Welcome to spring: longer days, better weather, and a fresh vision for the future.

The age-old concept of "spring cleaning" has some merit in the roofing industry. Now, before it gets much too busy, take the time to look for opportunities to clean house. Consider bringing the troops together to clean up the shop, warehouse, trucks and equipment. "Clean" counts for a lot when it comes to safety and productivity at the work site. It can be a morale booster as well.

Beyond the facilities and equipment, however, look for ways to remove clutter from your work process and your personal space. Getting unimportant "clutter" out of the way allows you to focus on the really important things.

Clean This

I will never forget one particular day calling on my good friend Greg Hageman, owner of Greg's Roofing in Ormond Beach, Fla. As I entered his office, Greg was sitting at his massive wooden desk kicked back in his swivel chair, with flip-flop-clad feet on top. The only thing on his desk was one of those 6-ounce Cokes. No phone, no in-basket, no calendar - not so much as a pen or a piece of paper. Just Greg and a Coke. Greg had decided, in no uncertain terms, to remove the clutter and refocus. The items that formerly graced his desktop were scattered about on the floor to the left and right side of the desk.

Greg observed that his office had just become too cluttered and his way of dealing with it at that particular time was just to put it all aside and start over. Was he not worried that important appointments might be missed? No, because the really important stuff would resurface on its own, and the really unimportant stuff would die a natural death. I can't really endorse this particular method of "spring cleaning," but must admit that at least one roofing contractor made it work (once, anyway).

A New Focus

Many of us are creatures of habit (this writer is one of the world's worst). We manage our business and carry out our policies and procedures without giving them much thought. How valuable would it be for your business if you were to challenge the things you do to process business? It would be valuable if you eliminated redundancy, and put new focus on the things that really matter.

Being the boss (at least 85 percent of you reading this are) gives you the unalienable right to make changes in policies and procedures. You must, however, recognize that it is really one of your responsibilities to lead in this regard. If you come to work every day and continue to perform redundant, unimportant tasks, everyone in the organization is going to follow your lead.

What's More Important?

Some of us think it is somehow good to have every project, every issue and every problem on our desktops at once. Well, it may be good to have things close at hand, but you can really only work on one at a time. If you are not working on an item gracing your desktop, it is only a distraction for something more important: File it away or throw it out.

Many industry professionals reading this magazine right now could put it down and find that at least three-fourths of the items on the desk in front of them are "second-tier" issues or even less important than that. What is really curious is that most of you roofing contractors would have a stroke if you walked onto one of your jobs and found it so cluttered. Heads would roll!

Take the lead. Initiate spring cleaning in your space. You may greatly improve your own productivity, which, as the most expensive and highly valued member of your staff, should pay huge dividends.