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How To Organize and Manage Farm Work Effectively

Organize and Manage Farm Work

Organizing and managing farm work effectively requires careful planning, delegation, and utilization of resources. Overall, you will need to understand and balance your goals, and your resources (land, knowledge, time, money). Then you can better understand what you need to do, gather, learn, or who to hire to run a successful farm.

Organize and Manage Farm Work More Effectively

Organizing and managing farm work efficiently is essential for maximizing productivity and ensuring the smooth operation of your farm. This doesn't mean being overbearing to your farmworkers. You're all on the same team and you should be working to bring your team together for a common goal.

Below we have outlined a few ways to stay organized, and use your time more efficiently. By implementing these strategies and staying organized, you can effectively manage farm work and increase productivity on your farm.

Create a Farm Plan:

This plan is an important first step in any farm business. Creating a comprehensive farm plan involves thorough research, goal setting, and strategic decision-making. This starts with a business plan and ends with implementation. Often, folks get that reversed as they get started with their new farm. New businesses, including farms, need to be deliberate, innovative, and smart. How you do that is part of the fun! Be creative, bring your spin to your farm, and innovate, but use farming methods and business methods that are proven and fact-based.

Find Your Focus

Focus on what counts and brings revenue. In business and economics, there is an 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle. To summarize, Vilfredo Pareto found that when there are too many things to do, selecting the actions with the most positive outcome will be bring the most beneficial outcome. If you are focused on what will generate revenue for your farm you will have a positive outcome. Of course, this theory doesn't take into account those small problems that steamroll so don't ignore problem areas. But generally, this solution will help you find focus in your business and not take on too much at once.

Prioritize Tasks

There will always be more on your To Do list, than time to do it. The key is to identify critical tasks that need immediate attention and prioritize the ones you need to do first. Some strategies you might try are prioritizing tasks based on seasonal demands and deadlines or tackling one large task on a specific day each week. There are many ways to get the same list of tasks done, it just might be accomplished more efficiently if done one way or another. How you do this depends on your management stype and your farm.

Develop a Farm Schedule:

  1. Create a schedule: Create a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule for farm activities. This can be in a farm management software like Farmbrite or a free app like Google Calendar (or both, use the Farmbrite sync feature). You can do this on paper or digitally, whatever works for your organizational style and your budget. What matters is using one calendar as a team. When you have your schedule and reminders all in one place it makes things very easy to find, check on, and remind yourself (or another team member) to do later.

  2. Prioritize Tasks: Write out the most important tasks each day, for each person on your team. These should be the first to do each day. Then go from there with your tasks.

  3. Plan Ahead: Spend a small amount of time at the end of the day completing projects and organizing your next day. Then when you come in the following day you're already organized and ready to get to work.

  4. Use Time Management Strategies For Farm Organization: Organization starts with time management. Here are multiple strategies you can implement to get your farm organized.

    1. Do the Hardest Things First: If it has to get done, and you're going to procrastinate, just do it first and get it over with.

    2. Use the 80/20 rule: Or the Pareto Principle we discussed earlier. The first 20% effort should yield 80% of the project results. Focus on the tasks that give you the most value for your return.

    3. Time Blocking: One of the best ways to get the most out of your day. Block off time for specific tasks all day.

    4. Pomodoro Method for Productivity: Set your timer for 25 minutes, and focus on a single task during that time. Take a 5-minute break. After 4 pomodors, take a longer break for about 15-30 minutes.

    5. Time Boxing: Similar to the last point. You start on a task as soon as your calendar reminds you.

    6. Schedule Time for Breaks: Everybody needs them so be realistic and schedule them into your day.

    7. Delegate: Find a clone of yourself or at least someone who can help with tasks. Give them small jobs at first and work from there.

    8. Boundaries: Establish boundaries between work and personal time. This doesn't mean you can't have fun at work, just keep those interruptions to a minimum.

    9. Organize your space: Physical or virtual, it can be hard to find things if we don't store them in an organized way. Know where everything is and put it back in the same place each time. (Declutter and let go of things that are in the way.)

    10. Task Groups- Group like-tasks together so you spend less time context-switching.


Know that you aren't the first farm to have time management frustrations. There are many time management strategies that you can employ to work better as a team and be more organized. It's just about finding the one that best fits your work style and operation.

-> Pro Tip:

Do a time audit of your current schedule to see what is taking up your time. In this audit, you meticulously track your current schedule and look for projects and tasks that take a lot of time, inefficiencies, simple tasks that could be delegated, and more.

Rate tasks and activities:

-Very Important Tasks (should take up most of your time)

-Slightly Important Tasks (have to be completed but are not vital to operation)

-Non-Important Tasks (time wastes and should be cut or reduced from the schedule)

Use Technology and Tools:

Invest in modern farming equipment and technology to streamline operations and increase efficiency. Utilize farm management software for planning, scheduling, and tracking tasks, inventory, and expenses. Give Farmbrite a try to see how it might work for your farm operation. Also, check out this guide to the keys to successful farm management.

Overall, utilizing technology and smart tools can help you run a more efficient farm.

Monitor Farm Progress:

Regularly review the progress of farm activities against your plan and schedule. If you're watching this closely, you will know that things are running behind and can adjust plans as needed to address any delays, farm challenges, or changes in resources, staff, etc.

Maintain Team Communication:

We can't stress enough how important communication is between the farm team and management. By keeping open communication among farm workers and management you will facilitate more ways to collaborate as a team and talk about problems that come up.

One way to do this is by holding regular meetings to discuss progress, timing, upcoming tasks, work blockages, and trouble areas or issues. Being heard and acknowledged is an important part of any relationship and goes a long way in a work environment. During these meetings, you can think through problem issues as a team in a collaborative and open way. Then you can work to strategically coordinate changes and make production smoother.

Implement Efficient Farming Practices:

Work smarter and more efficiently as much as you can. Some farms have adopted sustainable farming practices and have found that it has helped them optimize their resource usage and minimize their environmental impact. You might find implementing techniques such as crop rotation, integrated pest management, and water conservation can enhance productivity and profitability.

Establish Standard Operating Procedures: One way of being more efficient is to develop SOPs (Standing Operating Procedures) for common farm activities such as planting, harvesting, irrigation, and animal care. SOPs provide guidelines for carrying out tasks consistently and efficiently and how you want them to be done. Then everyone is on the same page of how work should be accomplished.

Manage Resources Effectively:

Monitor resource usage, including labor, water, fuel, and supplies, to identify areas for optimization and cost savings. Keep inventory of inputs and equipment to ensure adequate supplies are available when needed.

Money is also a resource and creating a farm budget (and sticking with it) will keep you on track.

Continuously Revise and Improve:

Being open to revising, changing, and making things better in your farm business is a key way to improve. Check in and get regular feedback from farm workers and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement. Stay informed about new technologies, techniques, and market trends to adapt and innovate as necessary. Being adaptable and continuously learning will keep your farm operating more efficiently and growing long term.

By following these steps and maintaining a proactive and organized approach, you can effectively manage farm work and maximize productivity and profitability on your farm.

Happy Farming!


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