I used to just head outside armored with wool and coffee. I'd jump right into work, just checking chores off the list as if they were math problems to complete and not living systems. Which meant I might be busy feeding sheep hay and water and not even get to the goat with a sore foot until 30 minutes later. Clearly the goat needed attention before he sheep needed hay.
I learned over the years that working smarter means a perimeter check of sorts. It means seeing who needs what, when, and in order of import. So when I do get outside to the actual chores (usually a cup of coffee and some emails later) I know exactly what to do. Time isn't wasted and priorities are in order - I know who needs water first, who needs grain first and what kinds. For another example: my pigs are sick of pumpkins and so are the sheep. What was gnawed on as a happy treat is now being used more as soccer balls. Only the chickens seem to peck at them now, and even they seem a little lackluster in their efforts. Oh well, to everything there is a season. Even the spice of pumpkins.
Snow is in the forecast for today. I am not sure how much or if it'll turn to rain in 30 minutes, but some. The good news is the temperatures are rising a bit later this week and that means I will have more opportunities to stack wood and make room for some more if I can get it ordered. Last night I heard a horrific crash and the wood I had stacked under the awning of the side porch all collapsed. It was frustrating because it basically means an hour of tomorrow has been stolen. Oh well, no sense in getting upset - just stacking better and (more importanyly) removing from that stack better so as to not weaken the integrity of the structure. Don't play Jenga with firewood, kids.
I also need to order more hay, get that in the barn... This is what farming on any level is - whether you have 3 sheep and a flock of chickens or a hundred head of Jersey heifers — it's about keeping a ledger in your head about everyone's status. You care most about the present, followed by the future. You can't focus on the past save to learn from your mistakes and fail better next time. On this cold morning of anticipated snow and warm wood stoves - I am focused on the present and excited for the future. That's the trick. If you're living this life and it isn't exciting you - if you don't wake up every day with a little buzz to make things better - why are you doing it?