Agricultural Consultant and Managing Director at
Brady Group: Agricultural Consultants & Land Agents. The Lodge, Lee Road, Cork.
As farmers surface for air after the busy spring time work load, the good news of a step up in the Covid-19 vaccine roll out signals a quicker than expected return to some semblance of normality.
Even though farmers lives were not as radically changed as office workers and students during the Covid-19 lockdowns, of late I have detected a desire in farmers to get away from the farm for some rest, relaxation and recuperation. As a farmer said to me recently “sure all along, there was nowhere to go….”
It is important to refuel both mind and body after a prolonged period of work, so that one is ready to return in tip top shape, ready to restart and go again.
Many Irish farmers have been influenced by previous generations, where they feel that working harder is the correct response to get on in life. There is no doubt that a good work ethic is essential in any business, however being a workaholic is a disease. Working smarter is better than working harder any day.
Here are 5 tips to brighter up your summer:
- Plan a Post-Covid party
Whether it’s with family or friends plan and organise a Post-Covid party celebration.
The lockdowns have caused us to miss many special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, weddings etc, a party is a great opportunity to make up for these missed occasions. It is anticipated that the rules will be loosened to allow such events outdoors. Farms are great places to host such events with plenty of buildings and space as suitable venues. I recently met a farmer who organised a mini music festival in a cubicle shed on his farm last summer for friends and family, I believe after great reviews, its returning this summer!
- Make a bucket list of things this summer
You know all those things you said you will do some day, write them down and tick them off the list this summer. Modern farmers put their to do lists on the white board, maybe having the bucket list visible will guilt you into getting it done.
Whether it is, travelling to see one of our many offshore islands, playing a round of golf in a championship course or climbing Carrauntoohill / Croagh Patrick put the date on the calendar and as the Nike says ‘Just do it’.
- Paint and tidy up the farm
When the weather permits tidy up the farmyard, paint the sheds, gates and dwelling house.
These tasks are often pushed down the to-do list on farms, often due to time constraints or unwillingness to spend the money. A summer clean up has a lasting positive effect on your pride and mental health when completed.
Simple items like hanging that gate, resurfacing the entrance road, fixing the cutes or planting a few trees are not to be under-estimated. It might mean you get an extra few euros for that animal or impress the bank manger into giving you the loan that was in the balance. The appearance of your farm reflects your business and you as a person.
- Treat yourself
You have worked hard, farmed well, paid your loans and gave your family a good standard of living, don’t be afraid to treat yourself, you deserve it.
Whether it’s a new jeep, tractor or something simple like a new phone or clothes, it is important to be rewarded for all your hard work and effort.
- Book a holiday
Finally, the most important tip of all is to get away from the farm.
Again, whether you go with family or friends it is vital to get away for a least a full week but preferably longer. Usually, I recommend getting out of the country, but this may not be advisable this year. Avoid farming and agricultural trips, you are going for a break remember.
Building a trip around a sporting event is a great excuse to escape, but why not extend the trip by going a few days early and staying a few days longer.
The big secret is to put the mobile phone on ‘aeroplane mode’ or strictly turned off for most of your time away, tuning in periodically to let family and friends know you are alive and kicking.
If you don’t fancy a trip abroad there are plenty places to escape in Ireland, from country houses, boutique hotels to exotic Airbnb accommodation the choice is endless. Get onto the computer and with a little bit of planning, your off.
It is easy after a long hard spring to switch down the gears and continue on working, albeit at a slower pace.
A benefit of the Covid-19 lockdowns is that it has forced us to re-examine our lifestyles and highlight what is important and not so important in our daily lives. We are now more appreciative of our health and freedom to travel, where we want, when we want and how we want.
Life is short get out there and experience it, all work and no play make’s Jack a dull boy.