COLUMNS: The view from the beach; not a busman’s holiday

Much has been said about work-life balance. Mostly it goes like this: “work smarter not harder.”

Much has been said about work-life balance. Mostly it goes like this: “work smarter not harder.”

If you know the value of work then you need to know the value of play, recreation or  such  activities such as reading or taking in movies.

For some people, telling stories or, just good old small talk, or having a coffee or beer is good time off work.

Sometimes (often?) if you are bothered by something or some problem, sleeping on it brings great results. The idle mind can be very creative. At least you might get up refreshed and be able to tackle the problem anew.

So it is with holidays that have adequate downtime in them.

It was this time last year that I wrote about reflections from this same holiday spot, Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Some ranchers and farmers like to see what some of the rest of the world is like for farmers so seek out trips where they can learn and possibly be inspired.

For most of us, we undervalue the need to recreate, to put aside the professional and bread and butter activities.

Ranchers joke about what a bad idea it is to take their partner to bull sales (work) somewhere away and pretend it is a holiday for them.

This is what is called a busman’s holiday: a busdriver takes the bus somewhere and calls it a holiday from his work, the bus.

So, when I am on holiday, I rather like the bit of writing involved in this column,

Hoping I have a little something to share with readers.

For years when asked what my hobbies were, I might say riding horses or even training them. We use them in our work, but we usually enjoy that. I never once said: “fixing barbed wire fencing or doing field repair in the 35C degree heat!

So if you enjoy your work, what is there to balance between work and life?

Put another way, if you have a passion for some kind of work or business, can you just do it and do it almost non stop?

Most people might for some time, but then it might just wear on you. A rebalancing then might be necessary. Workaholism comes to mind.

I know some people say you can never work too hard. I say you can work too much.

Over time it builds the effect of dulling enthusiasm, creativity and the capacity for smarter working.

Ranchers need all these qualities to meet the challenges today.

Focussing fresh time and energy on the jobs that will bring you $100 per hour is required to run a profitable business. You can hire people who can do the $10 and $15 per hour jobs, freeing you up to do the important things.

In this vein, planning for who will take over the ranch is one of those things.

On April 4, the Thompson Rivers University Applied Sustainable Ranching program, South Cariboo Cattlemen and BC Cattlemen will bring in a top coach in these matters: Elaine Froese from Manitoba. Check her out on her website.

She will be in 100 Mile on that date. Call TRU in Williams Lake if you would like to take her short course. You will be doing the $100 per hour work and it will be inspiring.

Don’t tell your partner and adult children who you take with you that it is a holiday.

David Zirnhelt is a member of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association and chair of the advisory committee for the Applied Sustainable Ranching program which started at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake in January of 2016.