5 Ways to Be More Productive and CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Lack of productivity can be very destructive. It can lead to overwhelm, which can be paralyzing, and it can be very demoralizing, which can lead to low self-esteem.

Neither of those things help you live the life of your dreams.

There are a myriad of reasons why my clients seek me out to be their life coach but most often a piece of it is that they need some help with productivity. I am happy to report that without exception those clients who were willing to take on their low productivity reported a dramatic change after just a few weeks of working with me.

Today I am going to share with you the work that I have done with my clients so you can learn about being more productive.

#1 – Identify what it is you want. Precisely.

Many of my clients come to me with an idea of what they want from their life. A new job, a better marriage, improved relations with co-workers, how to move forward in a different way. What many of those clients haven’t done is identify what exactly it is they want. Without that knowledge moving forward is impossible.

I have a client who came to me because she was miserable in her job of 15 years but she just didn’t know what to do. She had tried to make adjustments at work so that she could be happier but to no avail. She was stuck with what to do next. Paralyzed in fact.

I asked her where she would go if she left her job. She had no idea. She knew that she wanted out but she had given no thought to where she would like to jump. And, I asked, how would you get to that new place. Again, my question was met with silence.

The next part was quick and easy. We brainstormed new career paths, ideas that made her heart sing. We then cleaned up her resume to reflect that new job she sought. Next she researched job opportunities and applied for those jobs. Within a few weeks she had some interviews and soon after found the job of her dreams.

All this because she identified precisely where she wanted to go. Without concrete information you are stuck. She was. And then she wasn’t.

#2 – Set goals.

Once you know what it is you want to do it’s time to set goals.

I have a client who had created a website and she had been working on it’s blog for almost a year. She had been tweaking and re-tweaking and then walking away, bored and frustrated, only to eventually come back and tweak it some more.

I asked her how determined she was to get this blog onto her site. Scale of 1-10. 10 she said. So we set a date. A date one month later. She put it on her calendar.

One month later, after years in process, after having set goals with me and making a plan, her blog was up.

Was she proud? Did her self-esteem go through the roof? Yes and yes. Awesome!

#3 – Make a plan.

Having a plan is an essential part of being productive. Without a plan you are stabbing about in the dark.

I have a client who HATED going to the grocery store. HATED it. So she didn’t. As a result she didn’t eat well and always felt weak.

I asked her why she hated the grocery store. She said the noise and the lights were annoying, things were hard to find, she never had time to find recipes of things to make, and she didn’t want to spend the money. All valid reasons.

So we made a plan. First we skipped the recipes. I had her make a list of things that she knew how to cook and of things she liked to eat. She made a list using those things as a basis and I helped her organize her list into groups that related to areas in the grocery store. We made a plan of when she could go, at times when it was less crowded. She also decided to wear her headphones so the noise was less daunting.

Last, but not least, we set a specific date and time. And when she was done shopping she had to call me. And you know what? She did it. She has food. She feels better. And she did it again the next week.

#4 – Have a great calendar and use it wisely.

I had a client who had the most lofty goals but she didn’t believe herself capable of following through on anything. As a result nothing ever got done.

Here is what we did. Every Sunday night we made a calendar for her for the week. On it, in red, were the things that she HAD to do. Doctor’s appointments, driving to soccer, her half hour walk, 1 hour of writing. And then, in green, were the things that she wanted to get done. Balancing her checkbook, cleaning out closets, making some phone calls. She added things in black as things popped up during the week.

Those items in red were non-negotiable. If an emergency came up and she wasn’t able do a red item then she had to immediately reschedule it for another day that week. It wasn’t allowed to fall through the cracks.

The green items were treated the same but they could be moved to the next week if necessary.

The black were things that tended to get done because they were last minute and she was able to get them done because that’s how she thrived, with a time limit.

She knew I would be checking up on her so she stuck to it as agreed.

It took a few weeks but using her calendar really allowed my client to be as productive as she had always hoped to be. And being so productive ramped up her self-esteem in a big way. She realized that she wanted to keep doing this, on her own, because she liked how she felt and she didn’t want to let herself down. So she did. I was proud.

#5 – Find someone to hold you accountable.

This is a big part of my role as a life coach. We all need accountability. Someone to encourage us to get things done and to help us figure out why when we don’t.

I know you have your friends and your family and your co-workers to support you but more often than not those people will lean towards supporting you, to listening to your rationalizations and letting you off the hook.

Not me.

I know the importance of staying on track, both for productivity’s sake and for building self-esteem. Productivity is important for its own sake – things need to get done. Period.

Another reason productivity is so important is because of it’s effect on your self-esteem. My clients are always so hard on themselves because they can never get things done, they are so far behind, they let other people down. Not doing these things can boost one’s self-esteem significantly. And having higher self-esteem makes one more prone to being productive. See how that works?

It’s a win-win in so many ways.

Our lives are crazy, jam packed and exhausting. Not being productive can cause overwhelm, and overwhelm can lead you down a path that makes it all worse.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to be productive and make one’s life a little less exhausting. As you can see above, my clients prove that it can be done.

You can do it too!

Need more tips on being more productive? Contact me and I can help.

5 Reasons to Do The Thing That Scares You Most

Are you looking for reasons to do the thing that scares you most?

Last week, I willingly put myself at the top of Mt. Katahdin, one of the highest mountains in the eastern US, with an elevation of 5267 feet. As I stood there on top of this pile of rocks and looked across at the mile long traverse called the Knife’s Edge that I was about to cross I thought to myself “There is no way I can do this.”

