Hobby Farm Dreams Hamburg MN (C) Hobby Farm Dreams LLC
Hobby Farm Dreams...a site dedicated to those who dream to farm

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Living the Dream...
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Leadership - People, Process, Systems
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Planning Your Week
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Planning Your Week

When we first started our farm my wife would always write out a to do list for the weekend.  The list included everything she thought we needed to get done as well as the everything else we planned on doing.  Her list drove me nuts.  We moved to the country for a simpler life, I worked during the week and figured that I knew what needed to be done.  I didn't need no list to live by...or so I thought.   Finally, one Saturday morning as she was reading her to do list to me, and as I rolled my eyes at her, she asked "how do you manage your work week?"

I answered "I start each Monday morning out by reviewing my calender for the week and making a list of all the critical things I need to get done, meetings I must attend. etc."  After the words came out of my mouth, the light bulb finally went on.  She had been spending months trying to get me to do what was a weekly work habit for me at work.  

Living the Dream Advice -  Create a weekly plan that is a comprehensive list of everything you need to get done for the week  

So how does this work?  First off, I have only one calendar, in my case my work Outlook calendar is were I put all my scheduled events.  Maintaining a two separate calendars is a waste of time.  Put all your appointments on one calendar.  If I've scheduled a hay pickup for Sunday afternoon, its on my calendar.   I don't limit my work calendar to just work events.  Nobody reviews my calender except for me and if they did so what is the harm if someone would see that we're having dinner with my daughter and husband on Saturday night?  By maintaining one calendar, I have a global view of my week at any given time.

Secondly, each Monday morning I create my plan for the week.  This again includes farm, family and work.   I make sure I plan my critical to do items.  For example, if I know on Tuesday, that I have a late afternoon meeting or a work project that is due and I most likely will be late, I plan to fill the water tanks on Monday evening...just in case I run late.  If we're having dinner on Saturday with my daughter and son in law, I plan must do Saturday chores to be done by noon...just in case something takes longer than planned.   People always ask me how can I manage a full time job and run an active farm.   The answer is simple...planning.

So how do you plan for events that you can't plan for?  For example, my boss could ask me to dive into a project that I didn't plan for.  That one is simple, because I have a plan, I aways have a good idea of what can move.  And, if I think nothing can move, I can quickly have a discussion with my boss and together we can typically re-prioritize.   So what about events or issues that you can't plan for.  For example, you not paying close attention when driving the skid-loader and take out a section of fence and gate that must be repaired before the animals escape.  Again, this is easy when you have a plan.  Clearly you must fix the fence, so something must move.  I might reschedule my dinner or change the hay pickup time.  But, what if nothing can move?

Living the Dream Advice - Make sure you plan for the unplanned events

When you build your weekly plan, make sure you include some unplanned time.   One of the worst things you can do is to totally schedule your day.   Yes, we have busy lives, however you don't need to be so busy that every minute of your life is consumed.  On my calendar, I mark blocks of time called "Tom Time."  These are blocks of time that I reserve for me.  I might have a busy day of meetings and "Tom Time" might end up late in the afternoon, which means, I'm planning to be home late that night, which means chores might night start until late or that I'll need help that evening to get things done.  I do the same thing on the weekend.   Unplanned events happen...to solve this issue plan for them.

In summary, planning your week is a good thing and should include everything you need to get accomplished.   Start by making sure that you have one calendar that contains all your must do events.   Then, make sure that you plan for unplanned events by establishing blocks of me time.  Trust me...you'll find that you have more time than you thought.

Written By:  Tom Rivers 2/17/2014


Rivers Critters Ranch, LLC

We own and operate Rivers Critters Ranch, LLC, which was founded in 1997.  As the name suggests the farm belongs to the animals we seem to be just the caretakers.

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This site is dedicated to those of us who have dream to farm.   Inside you will find information, stories, pictures and advice outlining the experiences of a city born family who acted upon the dream to move to the country and  live on a farm.  Join us as we share our adventures! 

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