My mother's family farmed in Alberta and I spent many summers helping with the farm work. Farmers have an approach to work that I think can be applied to many areas of our lives and careers to provide greater success.
Be Prepared To Work
Most farmers approach each day with the intention of working hard to move the farm forward. They start with routine chores, then spend the day doing work according to what is appropriate.
Most successful people - including artists, musicians, writers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and homemakers - treat each day as an opportunity to get things done. If you want to write a novel, it is amazing what can be done by simply committing to write at least a little bit each work day.
Plan for Today, Plan for Tomorrow
A farmer balances daily tasks and long term projects. One morning the weather and the time may be just right to bale hay, plant a crop, cultivate, weed, or start to harvest. The farmer also needs to be aware what is coming up and order supplies, arrange for sales, and plan activities for the next days, weeks, months, and years. It is part planning and part flowing with what the day calls for. Rainy days can be used for planning and maintenance tasks.
Whatever you want to accomplish, having short-term and long-term goals in mind when deciding what to do each day will help.
Each Task According to Season
A farmer needs to do appropriate things at appropriate times. In an average year, there will be a date range for planting specific crops, a time for harvest, and a time for other tasks. Doing the right things at the right time will help you succeed.
Some crops take a long time to mature. Sometimes drought, floods, or other perils may wipe out a crop for one season. It is always good to have some grain or other harvest in storage to cover the lean times.
Try to have a little buffer to carry you through lean times or times of development.
Weather the Storms
Storms are part of life for farmers and most of us. Do what you can to protect yourself and find appropriate things to do during the storm.
Know When To Rest
A typical work week on the family farm included working six days a week with Sunday for church and family events. Sunday was an opportunity to recharge the body and reconnect with friends and family. It is good practice to balance regular hard work with some time to enjoy some of the more social aspects of life.
Your Next Steps
No matter what you would like to accomplish in your life, you can move towards achieving your goals by:
- Writing down your short and long-term plans.
- Getting into the practice of doing something towards achieving your goals every day.
What do you want to accomplish?
If you would like the farming experience without buying a farm, there is an excellent game for iPad and other devices called Hey Day by Supercell that gives you an addictive experience of developing a farm that involves crops, animals, machinery, creating products, selling, buying, building, and a lot of fun. It is a very engaging game where you need to be very active in farming to succeed. Please remember to take time to work on your real life!
– Greg Dixon