This winter I fed 60 rolls of hay one at a time using just the front end loader of the tractor. I had a spear for the back of the tractor setting there. I am perfectly capable of hooking it up in about 5 minutes, but for whatever reason or excuse I had, every time I fed hay I was too busy to put it on. That means I made 60 trips across the field instead of thirty. That means I spent an extra five minutes every two bales because I “didn’t have time to hook up my rear spear.”
Now, the moral of this story is not that you need to cut out feeding hay…that is another discussion all together(hay is a tool just like polywire or mineral)…..The moral is that because I neglected that small thing, it cost me in several different ways. Time, fuel, impact to pastures….all this could have been reduced because I did not do this five minute task.
We all have these small things every day that have a big impact in the long run. They cost us time, energy, and effort. “It’s not the mountain that wears you down….it’s the pebble in your shoe.” There are a few easy things we can do to help overcome these small obstacles.
• Spend Time Planning – A lot of time five minutes of planning could save you hours of work. Pay attention to what you can do to make your operation more efficient.
• Prioritize Tasks – I am like a squirrel in the road sometimes…I can’t decide which way to go so I get run over. Prioritize a to do list and stick to it. Think both long and short term. Try to stay ahead of problems.
• Follow the Two Minute Rule – Planning is good, but pointless without action. If a task can be done in two minutes or less, do it. It will be done, over with, and you can move on with life.
• Cut Excuses – We all have things we like doing on the farm , and things we hate. Don’t make the enjoyable things become burdens because you keep neglecting the annoying tasks.
• Don’t Do Stupid Things – This was almost the title of this article. Pretty self explanatory.
This is a five minute brainstorm by me. It is not a list set in stone. The main idea is to spend some time thinking about the small things you can do to make your life and farm better.