But I had to. There was no turning back. I had just slogged 4 miles up over 5 foot boulders and there was no way I was going back down those things.

So I took it one step at a time and managed to make it across in one piece.

How did I feel at the other side? Incredible!

Doing things that scare us can be daunting and, because we usually have a choice to turn back, we often do. But after doing something that scared me, something I had no choice but to do,  I realized that doing it changed my life in many ways.

And that is what I want to share with you today. How to change your life.

#1 – Do it to have some fun.

You know how you feel at the top of a roller coaster? You are strapped in and you have been slowly rising to the crest of the rails and there you sit for a moment. Anticipating. And scared as *%&$. And then you are off.

You soar down, over and around the rails, screaming and scared and oh so very exhilarated. Your adrenaline is pumping and your face is smiling. You feel very much alive.

And having fun!

I have a client who had always ridden behind her husband on their jet ski at the river. The prospect of driving it scared her and she was perfectly willing to be a passenger. After her divorce she decided to try things that had always scared her and that included driving the jet ski on her own. So she did.

And? You guessed it. She loved it. Her kids have to fight her for it every time they visit.

#2 – Do it to challenge your assumptions.

I never assumed that I couldn’t climb that mountain, which is why I put myself up there, but my client did assume that she couldn’t drive a jet ski. After she proved to herself that she could in fact drive it she started to question what other assumptions she had made about her life that were false.

My client had always questioned her ability to run her own business so she had never tried and had always worked for other people. At this point in her life she just didn’t want to do that anymore and wanted to go out on her own.

Because she started challenging her own assumptions she challenged the one that she couldn’t work for herself. Together we created and implemented a step-by-step plan to get her out of her office and into the world. Within a year she was running a health and wellness business out of her home and she was living the life of her dreams.

#3 – Do it to prove to yourself that you can do anything.

One of the things that happens to us over time, as we age and experience disappointment and regret, is that we lose the belief in ourselves that we can actually do things, big things or small. Because we have failed before we believe that we will always fail.

Doing something that scares you will prove this to not be true.

I have a client who wanted to move out of her dark, cramped apartment but she truly believed that she would NEVER be able to do so. She hired me to help her in this endeavor and, while she worked diligently to achieve that goal, we still had the conversation a few times a week about how she couldn’t pull it off. That it would actually kill her.

Fuess what? It didn’t actually kill her. She now has a new apartment which she purchased on her own that she loves. Accomplishing her goal allowed her to start believing in herself again.

Last weekend she was invited to spend the weekend with old high school friends who hadn’t seen each other in 20 years. As they each told the stories of their life my client froze up, as she always does in such situations, because she was ashamed of the story of her life.

And then, because she believed in herself for once, she unfroze and told these women her story. And it was wonderful. They listened and accepted her and loved her even more for doing so.


#4 – Do it to conquer fear.

I have a client who read Jaws under her bed-covers with a flashlight at the age of 8. And then at 16 she saw the movie. Because of this my client lived with a debilitating fear of the water. She couldn’t go in the sea, a lake, a pond or sometimes even a pool out of fear of what might be in there that would nibble at her toes.

Living with this fear had had a big effect on her life. She and her family had traveled the world and she had missed out on many adventures because she had avoided the water. Her family had swum with dolphins in Mexico, kayaked with whales in Washington, snorkeled with sharks in Thailand and she had missed out on all of it.

One Christmas, while visiting the Caribbean, my client watched as her family ventured out on yet another snorkeling adventure without her. She would sit in the boat and take pictures. Again.

“Wait,” she thought. “Not this time.” And without thinking too hard about it she donned the snorkel gear and accompanied her children into the water. They stuck by her side for a few minutes but then she shooed them off because she was entranced by what she was seeing under the sea. Fishes! Beautiful fishes! And they weren’t biting her toes or menacing her in any way. How about that?

My client returned back home a changed woman. She had conquered THE biggest fear of her life. She set out to conquer others and she did and still does.

My client is always telling me that knowing she can conquer her fear has given her a freedom she never thought she would have in her life. How great is that?

#5 – Do it to change your life.

Okay, so you have had some fun, challenged your assumptions, reminded yourself that you can do anything and conquered your fears. What’s next? Do you think you are just going to back to your old way of life? One built on fear, indecision and insecurity.

Of course you aren’t. You are going to take your newfound skills and self-awareness and go out and change your stars.

Because my client decided to take the step to move out of her apartment her life has changed in so many ways. She had lived in fear so she never put herself out there to have fun. Now she plays in an orchestra, goes to church and has started to date. Because she assumed that she was unlovable she cut herself off from friends and family. Now she knows that she is very lovable and she is letting them all back in again. Because she proved to herself that she could actually do it when she set her mind to moving she has set her mind to the fact that she wants to be an accountant and will pursue that goal at all costs.

Did I mention that my client is 68 years old? She decided that she wasn’t going to live in her dark apartment anymore, set her mind to a change and ultimately changed her life.

If she can do it you can too!

Eleanor Roosevelt said “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…Do the thing that you think you cannot do.”

Do it today. Think of one thing that you think you can not do and get determined to do it. Figure out what you need to do to do it. Set a goal for when you will get it done. Tell someone you are going to do it. And then do it. Don’t TRY to do it. Do it.

It will change your life.

You can do it! I know you can.

Looking for other reasons to do the thing that scares you most? Contact me and I can help.