Here is my focus in this blog. Actually I have two.
My first focus is this: I want to show you — the coach, consultant, or change agent — how to get things done and develop good work habits.
My second goal is to show you that you’re missing something in your work with clients.
Are your clients getting their long-term goals accomplished? If the answer is “No” or “I don’t know,” read on.
Here’s what I’ve seen over and over — wonderful teaching, inspirational, motivational coaching sessions, but not enough training in how to get that big project done in daily, doable small steps.
Today my focus is on how to get your client to focus on those small steps.
Here is how I work with my clients to help them focus on the important.
Once the client has decided what their long-term project will be (e.g. starting a business, improving their use of social media, writing a book, developing healthy eating habits, building their practice), the client needs to know what to do next.
A long-term goal is important, but if you don’t know what to do tomorrow, you won’t do anything at all.
I believe that most people thrive with extremely specific plans, which means they need plans for what to do each day.
The only way to learn how to focus is to know exactly what you should focus on.
So I ask the client to determine the very specific next steps they must take. I work with them until they know what they are going to do, in small steps, each day.
I also help them break down what could possibly get in their way, and how they are going to accomplish each small step.
Clients are overwhelmed by a deluge of information, thoughts, fears, and interruptions from daily life. Without a list of next steps, they just won’t take any steps.
Here are 3 simple tools that address these issues. See if you can identify which issues each one addresses.
Using this method, you have an internal reminder of what you are supposed to focus on, and an external reminder of when it’s time to start and stop.
There’s an app for that: Concentrate, for Macs only, lets you specify which applications on your computer will be turned off while you focus solely on your chosen task. It also gives you reminder sounds to help you stay on task. It then turns off those apps once you tell it that you have started.
First you set your intention. The instructions below say this say, “What are you using the computer for? Be specific.”
Here I’ve set my intention as “writing an article,” and I’ve chosen 25 minutes as the amount of time that I want to work on it.
The timer has started, and I’m reminded by the title what my intention is. If I decide part way through the 25 minutes that I want to check my email, I must set a new intention.
I’ve set my intention to check my email for 10 minutes. Note that my previous intention is “Pending” below in the middle bottom.
As soon as I finish checking my email, the app will put my previous intention, “Writing an article” back on the screen, and continue the countdown clock.
The point of Intentionq is to help your clients become intentionally aware of the choices they are making, instead of finding themselves immersed in Pinterest 2 hours later, without any awareness of how they got there. Like I was yesterday.
Try one or more of these apps for yourself. Most of us mere mortals need something external to help us structure our work. And remember, FOCUS!
What do you think of these apps? Do you know of others? What do you do to focus? How have you helped your clients focus?
Please post your responses or thoughts below – I really want to hear from you!