Goals drive on-farm productivity

Goals drive on-farm productivity


Agribusiness
BUSY PERIOD: During the very busy times of seeding and harvest, graingrowers must be as productive as possible each day.

BUSY PERIOD: During the very busy times of seeding and harvest, graingrowers must be as productive as possible each day.

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It is not uncommon for a normal greeting to include something like, "Have you been busy?"

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It is not uncommon for a normal greeting to include something like, "Have you been busy?"

My normal response is, "Yes, I have been busy, not sure I've been productive though". Being busy and being productive are two entirely different things.

So, if anyone can enlighten me on how to master this subject I am all ears. On the farm, I was constantly amazed how much work was done in the crunch times of seeding and harvest. But at some other times of the year I'm unsure what I did all day.

There are many apps, tips and strategies to remain productive, and they are useful for a while, but then old habits come back. Some people seem to be productive day after day, and I am in awe of these individuals.

When you are doing something you enjoy, you tend to get the job done with enthusiasm. Other tasks are not so enjoyable, and they inevitably take longer.

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Becoming overwhelmed and procrastinating are other issues that come up. One leads to the other, and they are, in some ways, interchangeable terms. As well as running my agri-consulting business I am also halfway through a law degree. Exams are looming later this month, and the pressure is on. This is no different to events on the farm that are time dependent, such as seeding, harvest, shearing or vintage.

Apparently we have thousands of thoughts every day - no wonder it can be difficult to keep focused on the job at hand. We have all heard about the athlete or surgeon that has to block out other thoughts and concentrate on the job. For the surgeon it maybe a life or death situation.

Breaking down tasks into manageable pieces is one way to make progress. It is much easier to have the next small target in mind, and just keep moving forward until the next target is reached, and eventually you will get there.

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But there is nothing like a big goal to motivate you. Goals are different for everyone, and some may be achieved in a very short period of time. For some people, their chosen goal may take a lifetime to achieve.

From what I have observed, discipline is the major driver to achievement. Easier said than done of course, except for those few individuals that seem to naturally be able to do this.

The 80/20 rule is a real concept, not just a throwaway line. I really do think that 80 per cent of your results will come from concentrating on the 20pc of the things that really matter. It's really easy to get caught up in the minutiae of life. Again, this sounds easy. Of course the difficulty is identifying the crucial 20pc of activities to concentrate on.

Planning and organisation is the key to a successful outcome. We normally know exactly what we need to do and when we need to do it.

Just making a start works wonders - it's amazing how easily it flows, if you just get cracking.

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