One of my favorite things to do with my coaching clients is to increase their productivity by finding a style that works for them.
We do that by creating a monthly plan where we look at their projects and decide what actions need to be taken. Then, we find a style of productivity that works for them for that specific month (because life changes and every month won’t always be the same).
It’s not for a year or for 3 months, it is just for one month. I like to do planning for one month only because it’s easier to be realistic with your goal setting.
How do we create a monthly plan that matches their style?
We do it in four steps.
I’ll use an example of one of my FAVORITE, most amazing clients who is currently writing a book and needs to submit it to her publisher by October, all while having a full-time job.
- First we set the goal for the month. Her goal is to finish 5 chapters of the book.
- Next, figure out HOW she will accomplish this goal. My client is busy so she needed more time to write. Together, we decided to develop a morning routine for her that included daily writing without distractions (No phone or Facebook- It is possible, I promise).
- Then, we took time to mentally prepare for the change. She is not a morning person so she gave herself a week to get excited about it and most importantly to adjust her lifestyle for it, mainly to make sure she goes to bed early. (One of my favorite things is to help my clients to go to sleep early so they can wake up bright and early and get things done!)
- Finally, she gave herself permission to experiment. Since she’s never been a morning person, my client and I are giving it a try to see if it will work for her. At the end of the month, if it doesn’t work, we will adjust and create a new monthly plan that suits her style.
Being truly productive is a long journey and it’s not always easy. Your life is always changing so you constantly need to create new ideas to keep yourself engaged. After all we are just humans, we are changing and evolving and so is our productivity style. We get bored and unmotivated and what worked last year may not work this year.
From my experience in coaching most people need to constantly re-engage with themselves.
Two big mistakes to watch out for while creating your productivity style for a month:
One: Not giving planning enough importance. Without planning it’s incredibly difficult to know what needs to be done and when it will be done.
Two: Committing to tasks without knowing realistically how much time you have on your hands. If you do the planning, you may not have this problem.
One of my favorite meditation teachers, Sally Kempton, shared her experience of creating her meditation practice for the past 30 years. Her practice was constantly evolving with her life. There were times when she meditated for days and there were days when she meditated for an hour, or 5 minutes, and sometimes not at all. Her meditation routine was always changing but she always knew how to come back to it.
It’s the same with your productivity style. Sometimes you will be productive and focused for weeks at a time and sometimes you may have a hard time concentrating for an hour.
As Buddha said: It will pass.
Just experiment, do one month at a time and make sure to PLAN.
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