One of the biggest problems that we are dealing with on FiveDollarFarm right now is time management. There is just so much to do that on some mornings after not having enough coffee we can seem lost. This is exacerbated by the fact that we still work off farm in an operational position where planning is difficult due to constantly fighting fires. Our primary short-term goal is to leave the off-farm job and generate enough income from the farm to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
I know that the Wall Street crowd will not be pleased to hear that this is an increasing trend for many that are simply disillusioned with the status quo. Because we have shifted our focus away from accumulation and into productive quality, we possess an alternative perspective on value and wealth. This also assists us in making our time more valuable because we feel we have eliminated mundane tasks, not by doing them faster or “outsourcing” them, but by making them less mundane. When a task is done joyfully it sometimes seems more like pleasure than a chore thus he spoke, “do what you love.”
Yet still we find a limit to our joyful tasks with the ones that may not yet have become so joyful. How do we deal with these? We have gone back to the basics and utilized the list of to do’s. This time we have broken them down into three categories: short-term, mid-term, and long-term tasks. This has seemed to work rather well for us. We have set aside a time to discuss what should be included in the two latter categories while the short-term list is my daily direction to get to the mid and long-term task completions.
Building on a small success as crossing an item off the list helps to build on future successes by keeping us motivated to move forward with our plans and where we want to go. One particular difficulty this can bring especially in our situation is the dependency of tasks to be completed. For example, I need to prepare the seed starting area in the greenhouse but the water system is not yet fully installed. Sometimes larger projects are forestalled by the amount of time available needed to complete them, the material resources necessary and available, or the prerequisites for that particular task.
This problem is solved by breaking larger projects down into smaller tasks that need to be accomplished. For instance, all materials for the water systems project have now been purchased and are available when the time becomes available to complete that job. Before we know it, the water system is ready and then the next task in line is completed. Remember every now and then that it is a good idea to review previous lists of tasks to see how well you did in completing them and making notes of improvements that can be made the next time a similar task is attempted. Success builds upon itself.
Let us know how you manage your time.