Procrastination is a homestead killer

Procrastination is a homestead killer.  It’s a bold statement, but I think it is one of the major reasons people fail at homesteading or farming.

[proh-kras-tuhney-shuh n, pruh‐]
The act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.

We all find things to do to put off the real work that needs to be done – those ‘delay tactic’ tasks.  How many times have you decided to work on one smaller farm problem knowing that what really needed to be done is fixing the barn roof or mucking out the chicken coop.  While you justify that the smaller task also needs to be done, what you are really doing is procrastinating!   Of course, watching TV and even blogging can be a form of procrastinating! (I do need to repair the roof on the back of our barn instead of writing about it 🙂  )

Procrastination is a homestead killer

Relaxing while the barn roof needs fixing!

Procrastination is a homestead killer

The real issue is that not doing one one task can lead to more difficult or expensive work. My example of this is simple.  I need to fix the roof on the back of my barn because it leaks. The leaking means the timber of the barn frame is getting wet and will eventually rot.  The feed containers stored in the barn run the risk of getting moldy and have to be discarded.   Some areas are cleared away and have become ‘dead’ zones until the roof is fixed.  So by not fixing the roof – by procrastinating – a network of other problems are waiting to happen.

I am not suggesting that every homestead effort will fail if you are the worlds best (or should that be worst) procrastinator – but it certainly will not be as productive, or even as rewarding, if you keep putting off the tasks that need to be done to maximize the land you have.

Procrastination is a homestead killer – but here is the solution

There really is a simple solution to beat procrastination.  It is building a task list of all the things that need to be done and then add PRIORITIES to the list.   The simplest way to add the priorities is to use this scale:-

“A” tasks –  critical tasks that need to be done urgently for the protection of my family, animals, house or other infrastructure.  e.g. fix dangerous electrical outlet OR tasks that have tight deadlines e.g. harvest a crop.

“B” tasks – important tasks that need to be done that underlie major improvements to your farm. e.g. turn compost, spread manure on field.

“C” tasks – necessary tasks that need to be done to keep the homestead running but have less of a deadline.

“D” tasks – other tasks that are not critical to the homestead and have no deadlines.

You can also just use :  Urgent, Important, Background tasks if that works for you.

Place your list in plain sight (we use the refrigerator door and a white board pen) and allow anyone to add items to the list.  Check it every morning and work out what you will work on that day.  Check it again at night and mark off what you have accomplished.   It will take a little practice – but you will be amazed at what it can do for you.

What this “list making” does is focus your mind on the tasks that need to be done and which are the the tasks that must get your effort first.  Having the list does not really solve the problem, but provides you with a plan to use your energy to get those important tasks done…and allows you to “map” how many tasks you can accomplish.  There is nothing better that being able to cross a big task off the list

Procrastination is a homestead killer – here is the reward!

As well as getting some focus and also getting some tasks done, you can set yourself rewards for doing tasks.   Why not add a reward to each task,  like if you get the top two tasks completed, you get to go fishing for a day.

My reward after a good day on the farm

My reward after a good day on the farm

Procrastination is one of the major hurdles you need to get over to make any of our lifes’ adventures really successful.   Good things happen not to those who wait, but to those who get it done!

Have you seen these posts?

Homestead primer – 4 tips for starting out 

Ten tips for choosing a perfect homestead

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About Gaz

I'm an Australian transplanted to rural Maine where I live on a small property with my wife and two youngest children. Life about family, work and trying the make the planet a better place for everyone.
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