Having The Right Tool

I’ve been formulating this blog post for a while. I’ve always hated yard work. I didn’t know why. I always thought that I just haven’t been gifted with whatever part of the brain it takes to do yard work. Sure, I can go outside and work really hard, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. As the ThinkTQ materials I’ve mentioned previously often say, don’t confuse effort with results.

When my wife and I bought our house, for whatever reason I bought an electric lawnmower. I had one growing up and I hated it, but I figured there must have been something to it so I bought my own. I hated it just as much as I did the one my dad made me use in middle and high school. A few years ago, we bought my father-in-law a new lawnmower, so I took his old one to a friend to fix up. It was a gas mower, but I still didn’t like using it. My lawn killed it many times. It was a 4.5 horse power Briggs & Straton. One day last summer, I was cutting the grass on a very hot afternoon and the mower finally died. I don’t know how old it was when I got it, but now it’s dead. I tried to use the electric mower, but the handle is set too low and one of the nuts was loose so the handle kept slipping.

I finally told my wife that I had to get a new lawn mower. Just at that time, her mom stopped by and needed me to run an errand with her. She said we’d stop by Sears while we were out and look for a mower. She works for K-mart and gets a discount.

I ended up buying a 6.5 horse power model with the big field wheels. You know what? It worked great. My law was cut so much faster because I finally had a mower with a powerful enough engine to handle my thick grass (which gets thicker through my procrastination for not wanting to deal with it). The wheels can take the soft ground and uneven terrain of my back yard, and best yet I don’t have to mess with my extension cords.

This brings me to a vital point. I can’t stress the importance of having the right tool for the job. Looking back, I have always been more worried about keeping the price down than getting a tool that will handle my needs. This is often a horrible approach! I have a quarter acre lot with lots of rocks and tree stumps, so I obviously need different equipment than somebody with a town house would.

Buy your equipment based on your actual needs. Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit more to get what you need. I understand that there are times when your resources are very limited and you just have to work with what you can get. I’ve been there many times myself. But if you have the resources, get what you need. You’ll spend even more money and time when you have underpowered tools. You wouldn’t run a multimedia server on a Pentium II laptop, or a G3 iMac, and I shouldn’t have been cutting my grass with an electric mower.

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