Using Time Management for Productivity and Efficiency Career Skills with Kirby Green

As a formal agriculture teacher from Kentucky, it’s no surprise that while Kirby Green no longer works in the classroom, she is continuously working every day to maximize the productivity and knowledge of herself and others. A former district sales manager for Monsanto, Kirby fulfills the same position now at Bayer Crop Science in Indiana, but how did she move from being a teacher to a district sales manager? She managed her time efficiently while also finding ways to continue to grow.

Building an Authentic Network

“I still joke with my teammates to this day that if you look at the application, I didn’t meet a lot of the qualifications,” Kirby says with a laugh about being a non-traditional candidate. While there are qualifications that an employer can’t budge on, there are things that they can. Kirby showcased how the tools she had learned as a teacher could translate into the world of sales.

Never Eat Alone, a book about building relationships and networking, is a must-read for this educator. Relationships are something that you constantly maintain and invest in, they aren’t something that you put up on the shelf and pull down whenever you need something. You must continuously invest and add value to those relationships.

Do not be afraid to relocate

If comfort is the main reason for not taking a job position that requires relocation, that is all the more reason to take it. Leaving friends, family and community can be scary, but it provides for an opportunity for a young person to learn and practice initiating relationships and building community. No one knows anything about you in this new area and that can be a really healthy place to be!

Sharpen: the podcast for young professionals

In April of 2017, on maternity leave after having her second daughter, Kirby found herself one late night skimming LinkedIn where she read an article about the number one mistake that women in their thirties make: They stop networking. At a point in their careers where they are jiving and work is going smoothly, they become complacent in where they are professionally.

In comparison, when you first start a career you spend a lot of time asking questions, job shadowing, doing ride-alongs, and more. Kirby immediately decided to anticipate that change in her professional life by maximizing her time and becoming a lifelong learner.

She found that podcasts and audible books were great resources while driving for work. Interested in a podcast for a professional in their first decade of work, she decided to start her own podcast when she couldn’t find one that fit the description.

She created Sharpen: the podcast for young professionals with the tagline, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” It is a podcast and community for young professionals to sharpen their gifts and influence in the workplace and beyond.

Fueling Your Passion Project

“Everyone is short on time but everyone gets the same amount of time every day.”

  • Time Management
    Taking time to edit and produce podcasts was more important to Kirby than scrolling her Instagram feed. Cutting out the time wasters and the “stuff” that doesn’t make a difference allows you to maximize the time that you do have.
  • Using Your Mornings
    Even if you aren’t a morning person, if you are interested in a passion project, cultivate your morning to be a time to not just be reflective but to also get work done. You will be surprised how much even getting up 30 minutes earlier can have on the amount of work you can accomplish for your passion project before the rest of the world is awake, emailing and calling.
  • Build Relationships
    Spend time building relationships with those that are passionate about what you are passionate about. Build that community or team that will keep you motivated and inspired.
  • Attend Conferences & Read
    There is a lot of information that can be consumed easily for very little expense. Find conferences, eBooks, speakers, podcasts, books, blogs and online classes that can help improve your skills.


Productivity Tips for the Road

  • Take advantage of investing in those authentic relationships and networks by spending time with your team or someone in that city that you don’t normally see.
  • Make a list of 1-3 items that can be done that evening to make progress.
  • Mate a note of one thing that is really simple that you can do that day, that week, that month, that quarter and that year to make your work better.
  • Don’t try to cram too much into a little time.
  • Do not rush your trip with early morning flights or immediate departures.
  • Build personal disciplines to create a consistency.


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Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.