Land And Ladle
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Land And Ladle

Top 10 Reasons Why the Produce Industry Sucks

#8: Your Day is Not Your Own

Produce Days Are Rarely What You Intend Them To Be

It’s vital to identify the derailment, fix it, and move on. Ag markets moves hourly and can be unpredictable, so it’s nearly impossible to plan your day, if you’re in the trading business. Problems have to be solved immediately, because if not, they multiply. This not only affects the end result, but also the team and their rhythm. Issues that start on Monday can become irreparable by Friday, if nothing is done to mitigate. Catching mistakes early, drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to solve the problem and the amount of money that’s lost in the process.

  1. Automate the process. Once you know your process, automate it. Automation allows everything to run smoother and ensures other members of your team have a built-in training method. For us, people learn what we’re doing by checking up on our transactions from the previous day, so it’s vital that we have the process integrated and everyone on task.
  2. Delegate. If you don’t have to do it, delegate it. Making the most of your day and time means offloading anything that can be done by others. You have a team for a reason. Use them. My general rule of thumb is anything that can’t be done by someone else goes on my plate, and everything else goes to the team. In a lot of cases, they are more efficient at day-to-day tasks. Assign your team tasks they are good at, and it will lead to less mistakes and headaches.
  3. Do the most time-intensive task first. If there’s a looming task, do it first. Block out time, turn of the notifications and complete the task, uninterrupted, from start to finish. This will alleviate a ton of stress and will make the biggest difference in running your day, overall mood and tone of the team. Know what your most time-intensive task is going into everyday, so you can complete it first. This takes discipline but is also a highly useful skill.
  4. Set less meetings. We live in a death-by-meetings culture. In our business, we rarely have meetings. Think about it: while you’re in a meeting, shit is happening all around you. In the produce industry, if we are all in a meeting, there’s no one to keep things running, to solve problems, or to anticipate any issues. In your own business, if you spend more time in meetings than getting work done, your day might be running you. For every meeting set, assess the outcome and what you will walk away with. If it’s a meeting with no real agenda or outcome, ditch it and get work done instead. (This is one of the most strategic moves to getting your time back.)
  5. Start early. If you’re someone who needs some “me-time” to come into the day, get up earlier and do something just for you. Read. Workout. Meditate. Do nothing. Start your day without the chaos of to-dos or phone notifications. I start my mornings with yoga, which makes a world of difference in my body and mind.

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