What can the greetings card industry teach us about ‘chunks’? - Raising The Baa

What can the greetings card industry teach us about ‘chunks’?

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What can the greetings card industry teach us about ‘chunks’?

After celebrating a big birthday I found it is easier to think in “chunks”. For a shepherd there are four chunks in the year. Each year can be a chunk or every five or even every ten years of time.

By thinking in chunks I find it easier to keep the bigger picture in my mind whilst paying attention to the important detail too. In business it’s so easy to get trapped in the everyday tasks and not keep the end in mind, or just getting the job done and not keeping an eye on the outgoings, either in terms of money or our time.

However big and scary the end goal may be, if we break it down into chunks or milestone goals, with chunks of time allocated to each milestone, we have a greater chance of achieving it on time (and within budget).

When I was in my 20’s, sixty seemed so far away and I had plenty of time to put a plan together so I could retire earlier than most. I was still able to travel and do outrageous things with no financial pressure. So if you look at it in terms of chunks (of 10 years), I had spent two chunks of time in education and deciding what I wanted to do. The thought of retiring, taking life a bit easier at 60 would be nice but what I needed to do was simply to get there. Let’s say I would live for two more chunks after I “retired”. That meant that if I added up the first two chunks and the last two chunks I would only have the same number, four, “working chunks”, to save and/or make investments to give me the life I wanted to have. Can you see how even in my twenties, whilst still enjoying myself, I needed to learn quickly, stay focused to achieve the goal of even retiring at 60?

As the shepherd we have the seasons as chunks as well as yearly chunks and generation chunks. To achieve a great flock needs a vision in the future but we need to hold remember and review it from time to time.

But do the sheep think and remember time like we do? Well they do to some extent but not quite like we do. And as far as we know they do not have any future vision. Firstly they only have a lifespan of 10-12 years and their main concerns in that time are food and water, being part of the flock (safety) and finally they might be conscious of time.

When you take the lambs away from the sheep, she will forget her lambs within the day, less sometimes but the idea of getting some extra food will last a lot longer. It could be said that their values of food and water is higher than that of family. When we wean the lambs they only look for their mums for a few hours but if they can hear each other it keeps the memory alive for longer. However, unless the hearing is backed up with smell and food (milk) then they will not be able to remember each other. Even at shearing time it takes a bit of time for the lambs to find their mums but more of that next time.

The holiday season is a great time for planning and reviewing goals. Why not set yourself some amazing and exciting goals and see how breaking them down into chunks, of time and activities, makes them far less scary?

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