On barn time

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Us equestrians are very familiar with the concept of ‘barn time‘: that unique phenomenon in which time seems to magically disappear when at the barn. We have all heard ourselves say: I’ll be home at 9 and find yourself still rolling up polo wraps at 10 o’clock, knowing very well that your start-up admin for the day is waiting for you or you are now running frightfully late for that important business appointment (breeches to the office anyone?).

Now, why do we always run into this magical web of ‘barn time‘? Is it procrastination (putting off the things we know need to be done… but don’t necessarily like to do) or is it simply because when we enjoy what we do we seem to lose track of time while doing so.

Still, we then all know that sinking feeling when arriving back at home or the office and realizing there’s not enough time left to get done what needs to be done that day.

Here are a few tips and tricks to manage that inevitable ‘barn time‘ effect a little bit better and still get things done:

BE REALISTIC

How long does it really take to prep a horse, ride and take care of all the other daily barn things, while still feeling like you’re not rushing around and you can focus on your training plan for the day? Time yourself for a week and lock down the average time you will need in your agenda as a fixed appointment with yourself (including travel time!). This way you can’t double book yourself, will have plenty of time to take care of your four-legged friend and still be back in time to join that important conference call.

PLAN BACKWARDS

How long does it really take to write that business plan, get the design in for a new collection or train for that upcoming competition? Once you know your deadline, start planning backward with all the steps that need to be taken to achieve the set goal: realize you need more time? Either postpone the deadline or prioritize the really important milestones that need to be done and delay other projects. Especially if you are an equestrian and are juggling work family and friends, you are at some point going to have to make some difficult choices on what you can really squeeze into your 24h day.

GET THE NASTY DONE FIRST

Set ‘barn time’ as reward time: get the things done that might otherwise get pushed to tomorrow and then enjoy your time at the barn (however long it might take…)

 

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