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“What does it matter how much we do if what we’re doing isn’t what matters most?” Stephen R Covey

I have friends who are exceptionally productive and occasionally bemoan my own comparative laziness when it comes to hard work, but I am steeped in the philosophy of The 7 Habits and as a result know the difference between working hard, and working smart.

It’s an old cliché, in fairness, but clichés are profound wisdom in small packages. In other words, they hold great truths.

Take my garden. I bought my house off my in-laws. When they got it the back garden was flat, even lawn. By the time we bought it, it was a terraced garden, but not built by a craftsman. It was built by an enthusiastic amateur. I, an unenthusiastic non-gardener, then took it over, tried to even out the terracing and then spent the next 20 years with annual weed-hacking. Eventually, my mum paid for several tons of gravel, and my family, some friends and I flattened it enough to gravel it over completely. Job done.


Other people love gardens and love gardening. They put hours and hours of effort and money into making them pretty.

So – am I lazy when it comes to gardening? No, I just don’t consider it important enough to spend my time on it. A garden is like a physical manifestation of a value statement. If you like gardening or consider it important to have a nice garden, you value it’s creation and maintenance.

I do work hard on a lot of other things that I value. Presentations, my Institute, driving and writing blogs. I find value in doing those things instead of digging and re-digging holes, watering flowers and mowing grass. (I wear the front lawn, it’s only 5 minutes to mow it all.)

So, kudos to the gardeners, they create beautiful vistas and I respect and marvel at their work.

But a complete waste of time ……. For me.