Alan Weiss is my mentor’s mentor, so naturally I subscribe to Alan’s work. One of Alan’s recent
newsletters contained a short piece about The Human Condition: Procrastinating.
Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of it at some point. Alan writes, “We procrastinate out of sloth (I don’t
want to get up); out of fear (what if it’s not good enough); out of lack of consequences (they won’t do
anything about it); out of ignorance (I didn’t know there was a financial penalty after that date). We all
do it, it’s not a matter of obliterating the habit, it’s a matter of priority.”
While all of the farmers I speak with (be they clients or not) have never procrastinated at getting
equipment ready for the field, many admit to procrastinating when it comes to management of their
business data, analyzing information, and pretty much anything to do with bookwork.
Is procrastination a matter of priority and not habit? No argument that doing books isn’t a lot of fun;
shuffling paper in an office (or at the kitchen table) isn’t a task that everyone is fighting to do. Yet it is
clear to all of us that there is significant, sometimes immeasurable benefit to keeping our business
information current and up to date.
I am very proud of one of my clients this week. He was facing a very uncomfortable situation that will
lead to further discomfort as time goes on. We had discussed an idea or two to possibly defer the
immediate pain, but in the end, he chose not to procrastinate. He faced this situation head on and took
what was coming his way. We’re working hard to deal with it even though seeding is ready to start on
his farm. He realizes that while getting the crop in the ground is highest priority, there is no benefit to
allowing this unpleasant situation to fall lower on the priority ranks. His approach to handling these
issues is an example for everyone.
Do you give yourself permission to let unpleasant tasks slide down the priority list?
Are you aware of the potential gains missed, or losses realized, from not giving financial matters greater
Are you allowing your conflicting priorities to pull you left when you need to go right?
From the Home Quarter
I make it my business to ensure you are keeping your financial management data up to date, current,
and usable in real time. Six-month old information is not valuable when making business decisions
today. Would you write a cheque today based on your November bank statement? I help farm
businesses realize the priority that needs to be placed on financial management practices and help them
understand the financial ramifications of improved or decreased efforts in doing this critical
management function. Alan Weiss writes, “I’ve never procrastinated about eating the lobster that I
ordered. We ought to treat our priorities in life the same way, as a great meal that can spoil if you just
let it sit.” Managing your farm’s information is certainly not akin to a lobster supper, but both will spoil if
you let them sit.
Keeping your information managed and up to date is a lot less painful that what my client faced this
week. He made it a priority when he didn’t have to. What’s your priority?
If you need help in prioritizing your financial management functions, determining your
True Cost of Production, identifying opportunities to reduce operating & overhead costs, or applying
analysis to your management data, then email or call me.