Be Productive

Be Productive – Finish 2017 with a Bang!

With two months left in 2017, it’s time to be productive, really focus and decide what you can still achieve by year end.

What are the key things you planned to do this year? Which ones have you not started? What is the most important thing to prioritise in the next 6 weeks?

Be Productive

With a little planning this can be your most productive time this year. Finish the year on a high and then move into 2018 feeling really positive and productive.

Identify Most Important Goal

Firstly evaluate any existing goals. Are they still important, still relevant? Which is the best one to focus on this year? Then ask yourself these questions:

  1. What will it look or feel like to achieve the goal?
  2. What work do I have to do?
  3. Do I need help or input from anyone else?

Make A Plan

Plan what you need to do by breaking your goal into smaller sub-goals. Brainstorm each sub-goal to list out the actual tasks required. This can be done simply with pen and paper or using post-it notes, flipcharts, etc.

Start looking at the tasks to see what can be done when. Are some tasks inter-related? Can you identify milestones or achievements along the way so you can tell you are still on track?

Map your tasks into each week in November and December using a planner like Microsoft Outlook. Alternatively use our Q4 Planner template here.

Don’t over plan

Be realistic about how much time you have to work on your goal. You are probably already busy so where and when can you create “extra” time?

Build in some slippage because life will inevitably take over and throw some unexpected things at you.

Be practical. We can’t treat December like a normal month because of all the Christmas activities. So aim to finish your plan mid-December.

Measure & Track Progress

What will change when you achieve your goal? What will be new? Will you start doing something you haven’t done before? Identify some measurable targets and track these.

Capture the date you complete things to compare your Target Time with the Actual Time. If you miss a Target date does it have a knock-on effect on the remaining Targets? Readjust your plan as required.

Acknowledge What You Achieve

By prioritising and planning out your goal you have a higher chance of achieving it by end 2017. Celebrate if you do! And if all the work is not done I bet you still completed more than if you had no plan at all.

And because of your plan you know exactly what tasks are left so you are more likely to complete the work early in 2018.

Find What Works For You

Like all our productivity tips at we recommend that you: 1) tweak our suggested approach to find what works best for you and 2) stretch yourself a little so you can achieve new things.

Have a productive end to 2017 and be sure to let us know how you get on.

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Be Productive Surprisingly Sunshine Can Help

Be Productive – Surprisingly the Sunshine Can Help!

We are experiencing some fantastic weather this week in Ireland.  Here is a photo I took earlier at my local beach. The weather forecasters promise it’s going to last for a few days but in Ireland we are always a bit reluctant to believe them. For those of you reading from overseas, I must explain that this type of day is quite rare and could be followed by an entire summer of clouds and rain!

Down Tools

So the temptation is to down tools, stop work and get outside to make the most of it. Hopefully some of you have the flexibility to do that but many won’t be able to take time off at short notice.  But I bet you are already making plans to adjust your schedule so you can squeeze in some time to enjoy the sunshine. You may be getting up an hour earlier to take a walk on the beach, or starting earlier so you can finish early. Maybe you prefer to take a long lunch break and work later in the evening to allow for it.

Clear Goal

But take a look at what’s happening.  Because you have a clear, tangible goal (i.e. get out into the sunshine) you much more ffocusedand productive while you are in work.  Have you set a deadline? Are you getting through more work in a shorter space of time? How are you achieving this?

Well a number of things may be happening:

  1. You are not allowing yourselves be distracted so easily
  2. You prioritise the items that are a real priority for today
  3. We take more control of our time and don’t let others distract us

And you know these are 3 great habits to use during a regular week (i.e. when it’s lashing rain and there is no rush to get home!!). Set a goal, decide a plan to achieve it, really focus when working on it, don’t let other people or things distract you and really enjoy yourself when you succeed.

So what are you waiting for, stop reading articles online and get out into that sunshine! As ever please share any of your ideas, tips or tools in the Comments below.

If you would like further information on being productive or wish to attend our Be Productive training, please contact us.