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What Is Your Priority In Business?

Sometimes I find, and I think you probably do too, that there are times when I am working really hard but feel like I am just going around in circles. I seem to be working on lots of different things but nothing is getting finished and it is really frustrating, tiring and annoying.

So, how do I get back on track?

Let me tell you about Jack. Jack’s a dairy farmer who has to milk his cows every day, twice a day no matter what. There are other things that need to happen on the farm, but he knows the crucial thing to enable him to sell good quality milk is to do the milking; every day, twice a day.

There are many other tasks that impact on Jack’s ability to do just that:

  • Jack needs to keep his herd of cows healthy with regular vet checks, as sick cow’s milk has to be disposed of and cannot be sold
  • The female cows have to be artificially inseminated to keep the milk flowing, Jack says bulls are a lot of hard work!
  • The fields are tended to produce hay for the feed, as Jack finds this more economical than buying in food
  • Jack needs to birth and rear the calves before they can breed and produce milk, this is preparing for the future but gives no immediate payback

Jack works really hard with all his focus on producing enough quality milk for sale. And to do this, his milk producing cows need milked twice a day. Every cow, every day. No matter what.

With only one focus in his head, Jack feels much clearer on his target.

Let’s pretend that for some reason a cow did not get milked, what would happen? The poor beast’s udders would become so full of milk that it would quickly become very painful for her. She would cry, or moo very loudly. Imagine a whole field full of distressed, mooing cows. They would make so much noise that someone would have to take some kind of action to relieve their misery.

This is a crucial point, as many of us do not have livestock to deal with and the tasks that have to be completed every day probably don’t make a noise like the cows would to drive us to making them a top priority. The cows need to be milked daily. Every cow, every day, twice a day regardless of what else needs done.

And without the herd of distressed cows, would anyone really notice if we didn’t do some of our key tasks every day? Could we get away with not doing them? I think we probably could.

Which made me realise I had some work to do.

  1. I must identify the cow milking activities in my business. I would suggest you do too. What absolutely needs to be done daily, maybe twice daily that would really make sure you got the results you were striving to achieve?
  2. And once you and I have identified those daily critical tasks, how do we make sure they are completed daily, no matter what?

It’s one thing to identify them, giving your work more purpose, direction and fulfilment, it’s quite different managing it in a way that it gets done, no matter what, every day.

I hope that sharing this story with you helps you think about the key tasks that must become a daily priority for your business. And even though you don’t have cows mooing to remind you, let me know what you alarm you have put in place to remind you to get it done, no matter what.

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