Productive Planning Strategies for Success

Today I wanted to talk about planning and time management. I just purchased my “planner” for next year. Yes, I am (again) the owner of an old school, pen and paper planner.

In fact, it is the “Passion Planner”. You may have seen the Kickstarter for it. It is a fantastic tool (and no, I am not being paid to say this). As an entrepreneur, I am excited to put it to good use next year. I’m already putting in projects, conference dates, and planning my work days.

#1) Happiness, Productivity, and Time Management

How does happiness relate to productivity?
–31% higher productivity
–37% higher sales
–Creativity 3 times higher.

Happiness at Work survey, Nic Marks, NEF (new economics foundation, London) 2012

Happiness, productivity, and effective time management are all linked. If you’re not being productive at work and if you are not managing your time well, you will be more stressed. The more stressed you are, the less healthy and happy you are as well.

When you are frustrated at the amount of time that you have to spend scheduling your work week or if you don’t want to pick out a planner for 2015, remember these statistics. When you schedule your time well, you will be happy. When you are happy, you are more productive.

#2) Scheduled Work Time


70% of employees work beyond scheduled time and on weekends; more than half cited “self-imposed pressure” as the reason.
Society for Human Resource Management, Spring 2009

It may seem silly to schedule work time but it is necessary. Block out the times that you are supposed to be working and make sure that you stick to that schedule. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself by working too hard. It is healthy to turn off that “work-mode” switch when you get home.

I suggest planning some “downtime” right after work. You can listen to an audio book on your drive home or you can switch gears by working on a hobby.

#3) Scheduling Sleep Time


Sleep deprivation is now costing U.S. companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity. Exhaustion makes employees less efficient, even in the time it takes to read email. They are also more irritable and more likely to explode.
Harvard Medical School, 2013

As a society, America doesn’t sleep enough. We work hard and we play hard but we don’t relax enough. When people are seen relaxing, others may assume that they are being “lazy”. That is the main reason why I can’t sit still. I always feel as though I need to be productive. I’ve learned that switching gears

#4) Do I Need a Planner If I Work From Home?

About 10% of the workforce (13.4 million people) work from home at least some of the time. What are the disadvantages of working from home?
–59% – Children or family demanding attention
–43% – Difficulty concentrating on work issues
–39% – Children, family, or pets disturbing phone calls
–32% – No access to office equipment

Regus survey, 2012

I have a short answer for this question and a long answer. The short answer is… *clears throat*


I have worked from home for about a year and have found that I need to schedule my work hours and post them on my office door. Sometimes it gets so bad that I have to leave (and work at a nearby café).

They know me by name there.

I have a “regular” – as in, “Hey! You want the regular today?”

I love my family dearly but there are times when I have to get away. Scheduling my time while I am at work helps to keep the distractions at bay.

#5) Paper or Plastic?


According to Medical Daily, a study was held that concluded that “using pen and paper, not laptops, to take notes boosts memory and the ability to retain and understand concepts.” Medical Daily calls the concept (of typing your notes) as “mindless processing”. This is important notes for students but it can be useful for everyone.

I’ve bounced around from digital planners (PDA’s, smartphones, Google Calendars, etc.) to “old school” pen and paper planners and have found that when I am able to write things down by hand, I have a tendency of remembering them. There is something special that happens when we actually write things down.

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About the Author

Thom McFadden, known as Hollywood’s “Coach to the Stars”, has been helping actors, writers, producers, directors and hundreds of other entertainment industry professionals to achieve new levels of success for over twenty years through his personal coaching and life-changing seminars and courses. Thom has been featured in 26 mainstream movies and over 100 television shows over his illustrious career.