We would all agree that there is a constant battle between the important and the urgent. Our time and actions are expended based on our thought process and the decision of what is important today. Oftentimes the urgent wins out over the important. There is a way to combat this tendency. Start by deliberately controlling your thoughts in order to evaluate what should be your priority.
It's not uncommon to spend ten hours in a tractor per day in this time of the year. That can add up quickly to as many as 70 hours a week. What do you do with that time? Experts estimate that the mind, on average, may have about 2,100 thoughts per hour. Imagine what could be accomplished if most of those thoughts were focused in one direction.
I heard someone say that life is more like a marathon than a sprint. When you are running a marathon, it is all about endurance – your ability to be resilient. The runner must take control of his mind when multiple thoughts are crashing in; I am too tired to go on. I could take this shortcut. If I just slow down I would still finish. I will quit this time and run another race later. In order to meet the goal, focus is everything.
Here's the challenge. Spend your time in the tractor in focused thought. If you agree that making and carrying out a plan for the future of your farm is important, then think through the details. Every area of your operation needs a plan; farm strategy, a legacy plan, growing the farm, training the next generation. Choose one area and think on the details. Determine a few steps to take to move closer to your goal in that area. Visualize who needs to be involved, and the feeling you will have once you have hit the mark.
The marathon runner puts one foot in front of the other to move toward the finish line. The sole reason he crosses the line is that every step is taken in the same direction – pointed toward the goal. The urgency of thirst does not change his path, nor does the feeling of fatigue.
We must start the marathon of working on our farm business in the same way, one step at a time pointed in the same direction. Begin with your thoughts. Grab the reins and take control. You alone determine the horsepower.
Darren Frye grew up on an innovative, integrated Illinois farm. He began trading commodities in 1982 and started his first business in 1987, specializing in fertilizer distribution and crop consulting. In 1994, he started a consulting business, Water Street Solutions to help Midwest farmers achieve success through financial analysis, insurance, commodity marketing, and legacy planning. The mission of Finance First is to get you to look at spreadsheets and see opportunity, to see your business for what it can be, and to help you build your agricultural legacy. Contact Darren at email@example.com.
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