. As we enter the peak of the lawn care business season, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind—juggling jobs, fielding customer requests, and motivating your team. But I want to encourage you to take a moment each day for some old-school thinking time.

And for that, we’re going to draw on an old-school idea from a classic self-improvement audio program produced on a vinyl record way back in 1956. It was titled “The Strangest Secret,” and and it sold over one million copies, making it the only non-music record to achieve such sales.

What does this have to do with the Lawn Care Business Peak Season?

Stick with me here. You’re about to enter your busiest time of the year—a time when you’re pulled in so many different directions, you feel like you don’t have time to think. This is where the trusty yellow pad comes into play.

Nightingale’s record LP offered a simple but profound message:

”We become what we think about.”

This message resonated with listeners and helped to make “The Strangest Secret” one of the most successful self-improvement programs of all time.

In the program he also suggested that one of the best ways to think is to write.

Grab a trusty yellow legal pad

The yellow legal pad is portable, it doesn’t distract you with notifications, and it boots up instantly.

Find a quiet time and place and start by writing a self prompt (not a ChatGPT prompt) at the top of the page, like, “I want a less stressful, more efficient peak season this year.” 

Then begin the process of writing and answering questions on the topic, such as:

  • Can my goals be met with my current resources?
  • What might the ideal business operation look like?
  • How can I start preparing to make the changes?
  • What would be the impact on my customers?

Use the legal pad to freely record all ideas that come to mind, no matter how slowly they emerge. Remember, this kind of creative thinking is a rigorous process, but well worth the effort.

Commit to regular brainstorming sessions, ideally during quiet times like early mornings, to flesh out a comprehensive Plan A and then come up with a Plan B.

New World Evidence for an Old School Practice

It may seem counterintuitive in our fast-paced, digital world, but taking the time to write things down by hand can be incredibly beneficial. Research by psychologist James Pennebaker found that handwriting improves our thinking.

Pennebaker’s research found that handwriting is better than typing for generating creative ideas. In one study, they had participants come up with as many creative uses for a brick as they could. Folks who wrote their ideas by hand generated more creative ideas than those who typed their ideas.

Slow yourself to grow yourself 

Pennebaker research proves that handwriting improves creativity because it’s a slower and more deliberate process than typing. There are psychological benefits to writing too.

When we write by hand, we have to think more carefully about what we want to say and how we want to say it. This makes us reflect more and come up with more original and creative ideas.

In contrast, typing is a faster and more automatic process. When we type, we can quickly and easily put our thoughts into words without having to think too much about them. This can lead to our ideas being more conventional and less creative.

So, grab a yellow legal pad (you know, the iconic ones lawyers use) and a pen, and let the ideas flow.

More reasons to try the old school approach

The yellow legal pad hearkens back to a time when we weren’t inundated by digital distractions. Its limitations focus our minds and allow us to think more clearly. So, take a few moments each day during this busy lawn care business peak season to think on paper.

Here are a few additional benefits of using a yellow legal pad for thinking time:

  • It helps you to focus. In a world full of distractions, it’s easy to get sidetracked. But when you’re writing on paper, there are fewer distractions. This allows you to focus on your thoughts and ideas more easily.
  • It helps you to generate more ideas. When you’re writing by hand, you’re more likely to let your thoughts flow freely. This can lead to a greater number of ideas.
  • It helps you to remember your ideas. Writing things down helps to solidify them in your memory. This means that you’re more likely to remember your ideas later on.

So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your thinking and your business, try using a yellow legal pad. It’s a simple tool that can have a big impact.

Keep clipping!


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