A word from the chairman: time


Time has never been my friend. Even before the grey hairs started appearing, time was never on my side, only slipping out of my grasp. Just when I think my day’s all organised, my list of jobs is lined up, and I’ll be on the couch feeling self-satisfied by 8pm, a task takes longer than expected, or something else crops up and there goes time, ploughing on, doing its own thing.

So, how’s your New Year’s goal progressing, now most of us are back at work, a month has passed and you’re starting to remember why that goal was always pretty low on the to do list?

This year, as you may have guessed, my goal is to tackle my arch nemesis – time – head-on, not so I can do more stuff or achieve more, but so there’s less of the headless chook in my life, and I can enjoy work more, acknowledge and recognise achievements rather than just racing to the next task.

For farmers, who are free to choose their own hours but must juggle short-term deadlines and longer-term goals, Thomas Edison’s saying, “Time is really the only capital any human has and the only thing he can’t afford to lose” seems particularly pertinent.

Thankfully this time around, one year isn’t morphing directly into the next like last year when there was little or no break between seasons due to the late spring rains and heavy stubble loads. It has been dry for most of January and based on Facebook the fish populations across the rivers and seas of southern Australia have taken a hammering.

There is the odd paddock around where that devil time has got the better of someone. Paddocks teeming with heliotrope tell the story of that last day or two of spraying that didn’t quite get done before the family left for holidays.

Hopefully this month there will be time to make full use of the many resources out there to help us with our time management. To take advantage of our agronomists’ advice, many of whom have spent their quiet time, our busy harvest, preparing whole farm plans, summarising key learnings from last year and fine tuning the cropping schedule for this year. Improvements in on-farm time management has been one of the key achievements of the increased use of private agronomists in recent years.

Good time management is as much about other people, and not doing all the jobs yourself but good delegation and trusting the team you work with, or as my brother puts it “no point having a dog and barking yourself.” Good advice from a bloke who would pay his little sister to read his high school English books out loud to him while he lay on his bed, dozing. He now runs his own successful cabinet-making business and finds time for a healthy, slightly obsessive wind surfing passion.

With time of sowing one of the first important decisions to make early in the year I look forward to seeing you all at Trials Review Day when options for early season wheats will be just one of the topics being discussed.

Former Collingwood Football Club high performance coach, Mark McKeon, also had some interesting insights in issue 113 of GroundCover that is worth a read.

So, I’ll finish up there, with five minutes to spare… (no point wasting time by being early) and leave you with a time management cartoon for the mathematicians out there.

Upcoming Events

Become a BCG Member

BCG exists for its members. Research and extension activities are designed to provide members with information and resources that will help them improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of their farm businesses.

Improve your profitability

Receive the latest research, extension and event news direct to your inbox! For a limited time, receive a free technical bulletin when you subscribe.