Reduce stress with a solid business plan and time management
Farm operators are familiar with unknowns. Many elements can impact operations and the bottom line – for better or worse. And this can feel stressful. But there are many knowns as well. Finding a sense of control within it all can help to ease stress and empower you.
Stress comes from two primary sources: things we can control and things we can’t. Creating a solid business plan and practicing time management can ease stress and empower you.
A well-designed business plan can help to mitigate uncertainties and lower the number of “relentless, swirling thoughts in your mind,” Bonnie Taylor, a registered social worker and psychotherapist in Wellesley, Ont., says.
88 per cent of farmers who follow a written business plan said it contributed to their peace of mind.
“Write down the concerns that are taking up your mental space,” she says. Then, distinguish controllable from uncontrollable worries. If you can control it, include it in your business plan. The plan can then stand as a beacon of hope, giving you a realistic, practical guide that considers all your knowns.
A thorough business plan allows you to see your business at a granular level. Seeing this and adjusting it periodically can help to reduce stress and worry.
Understanding precisely where you and your business stand on a financial basis also allows you to identify your strengths and areas of potential risk. It’s then easier to prioritize your energy investment, make decisions and effectively plan for the future.
“A business plan can also help you seize control of one of your most precious resources: time,” says Taylor. She suggests keeping a time journal to gain a sense of exactly how much time you are spending on tasks. Then, adjust and allocate more or less time for health, family, hobbies or other important life elements.
If you’ve postponed business planning and time management, consider it an opportunity to take control. Time management, prioritizing tasks and setting meaningful goals is a form of self-care. It helps you, your family and your business.
In 2020, Farm Management Canada conducted a national study exploring the connections between farm business management and mental health. In the study, 88 per cent of farmers who follow a written business plan said it contributed to their peace of mind, while 77 per cent of farmers who don’t follow a written business plan believe having one would give them peace of mind.
To craft a business plan that will fortify your enterprises and safeguard your peace of mind, try FCC’s free business plan bundle.
From an AgriSuccess article by Peter Gredig.