Planning for the Near and Distant Future: Step 5 of the 7 Step Maximum Productivity Process

5th in a series of articles outlining my 7 Step Maximum Productivity Process.
Click here if you’d like to start at Step 1.

near and distant future planning

While you must focus on your day-tight schedule to be most productive, you do need to plan for the future to ensure that you will reach your goals by the deadlines you have set.

Step 5: Plan for the Near & Distant Future

In Step 4 you set out what tasks you could complete to the best of your ability each day — on a day by day basis.  Now you need to set aside time at the beginning of each week to plan your activities for the near and distant future.

Include Future Events and Actions in Your Schedule

  • Appointments, commitments and actions that you know you need to do at a specific time in the future.
  • From the other actions you’ve mapped in Step 3, schedule the activities that you can fit in for the week ahead and beyond, so that you can reach your goals by the deadlines you have set.
    • If you cannot fit in all required actions in order to meet your deadlines, you need to move lesser priority tasks to a later date in order to get to the more important activities.

Anything that is not scheduled stays on your Master Action List to add in when the items of higher importance are completed. In time, you may remove certain goals and activities as you realize that they just don’t fit in with everything else that you want to do more and give a higher priority to.

Next week, in Step 6, we are going to get even more focused!

What to watch out for…

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Worrying about what’s NOT on your schedule?
Very often our ‘inner child’, fuelled by a lack of confidence, pulls us back to the feeling that we want or need to do everything all at once, but this is the unstructured thinking that brings about procrastination and keeps you from successfully reaching your most important goals. You need to be confident and content that you have defined and prioritized your goals — and the actions that you need to take to achieve them by the deadlines you have determined.

If your priorities change, then you need to update your schedule, but always aim to be true to what you really want and need in your life — and believe in “the beauty your dreams”!

7 Day Challenge for the Week

Each day practice what you’ve built in the previous steps:

  1. Be mindful that you don’t have to get EVERYTHING done today, just the things that you have determined that you will do today — to the very best of your ability.
  2. Focus on your highest priority goals…
  3. …and the actions required to meet those goals.
  4. Stick with your day-tight schedule.

Plan for the Near and Distant Future:

  • Include future activities and events in your schedule –
    • appointments, other commitments and actions you know you need to do in the future;
    • activities that you’ve mapped in Step 3 for the week ahead and beyond;
    • move less important activities to a later date if needed to make the deadlines for higher priority goals.
  • Believe in the beauty of your dreams. Be confident in the goals, priorities and deadlines that you have determined — don’t worry about what’s NOT on your schedule!

Any questions or challenges, please leave a comment below.
Do you have any tricks to maintain your schedule that I haven’t mentioned?!