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           to make better

              use of farm

               office time

        These tips will help any farmer become a more efficient manager.

        I’ve been tailing farmers for nearly 40 years now and I can’t  5. Make yourself accountable. One way to overcome
        think of anyone who likes farm office work. Well, a handful.  procrastination is to disclose the project and deadline to
        And usually they are the most profitable. Maybe that tells you  someone else. By doing so you automatically make yourself
        something.                                             more accountable to finish the project.

        For the rest of us who hate sitting at a desk, there’s no getting  6. Make every meeting effective. Over half of meetings are a
        away from it. When it’s cold out and the bookwork calls your  waste of time, according to studies. They are either too long or
        name, you gotta do it.                                 meander because they do not follow a written agenda. They
                                                               have no purpose. For every meeting have a written agenda
        So, how can you get through it with speed and efficiency, so
                                                               and a set time limit. Have a strong chairperson and make sure
        there’s time left for snowmobiling or equipment projects in the  someone is there to take notes. Make sure the right people
        machine shed?
                                                               attend and dismiss them when they are no longer needed.
        1 Set goals and priorities. What do you need to work on  The purpose of a meeting is to exchange information, define
        today? What should you be working on by next week? Write
                                                               goals, build group commitment, and induce action or
        down your goals and share them with your team.
                                                               decisions. It also offers opportunities to develop leadership
        Communicate your goals with your team and make sure you  skills.
        ask for input. This is the best way to get 'buy in' from the folks  7. Do the most important thing first. Personal productivity
        who work with you.
                                                               specialist Gina Trapani calls this "running a morning dash."
        Tell your team you are going to go over plans and priorities at  When she sits down to work in the morning, before she checks
        least once a week with them. Part of a manager's job is  any email, she spends an hour on the most important thing on
        making sure everyone on the team knows what the farm’s  her to-do list.
        goals are.
                                                               Even if you can't get the whole thing done in an hour, you'll be
        2. Don't leave email sitting in your in box. Take action on an  much more likely to go back to it once you've gotten it started.
        email as soon as you read it. “The ability to quickly process  This dash works best if you organize the night before so when
        and synthesize information and turn it into actions is one of the  you sit down to work you already know what your most
        most emergent skills of the professional world today," says  important task of the day is.
        Merlin Mann, a procrastination specialist and author.
                                                               8. Learn how to handle interruptions. If you are working and
        Organize email in file folders. If the message needs more  the phone rings, try to have your calls screened or sent to
        thought, move it to your to-do list. If it's for reference, print it  voice mail. Before you return calls, batch them together and
        out. If it's a meeting, move it to your calendar.      gather as much information as you need to make a decision
                                                               during the call.
        3. Start a to-do list and prioritize actions. A to-do list is the
        single most common denominator among effective people.  Likewise, there are ways to handle visitors. Place things on the
                                                               office chairs in front of your desk. If they do sit down, limit the
        Use a time log to record everything you do during a day. It may  conversation to three minutes, then stand up and explain you
        be boring but it is an effective tool to weed out the things you  have other business to attend to. Remember, when someone
        should eliminate or put lower on your priority list. It also helps  asks for your time, always ask, 'what's it about,' first.
        you deal with things you don't anticipate, that make a mess of
        your to-do list.                                       9. Learn to say no. Why can't people say no? It stems from
                                                               the basic human need to feel needed and important. Don't be
        4. Learn to delegate. Take part of your job and give it to  afraid to say, "I'd like to help you, but right now I have to finish
        someone else. Don't delegate to free up time, do it to grow the  this for so and so."
        skill sets of the people who work with you on your team.
                                                                      Wilson, Mike. “9 ways to make better use of farm office time.” Accessed March 2, 2021
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