Roger Fairhead Certificate JMT Certified

How to make your business Pandemic Tolerant (5)

“The Personal Productivity Planner
is the planner I have always wanted.”

So far in this mini-series, we have looked at the difference you want to make, and what makes you different.  We then explored what you need to do to make your business Pandemic Tolerant and fit for the 21st Century and went on to identify the outcomes that will make the difference you want to make become a reality.  In the last blog, we looked at prioritising the tasks and outputs needed to create the outcomes that will make the difference using a three-dimensional version of the Eisenhower Matrix.  

So now, having found a way to identify the outcomes that make the difference you want to make, next we need to put this into practice and that’s what this blog post is all about.  The Personal Productivity Planner is the planner I have always wanted, and is a result of developing the PRIZE Winning Leadership Methodology.  

“Oh dear, I completely forgot to eat this week!”

I don’t ever recall anyone saying “oh dear, I completely forgot to eat this week” or I completely forgot to get any sleep this week”.  So this planner draws on some of the best tried and tested ideas blended with some of the best emerging practices.  A key concept is to “put the big rocks in first” or make room for the things that are both important and strategic, and not to let those be pushed out to make room for the Urgent non-Important tasks, or even for the Important yet not Strategic tasks.

The Personal Productivity Planner is available from Amazon in several editions for different audiences.  Simply search for Roger Fairhead, and you’ll find links to all of my books, including the Personal Productivity Planner, the Education Version, and the Student Edition.  It’s also available as a loose-leaf version in both A4 and A5 sizes.

What are the SIX things that ONLY YOU can do

The central theme of the Personal Productivity Planner involves asking the question: what are the SIX things that ONLY YOU can do, that will have the biggest impact on your business, career, family or some other aspect of your life, and that will help you to achieve the SIX PRIZEs for this year, one for each of six areas of responsibility in life.  Of course, there are not always going to be six things, six areas and six PRIZEs, and the duration doesn’t always have to be six weeks, however, we use that as a rule of thumb where in practice it is unlikely to be less than four or more than eight things, PRIZEs or weeks.  

You can read more about these PRIZEs in my book PRIZE Winning Leadership, however in business terms these PRIZEs are the Differentiators that make the Difference you want to make.  If you have worked through the process outlined in part 3 of this series of blogs then you will have a good idea of what these differentiators are, and now it is time to deploy your Business Productivity Planner, using many of the same underlying features as those used in the various editions of the Personal Productivity Planner.

We’ve looked at identifying the Differentiators that together make the Difference you want to make and by when, and working back from there to identify the Outcomes that produce the Differentiators, the Outputs that produce the Outcomes and finally to the Inputs and Tasks that produce the Outputs.  So, now we have a series of Tasks, and an idea of their urgency, importance, and their Strategic Significance.  

The ultimate success of this Change Model is found in demonstrating progress made against observable and measurable achievement indicators for each outcome, using the idea that: “I’ll know when [outcome is reached] when I see [indicator is achieved].”

Personal Productivity Planner

For the Personal Productivity Planner we usually use a calendar year on which to base the process, while in the Business Productivity Planner it’s often the Business or Fiscal Year, and then each each quarter is separated into two halves to make eight “6×6” periods of six or seven weeks.  In the Educational Version and the Student edition we use the six half term periods and the summer break to define seven “6×6” periods for the year.

So, now we need to make that happen, and this is the heartbeat of the PRIZE Productivity Planner.  In terms of making your business Pandemic Tolerant, the next step is to look at the next six weeks and identify the 6 things that ONLY YOU can do, that will have the biggest impact on your business in the next 6 weeks – hence the term “6×6”.  Then take a look at this week and identify the SIX things that ONLY YOU can do, that will have the biggest impact on your business this week, and finally take a look at today and identify the SIX things that ONLY YOU can do, that will have the biggest impact on your business TODAY.  And do them.

The core of the paper-based solution is then a weekly planner with a week to a view, and the instructions for completing this are in the Personal Productivity Planner as shown below, and this can also be replicated using a variety of task planning software applications, such as the Microsoft Suite which I’ll use to illustrate the principle in another post.


About Roger Fairhead

Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.

He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.

“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.

Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.