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Howle's Hints

Work Slowly and Methodically
By John Howle

“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”
- Winston Churchill

There has been a shift in thinking when it comes to workplace productivity. All the technological and digital innovations of the last 20 years were supposed to make us more productive, and the technology was supposed to do much of the work for us. Strangely, most people say they are working harder now than they ever did before the intrusion of computer and digital technology.
Emails that were supposed to make communications easier and more productive have resulted in more workload. A few years ago, someone would have to physically walk up to you to ask you to do something, or they would send the request in a letter. Now, a few taps and hitting “send” result in higher workloads for people. There’s a lack of “downtime” in the workplace. This is the time when employees allow ideas to generate and are given time to think about creative solutions to problems. It’s now more of a “putting fires out” approach to events in the workplace.
Instead, recent research is showing that slow and methodical thought is much more productive than working in the stress zone. Quickly going from one unfinished task to another is exhausting, inefficient, and psychologically and physically harmful. In other words, it’s better to complete one task at a time slowly and methodically, giving yourself time to allow intuitive thought to enter the process.
Slowing down also allows us to be more polite. I’m sure each of you has had a conversation with someone who was talking rapidly, talking over you and talking past you without waiting for you to respond to what they are saying. It’s almost as if they only want to hear themselves talk while showing no interest in what you have to say. If we slow our communications down, we are putting the other person first and showing value for what they have to say. This gives each of you time to process what the other is saying.
Finally, many folks don’t slow down even long enough to spend time in meditative prayer. Taking quiet time to pray allows us that opportunity to slow down, calm down and realize that many of the busy, firefighting things we are doing aren’t really that important in the big picture.

Farm Pond Fishing
A great way to slow down and have time to think is through fishing. Whether you are on a farm pond or
public lake, fishing is a great way to relax and have a little something extra for the dinner table. I’m always amazed when someone tells me they don’t know how to fish. It’s quite simple. Dangle something in front of the fish that looks good to eat.
A simple rubber worm rigged Texas style often proves to be successful when pulled slowly along the lake bottom. If you are in a boat, cast close to the bank and retrieve the lure slowly back toward the boat allowing the lure to bounce along the lake bottom. When the fish bites, allow a half a second for the fish to bite down squarely on the lure, then set the hook and get ready for a fight.
To tie a Texas-rig worm, simply insert the hook into the head end of the worm and out the side of the head. Slide the worm onto the L-shaped curve just below the eyelet on the hook pushing the worm head up enough to cover the eyelet. Then, insert the hook halfway into the belly of the worm so it will travel weedless through the water. As you bounce the worm along the lake bottom, the bullet weight will bounce against the worm head further attracting attention of the bass. The bullet weight also resembles a worm’s head as it travels through the water.
If you forgot to bring a stringer or a fish basket, you can make one from a sapling limb. Cut a slender, green limb with one forked branch. Cut the branch off in front of the fork leaving the end of the branch long. Cut the other side of the forked limb so that it is 3-4 inches long. The stringer will look like a sharp, angled L. The long, thinner end of the stick will slide through the fish gill and can be pushed into the creek or pond bank securing the fish below the surface of the water and keeping them fresh until time to go. The fork in the branch prevents the fish from sliding off the stick.
Speaking of stringers, the metal, chain-link stringers that clip open are good for more than just securing the day’s catch. The clip-style stringers come in handy on camping trips for securing your gear off the ground and in arm’s length. Simply suspend the stringer between two trees, and unclip the holders to secure your lantern, flashlight, tools, binoculars, pots or pans, and other camping gear.

Work Your ATV, Not Yourself

Even during the hot days of August, there’s plenty of work to be completed on the farm this time of year. An ATV properly fitted out for farm work can greatly reduce your workload. A battery-powered tank sprayer with a spot spray gun and boom sprayer and a seed sower are two handy implements to add to your ATV for farm and food plot use. Both implements can be purchased from your local Quality Co-op.
This August, slow down and be more methodical with the work, and don’t forget to take time to recharge at the fishpond.
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