In my house, the running joke is how badly my wife and I suffer from ADD (attention deficit disorder). My wife, a Learning Disabilities teacher for the Cleveland City School system, always talks about issues facing kids who suffer from ADD and, unfortunately for us, our kids see a correlation between that and the forgetfulness that we seem to display.
For example, the day can start out where I’m about to go run errands and I need my sunglasses. So I set out on a quest to find them. As I walk past the front door, I realize I haven’t brought in the mail. I step outside to do that when I notice the front sidewalk needs shoveling.
So I turn around and head to the garage for the shovel, when the phone rings and it’s my mom calling to invite us to dinner. I take the phone and run upstairs to find my wife and make sure that we have no scheduling conflicts. As I head up the stairs, I remember that she’s gone grocery shopping, so I tell my mom that we’ll call her back and let her know if we can come over. I set the phone down, see that one of our cats is asleep on our bed, sit down to pet him, when I remember that I was supposed to go out and pick up some cat food. So I head downstairs to grab my car keys and sun glasses, only I can’t find my sunglasses.
Funny, right?
Only when you think about it, this problem exists throughout all of our lives — at home, at work, in the organizations to which we belong. And it’s not that we’re losing our minds, but we are beset with information overload and distractions. Then, of course, there are all the interruptions from cell phones, pagers, e-mail, and instant messaging.
Does the HVAC Industry suffer the same thing? The sheer amount of data we sift through each day, just to keep up, is amazing. For example, as an industry, we continue to hunt for solutions to complicated issues such as tort reform (will it ever really happen?), better healthcare plans (another pipe dream?), estate tax reform, and even unfair utility competition.
Add in our need to track housing starts, OSHA rules, payroll, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, training, hiring practices, marketing, advertising, competition, technology, the technician shortage, and this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Everyone and everything needs our attention NOW.
So if we suffer a little ADD, well, that’s understandable. How do we deal with it?
Take some time to evaluate and prioritize.

In this issue, we focus on one contracting firm that has managed to create a successful business by paying attention to details. No ADD at Keil Heating and Air Conditioning. Read about how they manage their business and take away some ideas you can apply to your own.
What about marketing? Contractors are often so busy that they don’t have time for it. We provide some simple tips for improving your marketing, courtesy of Matt Michel of the Service Roundtable and from Adams Hudson of Hudson Ink. Plus, we introduce a new section of the magazine called Sheet Metal Today that profiles how the modern sheet metal contractor operates successfully in the current market.
So take a few minutes to focus. Don’t let yourself be interrupted. And see if we can give you some ideas that can help.
One last thing — has anyone seen where I put my phone?