For 35 years, the leader in this space was, and in large degree, still is, FranklinCovey.
Over the past 35 years, FranklinCovey has sold millions of planners, helping people improve their productivity, time management, and focus.
And that's really what professional planners are all about: helping you to better organize and manage your time. The goal is for you to be more productive and ultimately more successful.
However, the world has changed a lot in the 35 years since the FranklinCovey planners spawned into existence and revolutionized professional productivity.
While in the past, companies were solely focused on the bottom line, and people were willing to sacrifice their own individual well-being for a paycheck, that is no longer the case.
The smartest companies in the world now realize that their employees' well-being and happiness are essential to the bottom line, and therefore put the employees' welfare and satisfaction first.
Amazon and Zappos are two companies that are prime examples. They proactively pay people to quit in order to ensure that those who do work for them actually want to be there. Not only do those who work for these companies believe in the company's vision, but they genuinely want to work there. It isn't just about a paycheck.
More recent research in psychology is showing that personal fulfillment and well-being are actually prerequisites to high performance and productivity.
Money and nonstop go, go, go are no longer what people emphasize.
Of course, money and productivity are important. But these things should not come at the expense of personal fulfillment nor should they come at the expense of one's highest priorities in life, such as their faith and family.
Even still, there has never been a productivity tool that emphasizes personal congruence and alignment. Productivity tools still erroneously place productivity as the desired end and focus, rather than as a byproduct of something much deeper and more important.
It is for this reason that the "Kyngdom Organizer" developed by 39X New York Times best-selling author Richard Paul Evans is a welcome surprise and addition to the productivity and planner space.
Adrian R. Escalante was the former director of training development for FranklinCovey, and now is on the team at Kyngdom Organizer. According to Escalante:
While the Franklin Planner focused on productivity and time management skills, the Kyngdom Organizer focuses on fulfilling one's purpose and mission in life. It aligns our true identity and our core values with the choices we make on a daily basis.
So what is the Kyngdom Organizer?
According to Evans, the Kyngdom Organizer is a system for ensuring your life is in personal alignment. The planning systems of yesterday strictly emphasized professional productivity. The focus of the Kyngdom Organizer is personal fulfillment and impact.
Thus, this planner isn't necessarily throwing away productivity and time management, per se. Rather than asking, "How much can I get done?" which is the question of most productivity tools, the Kyngdom Organizer first asks, "What should get done?"
What matters most?
This is potentially the first productivity tool that puts productivity in proper perspective. If your life is out of order, then productivity will be sporadic or non-existent.
Richard Paul Evans learned this from his father, David Evans, who told Richard at a young age, "An indication of mental health is productivity."
And that's the point Evans is trying to make with his new Kyngdom Organizer. Get your life in order from top to bottom. Don't worry about output or time management as a first priority. Focus instead on getting your highest priorities straight, as well as your personal fulfillment.
Only when your life is properly ordered will you know what to make the biggest impact on. As Thomas Merton once put it, "People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall."
The question you should be asking yourself, then, is: Are your priorities clear?
Other questions could include:
- Are your boundaries defined and established in your use of time and in your relationships?
- Do you know where you stand as a person?
- Are you fulfilled?
If you can confidently say yes to these things, then you'll have the internal sense what to say yes to and what to ignore. You'll stop worrying about to-do lists and you'll start thinking more big-picture. Ironically, your productivity will likely skyrocket, because you'll be internally aligned. You'll be focused on the right things. Your work will come from the deepest and most personal side of yourself, which is what is awarded in the marketplace now.
Disclosure: I get no form of payment for writing this article. I am an organizational psychologist who constantly studies productivity, effectiveness, and performance. Richard Paul Evans is one of the many sources I draw from in my own personal study and research.