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You don’t need another system – you need to refocus on goals every day

 

I have a confession to make: as someone who loves helping teams increase productivity, I am a sucker for office supplies and organizing systems.

But, what I’ve learned over the past 20 years is this: we need more productive habits, not stuff or systems.

A few months ago, I made a very quick prototype of a daily planner page designed to help me become more productive. I created it because I needed something that was simple, quick and easy to use – and effective at helping me see when I was wasting time on unproductive tasks. And it has worked so well for me that I am sharing it with you now.

Here’s why it works:

Daily focus.  I write my quarterly and weekly goals and/or focus here every single day, so these critical points of information are pretty hard to ignore. When I review this page, I am forced to decide if the projects I want to work on today are going to move me and my team towards our goals.

Shared knowledge.  I can easily show this page to anyone and they can see my quarter, week, and day in a snapshot. So simple! It is not too much nor too little information.

It’s not a system!  Really, one of the best things about this is that it’s not part of any particular method or system. It works best when you use it on a regular basis, especially if you use it every day, but you don’t have to! Bonus: you can even use it to enhance the effectiveness of many of the other available planning systems.

Highly portable.  I haven’t found an online daily planning tool that works nearly as well as paper and pen, and I have tried many of them! But honestly, who wants to lug around a big planner system in a binder? If you are travelling, stuff a few blank copies of this page in your bag. You can even take pictures of the pages you filled out for a few days prior to your trip so you have that reference stored right in your phone or tablet.

Increase Productivity: Download “Focus on Goals” Now

Importantly, if you haven’t identified those quarterly or weekly focus or goals, how do you know if your daily work will get you there? This planner page also serves as a good conversation starter around goals. Your productivity will soar when you know what they are and can easily keep yourself accountable to your plan.

 

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What tools or systems do you use to keep you on focus and accountable? Tell us about it! We pledge to provide you with insight and solutions to help you build success for your business and teams.

Kay Coughlin, CEO, Facilitator on Fire, is passionate about helping businesses overcome roadblocks through team leadership coaching and retreats.

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2 Comments

  1. Gary Monti

    The “daily focus” is the biggest help. Starting the day that way gives a sense of urgency since, as everyone knows, there’s never enough time to do anything. With the daily focus prioritization decisions need to be made in order to hold the focus.
    Thanks for the blog, Kay!

    Reply
    • Kay Coughlin

      Gary, urgency is definitely a factor in why this works. Time gets away from us. And it is so much easier and less stressful (not to mention more effective) to make small progress early and often!

      Reply

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