Are you using your time wisely?

'The more you do, the more you can do'.

'Ask a busy person, if you need something done'.

Farming, is a high mental and physical input business. You can be busy every waking minute of the day, yet some people seem to be able to achieve more in the same allotted time. I know personally that as I have 'matured' my output has trebled. Why? I have given up procrastinating. I make decisions immediately. I try to deal with everything once only, particularly when it comes to scraps of paper. Mobile phones have helped me be an instant decision maker.

How could that affect you as a farmer, to make value decisions quickly? Don't procrastinate, get clarity on where you are going.

There are approximately 10,080 available minutes each week. One week may be very much like another but during that time you will be doing something every minute, even if it's only dreaming!

A breakdown of your working week's activities might indicate what you actually do with those 10,080 minutes. This might appear as follows:
  • Sleeping/dreaming for 8 hours a day 2,400 minutes.
  • Time spent at work excluding lunch breaks 2100 minutes.
  • One hour lunch breaks 300 minutes.
  • Statutory holidays at 11 days per annum 305 minutes.
  • Annual leave 555 minutes.
  • Travelling to and from work for 30 minutes a day 150 minutes.
  • Weekends – complete shutdown for 2 days 2,888 minutes. (don't you wish)
  • Giving an accountable weekly total of 8698 minutes.
The balance might be spent arguing at work, walking around at work, going out for meals, attending family functions, reading the newspaper, dozing at home, arguing or shouting at home, going to the toilet, getting dressed and undressed, or dealing with the rubbish, to be brief.

A solution, if you are a busy person who is short of time, would be to reduce your time spent sleeping from 8 to 7 hours a night. This happens anyway during calving and mating seasons. This would provide a further 420 minutes per week. It is fascinating to realise just what we do with our time. Everybody has the same amount, it's just how you use it that counts.

Many of us only do what's urgent rather than what's important. This is where making a list is essential. Make a note of the important things, do them first and the urgent jobs will then move down the list. By focusing on the urgent things and not doing what is actually important, some people spend their whole lives moving in ever decreasing circles, chasing urgency not importance.

One of the main reasons for people's success is their ability to manage their time effectively and focus on the important issues. In the farming community, I meet many farmers who are not doing either. A good example at this time is rushing around with cows down, but there are no sharp needles. Plan ahead at calving, have everything available on the various vehicles you will use so you are ready for the emergency.


The more you do the more you can do. Time and function allocation is crucial to your farming business success. Procrastination and indecision will rob you, not only of valuable time, but leave you and your team wondering what happened and who was pulling the strings.


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