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How to Mow the Lawn, Efficiency Part 1

24 Mar 2010
A reel lawn mower, adapted from an illustratio...

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There are a few things in life that need doing done regardless if you want to do them.  Mowing the lawn is one of those things or me.  Sure, my two older boys help mow the lawn a lot, but often they have school and sports that can get in the way and that creates a problem:  I have to mow the lawn.  The grass grows quickly, especially during the spring and if it is not mowed often the job only gets harder.   Since I consider mowing to be one of life’s simple annoyances I try to carry out the deed as quick as possible.

There are many ways to mow the lawn, but I am convinced there is one way, the best and most efficient.  I find enjoyment in pursuing the most efficient way.  I imagine if I really enjoyed a task I would not be interested in efficiency at all because there would be no incentive to finish something enjoyable faster.  There are a few activities that I really enjoy, and for those I guess I’m trying to figure out ways to extend the time it takes, I bet you can think of at least one too.  Maybe that will be a future blog post, achieving inefficiency.

There is more to successfully mowing the lawn than just efficiency though.  Here are some other factors that need to be remembered:

  • Check the oil and add some if it is low.  Freezing the motor is costly.
  • The entire lawn needs mowing, including the edges and areas not easily visible or accessible.
  • Only the lawn is to be mowed, no mowing flower beds or gardens.
  • Lawn mowers are not intended to pick up toys, paper, cans and dog poop, so use another tool.
  • If you see a rock pick it up, it is not cool to have it fly into your leg or to break a window.
  • Grass clippings need to be removed before they are tracked into the house and initiate another unwanted task – cleaning all the floors.
  • Grass left on the driveway and sidewalks does signal that you have worked very hard, but the evidence needs to be removed via broom or blower.
  • Don’t put the lawn mower away with grass still in the bag, a lazy maneuver that just stinks up where the mower is stored and adds more time to the next mow.
  • Safety devices are installed on the mower to protect you from losing useful parts of your body, don’t bypass them.

Quality is important.  If the lawn looks like crap after it has been mowed it has to be mowed again, taking more time to do something that should have easily been done right the first time.  Nothing is worse than having to redo something simply because it was okie-doked the first time.

The first step to becoming an efficient lawn mower is to know what a quality job looks like and how to obtain it.  The first few times attempting the task might take forever, but if the job is done with quality there is hope that efficiency will soon follow.

Next post: How to Mow the Lawn, Efficiency Part 2 (Where to start)

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