Horsemen are constantly at battle with the slippery
effects of bad weather: mud, snow and ice. The basic
weapons for fighting the slickness: tire chains, snow
blowers, snow plows, four wheel drives and don't
forget borium for horse shoes.
Granted, dealing with slippery footing is a chore, but
with the right tools, the slip and fall count is lowered
When you think about dealing with slippery slopes on
the farm, it's all about the extra traction that
you manage to work in your favor. If you've ever been
stuck on ice on level ground with a vehicle, you know
how just a small push, a few handfuls of sand or tire
chains halt endless wheel spinning to move you
easily on your way.
Vehicle and animal slippage problems are easy to
solve. However, getting traction to get more done in
the business day isn't as simple as getting a friendly
push or putting on the tire chains
When you are stuck waiting for a riding lesson student
to show up, you know what it feels like to have
spinning business wheels.
When cornered by a talkative, well meaning
salesperson while you've been trying to complete the
morning feed schedule, you've lost traction.
The telephone rings all morning with non-business
calls from your mother, your in-laws and the church
social chairman. A.M. has slipped into P.M. and you
haven't made outgoing business calls you need to
make because you have been spun out.
Often, the reason nothing seems to get done in a day
is that you don't have the right tools to get traction on
the jobs on your to-do list. Being stuck and unable to
take the next step forward is prevented when you
equip yourself for forward action instead of spinning.
Try these tips for better traction:
- Start each day with a written plan or list. If you
aren't doing it already, start. A list prioritizes
your activities so that you begin working on the
most important items first. When interruptions
surface, focus on your list and deal with the non
urgent interruptions later.
- Carry your paper planner or electronic
planner with you everywhere you go.
Guessing on dates is eliminated; you are always in a
position to take the next step.
- Be prepared to leave a concise and specific
voice mail message before you make a business
call in case the person you are calling is not available.
Don't dictate a message to the phone attendant if
voice mail is available.
- If you anticipate a meeting may run on too long, set
your cell phone alarm in advance to remind
you of your next appointment. The alarm may be for
an appointment with yourself, but it allows you to
slip out of a meeting that has lost its own
- Carry your business cards with you at all
times. No need to break up the flow of a conversation
to dictate telephone and fax numbers, websites,
mailing addresses and e-mail addresses. If
you're on a roll, keep rolling.
yourself to a break in the morning and afternoon
to review your list or plan for the day and adjust it for
the maximum business benefit for the hours left in the
day. Breaks help eliminate brain clutter and provide
the opportunity to refocus your energy.
- Keep a pen and paper or notebook with
you at all times. The best way to remember important
information for a sale or business agreement is to
capture it in writing immediately.
Lace up your hiking boots, strap on the ice crampons
and put the non skid ideas in your backpack to get
some traction for your business.