Life on a country estate is a blessing, but if the ever-expanding list of tasks you need to do gets out of hand, it becomes a major source of stress. Many owners get overwhelmed as the list of services grows. It’s a weight on your shoulders, life on the farm becomes unpleasant and you only worry about things you can’t do.
To succeed on your property, you need to learn to prioritize. If you do it well, you can finish your work and maybe have time to relax. Let’s explore time management on your site.
Group your tasks
You must figure out what needs to be completed now and what can wait. The simplest way to prioritize your work is to consider when it needs to be completed and the consequence of not completing it. Divide services into manageable groups.
Decide which tasks need to be completed daily. These are the most important, but they can also be the quickest to do. For example, feeding the animals. If you don’t do them daily as you should, they will accumulate faster because there’s little room for management when they’re not done.
Daily services are those jobs that must be done regularly and would negatively affect the operation of the property, animal welfare or profit if not completed. Prioritize daily services to ensure your day at the site goes smoothly.
These are the tasks that you have a little more leeway to delay for a day or two, as long as you complete them within a week. Just make sure no animals or plants suffer if you delay completing the work.
Here, for example, the function of cleaning the animal housing fits in. After all, keeping your creations in an unhealthy environment can harm them.
Use your monthly checklist to ensure your daily and weekly tasks are complete. There’s no point in starting bigger jobs if you’re still behind on smaller ones.
Monthly tasks are usually just continuations of daily and weekly tasks. Of course, all properties are different and have their specific tasks, but the important thing is to keep daily weekly and monthly lists.
You can see that if someone starts mixing up tasks at random or has no structure in their list, the sheer amount of to-do becomes overwhelming. Things end up not being done or are done incorrectly. This makes the work even bigger because you have to get more done in less time.
We also have seasonal tasks to ensure the efficient operation of the property. They are closely tied to crops and crops. Like at what time of year to plant to know when the harvest will be. Seasonal tasks are especially important if you live in an area where there are changes or extreme weather conditions, depending on the season you are in.
Seasonal tasks are important because completing certain jobs at the right time of year is essential for food production and animal husbandry for the rest of the year. If you do not have irrigation and the planting is done outside the rainy season, the harvest will be lower than expected or even non-existent.
I could here talk about tasks to be done in each of the seasons, however, Brazil is very extensive territorially and has many different climates, and besides, no one knows your region better than you, do you? If you still don’t have knowledge about these issues, do a specific study on the conditions of your place, I guarantee that this learning will be fundamental in your work in the field.
Don’t forget about annual tasks, they are often easily put off. You need to choose when to do them. Some can be done in the months when the amount of work is less and you have more time, while others need to be completed so that other work can begin.
An example of an annual task is exactly what we are doing now, defining the priorities of the services to be done. A practical example of an annual rural service is the verification and repair of the property’s fences, this service predates the introduction of new animals on the site, after all, you don’t want them to run away.
Mistakes you can make when prioritizing jobs
You will always make mistakes when prioritizing your tasks, but don’t let that stop you. Here are some common prioritization mistakes so you don’t make them too.
Prioritizing many jobs: If you have a lot of work to do, you won’t start anything.
- Not giving enough time: Not only must you prioritize, but you must also be realistic about how long it will take you to complete the task.
- Starting the day late: The later you start, the less time you have for other work. Make the most of the day and get to work as early as possible.
- Be realistic about your skills: Work to your strengths, not schedules. If you prioritize building a chicken coop, but you have no idea how to do it, you are failing to manage your site.
Tips for prioritizing jobs successfully
- Be flexible: It is normal, especially in daily tasks, that during a job another appears and becomes more urgent. That’s life in the countryside, get used to it.
- Ask for help: Country people are much more helpful, your neighbours will help you when you don’t know how to do something, and obviously, help them when they need it.
- Realize that you can’t do everything: Regardless of how much you prioritize, you’ll end up getting overwhelmed at some point. Field service never ends, don’t get frustrated with it.
- Don’t do too many things at once: Be aware, if you are very overloaded, it can mean that you are buying a big fight, especially if you don’t have anyone to help you, you should reduce the number of services you are proposing to do.
- Know the limitations of your land: Make sure you only plan and implement ideas that are sustainable on your land. It’s no use planning something that’s too big for you, and your property can’t sustain or support the size of your venture.
Prioritizing work on the site is a necessity. Failing to do this will make you so far behind that you will start to feel like you can’t do anything.
Living in the countryside is a transition that has to be gradual, not prioritizing and carrying out work generates stressful moments. Then you may regret the decision you made, you will lose the money you invested and say that life in the countryside is impossible, when in fact the management mistake was yours.