Read the Progressive Dairy Canada digital edition

Find some thinking time

Progressive Dairy Editor Karen Lee Published on 31 March 2020

I don’t know about you, but I relish in the stillness of the early morning. It is quiet and peaceful. For a moment, our crazy, busy world is calm.

It is also one of my most productive times of the day. I feel like I can get ahead of the game by accomplishing tasks while others sleep.



I use the time before the people in my house start to stir to think. It’s not active meditation, like some people do in the morning, but just a time to gather my thoughts on what I need to accomplish each day.

I find if I don’t get this thinking time, my whole day is thrown off. Maybe I chose to get a few more minutes of sleep, or one of my children decided to get up early and join me; either way, if my awake mind doesn’t get a chance to wander in solitude, I lose a critical piece of what makes my life successful.

While I’ve known this to be true for quite some time, a new exercise we’ve been doing as an editorial team at Progressive Publishing has helped me define and understand why this occurs.

For the second year, our team has identified a theme to focus on for the year. This year, it is “strengthen talents.” In the fall, we each took the CliftonStrengths test to identify our core strengths as individuals and then discussed how each person’s talents add to the team.

One concept behind CliftonStrengths is to not worry about improving on your weaknesses or non-talents but to build upon your strengths.


As I said, I’m a thinker, and the assessment verified it. Solitary thinking is a natural process for me. If I don’t make time for it, I go against something I am meant to do. Setting aside a few minutes every day to collect my thoughts gives me energy. It also helps my thinking become sharper and more effective.

While I enjoy a few moments to think early in the morning, it doesn’t always provide me enough time for a good thinkfest. So it was recently suggested I set aside more time in my day to help strengthen this area. I could go for a walk, to the library or a coffee shop, anywhere quiet and without the typical distractions that would disrupt my thinking. I have often found a long drive to be helpful as well.

Many of you will find extra windshield time this spring as the cropping season begins. If so, I recommend you put it to good use by identifying things you want to think about. Pick a topic and let your mind stir on it for a while. Then figure out how to record these thoughts so you don’t lose them once you step out of the tractor cab.

If you don’t know what to think about, perhaps it’s time to start listening to podcasts while you are in the field. They are a good way to gain information, and there are podcasts on every topic imaginable – even dairy. Did you know we offer one too? You can find Progressive Dairy podcasts here, and there are links at the bottom to subscribe via one of your favourite podcast services. It is produced by our U.S. team, but many of the topics and speakers are interesting no matter where you farm.

While spring can be a very busy time with more to do than your usual daily chores, try to find those times like the quiet early morning or when staring at the field before you to think about how you can make your farm more successful.  end mark

Karen Lee
  • Karen Lee

  • Editor
  • Progressive Dairy
  • Email Karen Lee