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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Setting Priorities

We will have visitors this coming weekend. This means things have to be done in preparation for their arrival. It's not just the house work or getting the spare bedrooms ready but it also means some work around the property getting the place looking respectable. You know, the lawns mowed and garden edges trimmed and a little weeding. But that work has to be fitted into the normal planned projects for week, one of which is the rectification work following the departure of our termite visitors.

The challenge here is that the weather report promises rain in the latter half of the week. This time of year sees a cloud cover and mist until very late morning and a heavy dew on the grass limiting the period that effective and productive work can be performed outside.

A perfect time to explore Setting Priorities.

Wet grass cannot be mown effectively leaving that task to mid to late afternoons. Installing a new overflow pipe in the concrete tank so the water doesn't pour into the ground around the Cave can be done any time - almost. The outlet will be on the west and drilling holes in concrete is not a pleasure in the afternoon sun so that becomes a morning task. But it needs cementing in place and getting it done before rain sets in it a priority. Housework can be done anytime as it is not dependant on weather and that is nibbled away at during the mornings. Just a little each day.

Cleaning up the lawn edges with the whipper snipper is an any time except during rain job. Wet grass is not a problem but getting the equipment wet is an issue. Making the beds for the visitors can be left until the last minute so it is clean, fresh and fluffy. Menu planning is completed early and any unique ingredients highlighted in case they are not in stock.

Any spare time is devoted to continuing to expose the concrete slab around the Cave as a termite barrier and early warning system.

And so Setting Priorities is not always about what is the most important task but about what can be done first within the limitations of weather and availability of raw materials as well as scheduling interim tasks to ensure completion on time. Items which have a long lead time such as setting concrete before rain need to be planned and even the Ciabatta to bake on Friday needs to have its biga started on Thursday.

Setting priorities is planning more than 24 hours to ensure the plans are workable.

Thinking ahead all the time is critical, especially when trying to be self sufficient. Can't be running to the shops every day.

Preparedness is a mindset that needs cultivation, feeding and exercise.

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