By Andy Sherrod, Orchard Manager
September is full of changes and transitions. For some people, a new school year is starting. Some of you may be preparing for the arrival of fall weather and upcoming holidays. For pecan trees, September signifies the end of the current pecan growing season. Inside their protective green husk, the pecan kernels are soaking up their last bit of water and nutrients before they finish their growing cycle.
At Royalty Pecan Farms, we are getting ready to transition from Growing Season to Harvest Season. We have many tasks to accomplish in the next few weeks in preparation for harvest. After the pecans are done growing and are ready to drop, the trees will be on their way to a dormant season. We, on the other hand, will be busier than ever harvesting and preparing the crop for you to enjoy.
In previous posts, you can find tips on how to care for your own pecan trees during September. It’s crucial that they continue to receive adequate water right now. Those trees aren’t dormant just yet. They still need your help to produce a good crop.
Technology has certainly made its way into farming. But let it be known I’m slow to embrace it. A few years ago I upgraded from a flip phone to an iPhone 3. I’m told that’s like upgrading from a Model T to a ’57 Chevy. OK, so an iPhone 3 is not one to be coveted but it does have a technological feature which I like … or I used to.
You see, not all technology is good for your health. The phone has a notepad application which allows me to keep lists of things that I previously forgot. I have a list of projects to tackle during wet weather. I have a list of items to purchase for the farm. I even have a list titled “Things To Remember.”
Now, these particular lists are benign and have no ill effect on my health, but I have one list titled “Top Five.” This one may just kill me.
Like most people, I have more things to do than I have hours in the day. So in an attempt to be more efficient, I write down all the things I need to do whenever I think of them. At the beginning of each day, I choose five tasks and place them at the top of the list. I focus all my attention on accomplishing only those five things and ignore the rest. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
Sometimes (nay, all the time) things pop up that demand my attention right then, so the top five becomes the top six, then seven, then … Stress increases, and I’m overwhelmed. Thank you, smart phone. Thank you, technology.
But I found a way out of this technology-induced burnout, and I’d like to pass it on to you. When new demands come up that require significant time investment I ask, “is this important or is it urgent?” Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference but I’ve noticed that often the important things involve people and the urgent ones involve things.
Technology is great, but good old-fashioned discernment can go a long way in making your life less stressful.