Productivity Coaching: Guide to Hiring a Coach
Thinking about hiring a productivity coach? You’re in the right place.
What Is Productivity Coaching?
The ultimate goal of all coaching is to help you lead a happier, more fulfilling life.
Productivity coaching approaches that goal by focussing on two problems:
- Efficiency – How to do more things right; and
- Effectiveness – How to do more of the right things.
Note: Productivity coaching is NOT about blindly trying to maximise output. If it’s not making life easier, making you happier and helping you spend more time on goals and with people you care about, then it’s not good productivity coaching.
When it comes to doing things right, a good productivity coach will help you hit your goals faster and easier by working through common productivity problems like:
- Beating procrastination;
- Destroying distractions; and
- Feeling organised and on top of your life.
When it comes to doing the right things, a good productivity coach will help you spend more time on goals and with people you care about by working through things like:
- Understanding where you are right now (point A);
- Clarifying what matters and where you’re going (point B);
- Planning the best route from point A to point B;
- Stopping and doing less of what doesn’t matter;
- Starting and doing more of what does matter; and
- Keeping you on track and on purpose.
The best productivity coaches will show you how to connect those two things together. They’ll show you how to make sure you’re taking action every day AND feel clear and confident that those actions support bigger goals, broader visions, values and an overall mission that motivates and excites you (and the people around you).
How Is Productivity Coaching Different From Articles, Books and Courses?
The best way to explore this question is to examine the three tools in every good productivity coach’s toolkit:
- Teaching – Showing you new ways to solve problems faster and easier;
- Problem-solving – Listening, structuring and helping you think clearly; and
- Accountability – Helping you follow through on your habits, plans and goals.
When it comes to teaching, the main benefit of productivity coaching is personalisation. A good coach will quickly diagnose and then close the knowledge/skill gaps around your biggest opportunities.
When it comes to problem-solving, a good productivity coach will listen and ask questions that draw out, clarify and help you think through your hopes, dreams and fears in a collaborative way that goes far beyond thinking on paper or using exercise books.
When it comes to accountability, a good productivity coach won’t just touch base more often to make sure you’re still on track, they’ll also give feedback on your progress and use it to refine the teaching and problem-solving.
But is productivity coaching for everyone? Probably not!
Let’s explore that idea in more detail…
Who Is Productivity Coaching For?
The best way to think about whether you need a productivity coach (and, if so, at what level) is to use a sport as an analogy.
Imagine you’re a runner.
If you’re just jogging casually, you definitely don’t need a coach. A little kit, a few articles/videos and an app are probably enough to get started.
If you’re training to run a marathon you might do a bit more research and planning, but you’ll still be more than fine without hiring a coach (or personal trainer) unless you’re struggling to make time for your training sessions.
Beyond this point, though, if you want to start hitting good times, breaking personal bests or competing, the game changes.
To start with, there’s a good chance you’ll join a running club to find teaching, training planning and accountability among your peers.
But at some point, you’re very likely to start looking for running pros, personal trainers, physios, nutritionists etc… to help maximise your performance and improvement.
The more ambitious your goals, the higher level the coaching and support teams you’ll need to help you keep making progress.
The exact same principles apply to productivity coaching.
Which is a good time to talk about…
Do I Need Productivity Coaching?
As above, the answer to whether you need a productivity coach or not depends very much at what level you’re playing the game.
If you’re just starting out, if you’re early in your career or if your life is fairly simple and your work and goals are mostly structured for you then the answer is probably no.
If, however, you’re a mid-level executive, industry expert, freelancer, entrepreneur or beyond and you’ve begun to realise the value of (and have the means to) hire some expert support, then the answer is probably yes.
You’ll get a huge amount from having a dedicated coach on your team to help fill your blind spots, think through big problems (like what the next level of success even looks like in each area of life) and help you work through the difficult tradeoffs, conversations, decisions and changes that will inevitably fall out of that process.
Who Is My Productivity Coaching For?
I’ve studied Psychology at Oxford, run my own startups, worked for several years as a consultant at McKinsey and written, taught and coached extensively around productivity, balance and meaning since leaving the corporate world (more info here).
As a result, my coaching is usually most appropriate for:
- Mid-level corporate execs;
- High-level start-up execs; and
…who are looking to get on top of their lives or breakthrough to the next level of their careers without giving up their health, families and everything else that’s important.
If that sounds like you, read on.
If you’re not playing the game at that level (yet), not to worry! You’ll find plenty of free book recommendations, book summaries, articles and tools in the productivity section of the site. And I’ll look forward to chatting more when you get here.
How Does My Productivity Coaching Work?
If you’ve read through this page then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what kinds of problems we’ll work on together (efficiency, effectiveness, balance, meaning) and how we’ll approach them (teaching, problem-solving, accountability).
Specifically, I find a combination of:
- Fortnightly top-down coaching sessions (+ homework); and
- Quick, daily, bottom-up accountability check-ins (with tactical feedback)…
…gives a perfect balance between working out what needs doing next, having time to think through interesting problems and making sure what needs doing gets done.
Note: One of the perks of productivity coaching is we can also design a custom syllabus or approach around your schedule or learning style.
Curious to learn more?
Apply for a Free Strategy Session
The best way to get started (and experience productivity coaching first hand) is to…
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