Productivity: 5 Essential Planning Tips For 2017

Productivity: 5 Essential Planning Tips For 2017

If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of productivity. Being productive in 2017 starts with the right planning system, doesn’t it? You check out YouTube videos of organizers and planners, determined to find that ONE planner which will give you “planner peace.)

Finally it occurs to you that all this “planning to plan” is just procrastination. 🙂

Productivity is doing: it’s more important to DO, rather than planning what you’ll do (or decorating your planner)

I like this insight on Planning “just enough”:

The key is to plan “just enough.” You don’t want to feel like you are chained to your planner and have to consult it for every move you make. Your planner works for you, you don’t work for it.

Let’s look at some productivity tips which I’ll be using in 2017. I hope they help you too.

1. Schedule everything in one primary place, with a digital backup

This year, I’m using the Passion Planner as my primary planner, with a notebook in which to create mind maps, jot down ideas, and for research notes. These two books are rather bulky, so they’ll stay in my home office.

I’m using OmniFocus as the digital backup.

It’s working well. I enter my tasks into OmniFocus each morning. At work, I enter tasks and appointments into OmniFocus, and then transfer them into the Passion Planner when I get home.

Last year I had a work planner, and a home planner, as well as a writing planner — not to mention book journals for each book I wrote. It got way too confusing.

2. Set a time limit for each task, and work from home more

Regarding setting time limits: if you know you’ve only got 30 minutes for a task, it’s easier to focus, and you get more done.

Working from home cuts down on travel time, so there’s more time for work. Last year I worked from home one day a week. Since I got a lot more done, I’ll be working from home for two days a week in 2017.

3. Eliminate stress: leave time for reading and creativity

I became so stressed in the last few months of 2016 that I started to get tension headaches, every day. I wasn’t exercising, and didn’t have time for reading or for creativity.

Reading relaxes me, so I’ve scheduled time for reading, and for my photography hobby, every day.

4. Exercise and relax, daily

I’m back to exercising daily, and meditating daily too. They fell by the wayside in 2016. With work so stressful, the adrenaline had nowhere to go, so — headaches.

Although I’ve only been following this new routine for a few days, I feel more relaxed, and I’m sleeping better too. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking time out to exercise can seem as if you’re wasting time. You’re not — you’re making time, because you’ll be more productive.

5. Review my goals daily, so that I remember what’s important

Each day brings new challenges, and these challenges are urgent. You can’t tell your boss that you have no time to deal with the latest disaster, can you? 🙂

Soon it dawns on you that you can’t even remember what your goals were for the year, much less achieve them.

So, I’m devoting the first five minutes of each work day to checking my goals, and planning. Those few minutes are helping me to feel more in control, so I recommend this little strategy to you.

Productivity is doing, but you need to do the right things

It’s possible to be “productive” every hour of the day, and yet accomplish little that will change your life. This year, I’m determined to review my goals, and take action on them daily, so that I’m doing the things which will get the best results.

Happy 2017 to you — I hope you have a wonderful year. 🙂

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