Whether you’re striving to schedule regular and quality time with your horse, dreaming of launching an equine business or an equine entrepreneur trying to do more, chances are you don’t feel there are enough hours in the day.
Time management systems suggest reflecting late in the day or early in the morning on major tasks, creating lists, labeling priorities, blocking time, tracking hours, forgetting about the hours and visualizing the results, getting up earlier, going it one day at a time, planning weeks or months or years in advance, focusing in big blocks, allocating only small time periods to get a handle on productivity, etc. etc. etc. You can find as many different opinions on what makes a good approach being productive as you can convictions on the right way to train a horse.
Ask a busy person
I’ve become a big believer in the ‘ask a busy person to do the job if you want something done’ philosophy. Those who have figured out how to effectively manage their time to get more done than most are usually people you can call on when you absolutely must have deliverables on time and as promised. These people give their word and mean it. The truly effective producers aren’t the ones complaining about how busy they are (beware here – such folks generally have a bevy of excuses for why they didn’t deliver – or a list of people to blame for their failure). The ones you can count on tend to make your jaw drop at how much they get done without fanfare or histrionics.
Creating quality horse time
Frankly, circumstances have made me feel a bit overwhelmed of late. Consequently, I’ve struggled a bit to hit my stride in what’s usually a very productive work day. Sometimes there’s just too much for us to handle so we find ourselves paralyzed by the demands. Of course, I do lists, track time and try to prioritize and plan ahead, but sometimes that’s not enough. What I find suffers through all of this is time with the horses. When you’re distracted it not only robs hours from enjoying equine companions, but also prompts reactions you probably don’t want as your tension is transferred.
Instead, it’s important to be there when you’re riding, grooming or just doing basic care. That time can be great for clearing your head and preparing to get focused on the daily grind. I’ve discovered a way to make this so for me.
A different kind of approach
This year, I tried something new that seems to working (so far). At the beginning of the month, I decided on seven major areas to focus on. Each day (they’re all the same throughout the month so there’s no need to tax my brain to remember what the primary goal is on a particular day of the week) starts with 2 hours devoted to a single objective. It’s amazing how that feeling of pride from self-promised productivity creates a mindset and rhythm for incredible accomplishment once the sun rises. Of course, this also provides more flexibility to deal with unexpected time demands because critical tasks are completed before others wake up. Not surprisingly, the horses have responded favorably to undivided attention.
Before February starts, I’ll review accomplishments in these areas and decide which ones should be carried over for another month. Certainly, priorities change too. It’s important to incorporate new client and other demands in shaping next month. Still, since this seemed to work so well as a trial, why not make it a practice for the year? I’ll let you know how it goes.
Enjoying longer days
For anyone seeking to start or grow a business with horses in the mix, being able to find the hours in the day to get everything done with extra time to devote to concentrated horse interactions and/or business planning and marketing activities is critical. Why not try doing something different to help make your dreams come true?
Do you have strategies that have been effective for getting more out of the day? Ways you ensure you have enough quality time to enjoy your horse or horse business? Challenges you want to disclose for possible ideas to resolve? Please share in the comments below.
If you’ve always dreamed of a job that includes horses in the mix, please join us for a free Webinar hosted by Randi Thompson and featuring Lisa Derby Oden and Nanette Levin as presenters on ‘Inventing Your Horse Career.’ It’s February 26th from 7-8 p.m. EST. You can sign up here or go to https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/304809542.
Photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com/