A stitch in time #smartfarming

Farming is a demanding job. It requires a high level of knowledge and ability in animal husbandry, machinery management, feed management and many other areas.

It can also encroach into family time, particularly during calving and harvesting. Your time is an important resource. Here are some practical tips to help you plan your time more effectively.1

Prioritise

Prioritising is a must. In other words, spend your time doing the most important work first. Do a list of the jobs to be done around the farm and list them based on their importance.

Know the difference between urgent and important. Something might be urgent to someone else but is it urgent enough for you to ignore an important job that you need to complete?

Get help

Tap into temporary help to do important but time-consuming and routine tasks. For instance, if your invoices are a mess or the yard is untidy consider hiring someone for a short period.

Categorise

Organise your work into categories like “do today,” “action needed this week” and “ideas” Sort tasks and jobs as they come to you.

Do not take on too much work

It’s generally recommended you plan only about 70 per cent of your day. Leave the rest of the day for interruptions and unexpected events, which is something that farmers are all familiar with given the nature of the job. Also, set aside some time for planning and thinking about ideas that could improve the efficiency of your farm business.

Focus

Do not try to multi-task. Concentrate completely on one task at a time. You will be able to work faster and to a higher standard. This is also a much safer way of working and will help prevent farm accidents from happening.

Do not skip meals

After a few hours, even when you are doing something you enjoy, or really engaged in the task at hand, there is still a tendency to burn out. Energy and productivity are improved by taking a break and thinking or talking about something else for a while. If you have fallen into the trap of thinking you will be more productive by working through lunch, the reverse may actually be true.

Family time

Spending time with your family and friends is important. Try adjusting your work so you can spend a set amount of quality time with them, if possible.

Book holidays

It’s important to take a break from the busy life of a farming. Make sure you take at least one short break a year. It often leads to an increase in productivity on your return.

Smart Farming is a cross-agency digital guide to help improve farm returns with better resource management. The portal is available here.

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