Time Management on the Homestead

How To Get Everything Done

Time is just so everything doesn't happen at once, or so I've been told. Managing it can mean that you feel abundant in the amount of time that is available to get everything done.


On the homestead, some things take priority. 

These are things that are crucial for the health of animals and people, so food and water for your goats, sheep, dogs, chickens and so on will be one of the first places to allot time to. This has to be done at the same time (or close to it) every day.

Then there are things like routine maintenance which will enable the first priority, so the pumphouse heater being plugged in, food in the freezer or root cellar has to be inspected and put into the queue so as to be used before its expiry date, chicken food has to be acquired and stored properly.

Once you have all your systems in place, in among the time used for feeding and watering, gradually you can automate or clump some chores to take place concurrently. 

These would be things like filling all the food buckets at the same time and using a wagon to move them to the animals instead of doing one bucket at a time.

Multiple buckets or containers of the same size can really help when automating.  If you have to buy them, get the best quality your budget allows - if you can't afford to purchase, check out the deli section in your supermarket and ask if they have any buckets you could buy. 

They get buckets with all the bulk foods in which they split out into smaller lots for sale, so those food grade buckets are a valuable commodity for you, things to recycle for them. You can often purchase them for a few bucks, or even get them for nothing. Ask for the lids too.

Gauging the amount of time it takes to cover regular chores can be a valuable way to see how much time you'll have for 'one of' types of activities, such as building a chicken house, canning and preserving, or fencing. 

Carrying a stopwatch and clipboard around to time how long you spend on feeding, cleaning, replenishing the stores and so on will be critical to knowing what there is left over.

Keep a record of how often you muck out the chicken pen or pasture, and how long that takes you.  Kids like to help with keeping track of this type of thing, especially if it involves stickers.  Use different stickers to indicate the various chores on a calender.

Don't forget to allow time for other things like shopping, working, personal care and sleeping.  There's no point in overbooking yourself only to find you have no time to eat in your schedule.

Above all, don't lose sight of why you started this lifestyle; to enjoy it. If you have to, schedule some time to do something enjoyable, or you run the risk of burnout.

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