The Importance Of Maintenance


Just like checking my drip lines ensures my plants and trees get water and that I am not wasting resources, checking progress toward my goals ensures progress is being made efficiently and sufficiently.

Courtesy of Sunton Somtong

It was a high of about 106 degrees in Phoenix, AZ today. That’s hot, but honestly, it gets about 6 to 8 degrees hotter in the peak of summer. It was breezy, so that helped a little. I had some maintenance work to do around the yard; repair sprinkler lines, pull weeds, trim bushes, etc. This got me thinking about the importance of maintenance.

Sprinkler Lines.

One major task I had to tackle this afternoon was repairing sprinkler lines. Actually, they are more like drip lines for bushes and trees that are attached to a timer. It kicks on for five minutes every four hours, starting at 5am. So, my bushes and trees get water at 5am, 9am, 1pm, 5pm, 9pm, 1am, and again at 5am.

This is much easier than watering them with a hose every day, and likely conserves some water as I can run the lines right under the bushes and trees, and bury the lines slightly to minimize dissipation.

Roots And Rocks.

Over time, the soil shifts a bit as the bushes and trees grow. Inevitably, the main water line that is 1/2 inch tubing, or the 1/4 inch feeder lines, start to leak. They shift and get pushed up against some rocks, or, roots start wrapping around the lines and poke holes in them, allowing water to leak out when the timer kicks on. This reduces the amount of water that goes to the plants, and in turn increases my water bill because a higher volume of water is used in those five minute increments.

I know lines are starting to leak when I can see soil getting wet where there are no bushes and trees. Weeds start sprouting up everywhere as well.

Maintaining Means Maintaining.

Once I saw that the main line was actually leaking in multiple places, I replaced the main line and reattached the feeder lines that go to the bushes and trees. While I was doing so, I thought about how this is one of my least favorite household duties. Realistically, it probably only has to be done about once a year at the most. But if these lines are not checked and repaired and they start leaking, my plants won’t get water.

And I live in a desert.

So, maintaining my drip lines means maintaining my plants. And maintaining my plants means my landscaping looks nice. It’s imperative I check the lines periodically and make necessary repairs.

Goals.

Similarly, it’s important to periodically check in with goals you have set for yourself and make repairs or adjustments, if necessary. If you’re on a weight loss journey or you’re trying to improve your career, for example, checking in regularly and seeing what progress has or hasn’t been made is vital. And if you’re running into some speed bumps along the way, maybe you can reflect and notice some reasons progress hasn’t been quite what it could be.

It depends on the goal, but I typically encourage clients to set action steps that will be taken at least once per week, and check in with progress toward the goal at the most, every 90 days.

Just like checking my drip lines ensures my plants and trees get water and that I am not wasting resources, checking progress toward goals ensures progress is being made efficiently and sufficiently.