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Balancing the Day Job and Starting A Farm Business

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Do you have to work a day job while you’re starting a farm business? All the while hoping that will eventually produce a full-time income?

If so, the idea of having a more balanced life right now may seem extremely hard, almost impossible. 

Someone driving to work and starting a farm business

I don’t want you to feel bad or like you are behind when starting your farm business. You have to earn a living, keep a roof over your head, and keep the animals you do have fed.

This often means working 40 hours plus a week, traveling to and from work, and all the other time sucks that go with a full-time job – plus trying to turn the side hustle into a full-time living. This is hard enough on farming families.

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Not to mention still enjoying life and spending time with your family and enjoying farm life.

It seems impossible at times. But you can balance your day job with the side hustle. In fact, you can do anything in moderation for a season.

But what do you need to do to reach your farming business goals?

Schedule Everything 

Scheduling is so important because it helps you SEE what your day looks like. Using a system like time batching or time blocking will help you with this.

Your mind is not going to give you an accurate picture simply by thinking through your day. Saying this will take 30 minutes, this will take an hour, and so on. 

Use your calendar to block out the right amount of time needed (and no more) for each of the activities that you need and want to do. 

The reason you don’t want to give an extra 10-15 minutes for things is because if you allow yourself to have that much time. Then that is how long it will take you because that’s how long you gave yourself to complete the task.

You don’t underestimate. But also don’t use up more time than is needed.

chickens in the yard that are part of a farm business

Even a few extra sets of 15 minutes a day could add up to a whole hour or more each day that you could get something else done.

When you are strapped for time you have to be very calculated with the time you do have so you use it to its fullest potential.

Block out the time you’re sleeping, the time you’re at your job, and the things you have to do for your family and farm to keep them alive.

And then add in the most important tasks for your farm business first. Then work the rest of the tasks for your farm business into your calendar around those important things. 

calender of someone planning their farm business

Not Everything Is Important To Grow Your Farm Business

This is something that you will learn over time. When you start googling things about agricultural business or really anything for that matter.

You will start to see ads pretty much everywhere because all of these platforms can tell what you’ve been searching for. I know, I know. It’s a little scary but it’s true.

You will start to see ads from almost everyone who is going to do their best to tell you that their tool, subject, or method for business growth is going to be the most important thing to grow your business.

Why? 

Because that is what grew their business and they want success for others. Which is a good thing. We can’t be mad at them for that. But the truth is everyone’s business is different. Everyone’s audience is different. 

You have to figure out your own business and audience as far as the best way to talk to your people. Something that is important to one business owner is not going to be as important to the other because their audience doesn’t care about it. 

So when you’re trying to grow your business choose one or two things that are the most important and that will get your time first. The rest will get done if you have time and if you don’t have time to do the task then that’s okay. 

Don’t forget that this is also true for your home life. There are certain things that are not as important in a season of trying to grow your business it may not matter that you have a pretty decorated room the only important thing is that it’s neat and clean. Don’t push yourself to do things that are not as important as they might seem at the beginning for both life and business. 

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Get Up 1 Hour Earlier 

Sleep is important. You really should sleep 7 to 9 hours per night, so don’t do this forever unless you can still get in 7 hours a night, but definitely no fewer than six hours. 

But maybe your getting up one hour earlier means getting up before the rest of the house wakes up so you can have some uninterrupted time to work, plan, or strategize your agriculture business.

cup of coffee on the bed

It helps if you fall asleep fast. Set your room up to be a sleeping sanctuary, so you can get right to sleep faster, and you may hopefully wake up earlier without any problems.

As much as I hate to admit it working out or getting enough physical activity in EVERY DAY. Will help you fall asleep faster. 

Go to Bed 1 Hour Later

This will work better if you are a natural night owl. Like me.

To get another hour in your day, you may choose instead to stay up after everyone else goes to bed. I am going to be honest though. This is not the best for a married couple in my opinion. There is something about going to sleep together that is unifying.

Again, double-check your sleep schedule to sure that you stay healthy and are sleeping enough. However, you can do this with less sleep for a short period of time. Another idea is to just do it three out of seven nights. 

a bed with three pillows

Work During Lunch 

If you have a good lunch hour at your day job, you can bring your laptop and get some work done in the break room, in your car, or in the park (or a nearby café). If you don’t want to use your laptop have a tool like ClickUp, Trello, or Google Docs on your phone to edit posts and write content on the go. You never know when you will be stuck waiting on someone to quit talking.🙄 Hubs I love you dearly but gosh….😜

You can get a lot done in thirty minutes if you break things down and have a plan for that batch of time. You don’t want to have to think about what you are going to do. You already know and can get right to work. 

