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Where will your time be spent best today?

Getty/iStockphoto clock and dollar signs
Look to the future to know where to invest valuable time around the farm.

I’ve written several times in this blog about the role of the farm’s leader and all the different “hats” they can wear during a single day. That’s because the areas of responsibility that the leader touches are quite varied.

I’ve also addressed how when you’re the leader, it can sometimes be tough to know how and where to spend the workday. This is in terms of where the leader’s time is best spent – not spending time only “putting out fires” so to speak (the urgent issues that can pop up), but also where their time is most valuable. That means spending time doing things that only you as the leader can do – that no one else in your operation can do.

Time tables

So the question “Where will your time be spent best today?” can be a very tricky one for farm leaders. It’s almost impossible to answer unless you have already gotten very clear about this first: Where is your farm headed in the future?

Without knowing where you want your farm to be headed in the future, you can’t really know where your time leading and managing the operation will be best spent today. It’s too difficult to make that type of evaluation without a vision of the future to hold it up against.

Have you spent some time with other leaders in your operation, your spouse, your advisors – or a combination of all of them – to talk about what the future of your operation will be? Do you as the leader or leadership team know the larger vision and what you’re going to do on a day-to-day basis to get there, step by step?

Breaking it down

The step-by-step part is really important. Most people, when faced with uncertainty about the future tend to do nothing. Until the action plan is broken down into bite-sized, day-to-day pieces, it’s very difficult for people to be able to take action toward future goals in meaningful ways each day.

As the farm leader, first make sure that you and your leadership team (whether that’s you and your spouse, or a larger team of people) are on the same page about what you all want the farm’s future to be like in the next 5-10 years.

Then you can work to break that down into goals for the next 5 years, the next year, month, and so on – down to the level of day-to-day goals, and communicate those steps to the other people in your operation.

Doing this will help everyone – including yourself – be able to answer the question: Where will my time be best spent today? The answer will vary depending on each person’s role in the operation, but each person’s answer should come back to the larger goals of where the farm is headed in the future.

Market goals

How does your farm’s marketing plan fit in with the future goals for your operation? That’s important because marketing is one of the top business drivers impacting the level of success that the farm operation can experience.

Farmers have found that working with our market advisors has helped ease their minds. The advisors help farmer clients with planning and execution around marketing decisions and help keep them up to speed on the current rapidly-changing grain market situation – and how it impacts their operation.

Get a free week-long trial of our marketing information service (MarketView Basic). Your free trial includes regular audio and video updates, technical analysis, recommendations and more. Learn more about our market advisor programs and offerings at

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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