By Brad Fagan

Don’t you ever just want to unplug from the matrix? Even for just 15 minutes of the day? Sorry friend, but as you get older the world is just going to get even techier and that means you have to stay on your tech game at all times.

Apps are being developed at an astounding rate with more competition than ever before. Tech start-ups are springing up like there’s no tomorrow (there’s not for many of them) and the mere mention of a notepad and pen could likely lead to mocking dinosaur noises from your colleagues.

However, while it’s easy to get fooled into thinking that the only cure for our digital headache is more technology, to make our other technology less problematic and more user-friendly, it’s important to remember that some things that used to work still do and tech can live side-by-side with its elderly, non-tech grandpa – hell, they could even make the perfect team if you use both together appropriately.

Let’s take a look at five planning tips that you can carry out without the robots watching your every move.

1. Plan Your Day in the Morning Before You Start Work

Planning activities on your own in a quiet space can really engage your brain in a way that you won’t ever fully be able to do at your workspace. I guarantee you that the minute you sit down with that Google box in front of you all good intentions of meaningful planning will go out the window. Humans get familiar and bored with routine very quickly so find a different space for your planning, sit down and re-introduce yourself to the wonders of the pen and paper.

2. Have Weekly Productivity Meetings

I meet up with my manager every Monday to discuss the status of on-going projects, to talk about any issues I’ve encountered and decide a focus for the week – it’s also great for strategy planning into the future and brainstorming. This type of thing may sound like a given, but it’s amazing how many people don’t have regular meetings to keep tabs on progress or discuss a set strategy (regularly) for their area of the business.

3. Leave Space to Think

Take 15 minutes to sit down, re-focus and think about your goals for the day. If you’re frustrated by your progress in an area then take a break. If it’s really ruining your day sometimes it’s best to move on and get some easier tasks done to feel better about what you’ve achieved and unblock your negative mind-set. Before you move on though, take 15 minutes to think about your daily goals – this also works wonders for mental health and happiness.

4. Plan Again Directly After Lunch

If you plan in the morning and then again straight after lunch you can turn one day into two with separate goals for each. It’s also easier to get stuff done when you only have 4 hours to complete a set amount of tasks instead of 8.

5. Read Books in Your Field (not blogs, not e-books – actual books)

There’s something about the smell, texture and feel of a book printed using actual ink on actual paper that you won’t ever get on your tablet or kindle. I don’t know about you, but it’s precisely this lack of technology that puts me at ease and takes me out of the day-to-day grind.