For example, to write a blog post, you will need:

  • a title
  • an outline
  • the main point you want to make
  • keywords, and so forth.
pancakes of someone working during lunch

You can work on one part at a time in chunks. (Or if your brain is just gushing with words around one main blog post topic then use that to your advantage and get that post done as much as you can.

If you are writing a month’s worth the content out at a time I would work on the key points for all of your blog posts at once. Then maybe all of your keywords at another time so that way your mind can do that one type of task at a time. 

Instead of switching back and forth, your brain can focus on one thing and you can work a lot faster.

Work During Your Weekends 

This is probably the hardest part to accomplish when you’re trying to find time to get work done as you work a job and start a side business. 

But weekends are often the only time you really have to get things done, especially if they take longer blocks of time.

Instead of using the entire weekend, use parts of your weekend in two to four-hour chunks to get more done but still give yourself time to see a movie or spend with your family. 

Delegate More to Your Family

You aren’t in this alone if you have a family. They can do a lot more. Start setting up your family to be automatic too.

Set up a family calendar that everyone adds their events and places they have to be. Set up a chore list so that everyone can help with the farm chores. 

Teach kids to wash their own clothes and take care of their own stuff without you. By the time they’re 9 to 11 years old, they should be mostly self-sufficient. Yes, they may still need prompting but they can still go do it themselves. 

kitchen spoons

Eliminate Busy Work

This is similar to my previous point of choosing what is important. Stop doing things that feel like work but are not really. 

For example, if you make a lot of lists and you never look at them again, that’s just a waste of time.

I spent a lot of time and wasted money trying to make a digital system for managing my business work for me. Because EVERYONE said their business ran at its best when they used a digital tool.

But my brain just doesn’t like digital. I can’t force myself to use it even after I had it all set up. 

My brain loves paper. It feels real and tactical. Yours might to.

There are some things that I leave digital like writing blog posts and researching keywords because I have to have them in digital form to publish the content. So it doesn’t make sense that I would outline a post on paper unless I was somewhere and I had an idea and paper was all I had.

So in that sense, I can make digital work but as far as tasks and strategizing go I need paper.

Stop Multitasking 

You really can only do one thing at a time, even though you may feel like you’re good at multitasking. 

Moms often believe they multitask very well since their kids are still alive. But honestly, it just means that you’re good at switching between tasks. The truth is studies show that multitasking adds about 30 percent more time to any given task.

You will get far more done if you focus on ONE thing at a time especially when you are working on your farm business

Want to prove me wrong?

Time yourself writing a blog post when your brain is clear with nothing else mulling around inside your mind. THEN try writing a blog post and sing a song at the same time.

How much slower were you? I’m guessing a lot.

books

Outsource to Contractors Or Digital Tools for Business and Home

This used to drive me nuts but hang with me. Just like you can delegate to your family, you can also delegate to a team that you outsource work. I know I know you might be thinking I’m starting a business to make money so that should tell you that I don’t have much, to begin with, let alone enough to be giving it to other people. 

I totally understand where you’re coming from and I was there too. But if you find a little thing that will save you a bit of time even if it’s just a few minutes each time that adds up. 

Whether it is a digital tool or hiring another person keep your mind open to finding a way to automate it or have someone else do the work for you. Especially the things that you are not good at. 

You can outsource work from home, like housework and yard work, and you can also outsource lots of work in your business, such as customer service, graphic design, social media marketing, writing, and more.

If you can save up money to invest in human resources, you’ll build your business where you want it much faster. 

cozy country home

Organize and Systemize your Business and Home 

Almost anything you do in life can be made better with proper organization and systems put into place. Work toward getting your home and home office very organized and GET RID OF STUFF!

The peace you will have is so freeing you will be amazed at how well you can work when you have just what you need. You dont need 15 pretty notebooks you need 1 or two and a scratch pad for quick notes. 

You don’t need 50 pens you need two or three at your reach and the rest can stay in a supply box as the ones you are using die out. 

Create systems for the things you need to do. For example, when you get the mail, do it the same way each time, over the trashcan. 

When you put the important things into your schedule first, it’s more likely to get done.

For one person, ensuring they spend time reading to their kids before bed is something that cannot change, for another, date night with their spouse cannot change. 

country office

Whatever it is for you, remember that. Those are the things you should keep doing because that’s what will make your life feel more fulfilling and balanced – no matter how busy you are.

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