A little extra time

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I used to pride myself on my timeliness. If I thought I might be late for a meeting or an appointment, I just wouldn’t go; if I said a particular job or chore, would take me about an hour to complete, you could bet money I’d be finished with it, sometime between 50 and 70 minutes later; if I was clear across the state and told my wife I’d be home by 3 p.m., she would know something was wrong if, at 3:05 p.m., I was not there: not so much, anymore.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve really started noticing my lack of efficiency. Earlier this spring, I told my wife I was going to go down to the shop to change the fluids and filters on the tractor. 

“How long will you be?” I replied that it shouldn’t take me more than a couple of hours.

Two hours later, I came to the house to get a drink. Assuming I had finished with the lube job, she asked me to do some little chore for her. I shocked her by saying, “Sorry, I haven’t even got the oil drained yet.” Two more hours were required for me to perform the relatively easy procedures.

In another instance, I had left very early in the morning to an event I was attending in northern Illinois. Judy called me around 10 a.m. to check on my progress, and she was surprised to learn that I hadn’t even made it as far as St. Louis. Worriedly, she asked, “Have you had trouble?”

“Nope. I’ve just had to take a bathroom break – five times.”

Quick fence repair jobs that I used to complete in about 30 minutes now take two hours – and if I have to replace any posts – call it a half day. Mechanic work of any kind, takes at least two hours unless I break something (always), which requires an additional two hours, plus travel time.

I suspect many of these time requirement extensions are age-related, thus in my constant quest for compulsive order and structure in my life, I’ve come up with a formula to fit my new life stage. Whatever activity I’m considering, I’ll simply double the time expectation and add one hour. If the temperature is below 40 degrees or above 80, I need to tack on an extra 20 percent to my time estimate. If travel is required, another 20 percent should be added. All of the aforementioned estimates should increase an additional 5 percent with each further year of age. 

If strenuous physical activity is needed, I should wait until tomorrow.

Jerry Crownover farms in Lawrence County. He is a former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University, and is an author and professional speaker. Jerry’s daily exploits on the farm are now viewable on YouTube at “lifeissimple678”. To contact Jerry, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’   

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