How Do You Customize Productivity Methods to Suit Your Unique Coaching Style?


    How Do You Customize Productivity Methods to Suit Your Unique Coaching Style?

    Coaches across various fields have taken classic productivity methods and tailored them to enhance their coaching strategies. From adapting bullet journaling to prioritizing tasks with a customized Eisenhower Matrix, discover how twelve productivity and executive coaches adapt these systems to their individual styles.

    • Use the Weekly Reset Method
    • Develop a Quantum Programming Process
    • Adapt Bullet Journaling to Narrative Writing
    • Reclaim Time with the Eisenhower Method
    • Investigate Client-Specific Productivity Needs
    • Customize Pomodoro Technique with Mindfulness
    • Coach Through Pomodoro with Tech Integration
    • Combine Neuroscience with the Kanban Method
    • Manage Energy with Kaizen and Breaks
    • Boost Dopamine with Physical Challenges
    • Visualize Priorities with Jar Analogy
    • Prioritize Tasks with Customized Eisenhower Matrix

    Use the Weekly Reset Method

    Adapted from "Getting Things Done" by David Allen, what I like to call The Weekly Reset is a ritual I recommend. Once a week, for one hour, it becomes an opportunity for my clients to mindfully reflect on accomplishments, get current with projects, and plan for a successful week ahead. Because I coach a lot of women in business—both corporate and entrepreneurs—I take this one step further by having women incorporate their menstrual cycle into their planning. This ensures that they are aligning their internal system (their natural energy levels, how their hormones will be affecting their brain functions, etc.) with their tasks and responsibilities for maximum impact.

    Many productivity methodologies fail to acknowledge that women operate differently than men. It's why the burnout rates for women are higher: the business world operates on a circadian rhythm—like men. In addition to the 24-hour rhythm, women have a 28-day infradian cycle to consider if they want to increase productivity and impact. While a man's energy, focus, and ability support a daily routine, women cannot operate in the same way if they want to boost productivity AND sustain optimal well-being. This is why some weeks they are rock stars in meetings, presentations, and negotiations, and other weeks they are better at tackling all the small details of a project.

    As my female clients learn the types of tasks their system is best suited for at any given point throughout the month, they become more empowered, more productive, and more impactful—all while feeling healthier, stronger, and more energized. Instead of forcing themselves to operate like men, they learn to flow with nature so they can truly make the difference they're here to make—without the sacrifice.

    Amy Fairbridge
    Amy FairbridgeHolistic Productivity Coach, Do Less Be More Coaching

    Develop a Quantum Programming Process

    Daily routines are very popular and trendy right now, and they should be because they work. The secret sauce lies in knowing why you're using each tool and figuring out how to tailor them to suit your own goals and aspirations.

    I have developed a peak-performance process called QP1, or Quantum Programming, that serves as a roadmap that helps my clients uncover their hidden passions and drive, then harnesses them to supercharge their results. We blend mindset coaching, meditation, breathwork, nutrition, and faith into a powerful cocktail of success. I'm happy to report that my clients are consistently achieving outstanding results!

    Brett Baughman
    Brett BaughmanBusiness & Life Coach, The Brett Baughman Companies

    Adapt Bullet Journaling to Narrative Writing

    I love the concept of Bullet Journaling, which is a very popular productivity method for listing notes, tasks, and ideas. However, for many of my right-brained, creative coaching clients, the magic lies in narrative writing, which is why I have customized this concept into a framework called Mindful Monday Mapping (or 'MMM' for short).

    I first implemented this framework for myself some years ago and was able to slash my workload in half as a result. I have now turned MMM into my signature coaching program for the purpose of helping my clients do the same. It builds on the idea of using a recurring reflection routine for productivity, and it integrates short Bullet Journaling prompts, the concept of Kaizen, and the Kanban method of working at the same time.

    Putting pen to paper for short narrative writing exercises forces conciseness, which ultimately leads to more creativity, better ideas, and sharper decision-making. I'm proud to say that the majority of my clients have been able to create much shorter workweeks for themselves within six months of implementing my technique.

    Caroline Guntur
    Caroline GunturOrganizing & Productivity Coach, The Swedish Organizer LLC

    Reclaim Time with the Eisenhower Method

    I've adapted the Eisenhower method to align with my coaching style by guiding clients beyond mere awareness to actionable steps. Initially, we categorize their time based on urgency and importance, then we focus on reclaiming unproductive hours weekly by identifying tasks they can defer, delete, or delegate. Finally, we implement productivity focus blocks in their calendars, dedicating specific time to high-value action tasks or projects tailored to their goals.

    Jennifer Frigault
    Jennifer FrigaultFounder & Executive Coach, Spire Vision Leadership

    Investigate Client-Specific Productivity Needs

    One secret of the best coaches is that we focus on our clients' needs, not our own style. So when a client shares that they're not being productive, we investigate a few things: (1) What does being productive look like for them? (2) What is getting in the way of their effectiveness? and (3) What are some actual steps they're willing to try to get out of this rut?

    In answering these questions, we might come up with solutions that are aligned with popular productivity methods, but we also might come up with something wildly different that works for that client. The truth is there's no perfect method for everyone, and often after a while, one method will stop being effective, and it's time to try something new.

    Erin Conlon
    Erin ConlonExecutive Coach & Speaker, EPC LLC

    Customize Pomodoro Technique with Mindfulness

    In my coaching practice, I've tailored the Pomodoro Technique to fit my unique approach. Initially, I found its rigid time constraints limiting for some clients. So, I adapted it to allow for more flexibility in session lengths, accommodating varying attention spans and energy levels. I also integrated mindfulness practices into the breaks, encouraging clients to recharge mentally and emotionally.

    Additionally, I encourage clients to personalize their tasks within each Pomodoro session, aligning with their goals and priorities. Furthermore, I've incorporated reflective exercises at the end of each Pomodoro cycle, fostering self-awareness and continuous improvement. By customizing the Pomodoro Technique in this way, I've seen my clients experience enhanced focus, productivity, and overall well-being.

    Christopher Salem
    Christopher SalemBusiness Executive Coach - Corporate Trainer - Business Acceleration Strategist, CRS Group Holdings LLC

    Coach Through Pomodoro with Tech Integration

    I have used the Pomodoro technique to improve my productivity and often suggest this to my clients. In this technique, you break down tough tasks into smaller increments, which are about 20-30 minutes. Once that time period is up, you move on. I love this technique so much that I have an online productivity flow where I even coach people through the timeframe, and it can connect to your phone so if you pick the phone up, my voice comes on and reminds you not to get distracted. This is working well for myself and my clients.

    Aleasa Word
    Aleasa WordCEO & Executive Coach, A. Word & Company

    Combine Neuroscience with the Kanban Method

    In my coaching practice, I integrate neuroscience principles with the Kanban method to manage my workload and ensure efficient prioritization. This combination allows me to visualize tasks clearly, simplify processes, and limit work-in-progress, mirroring the strategies I employ in coaching sessions. This tailored approach not only enhances my productivity but also serves as a practical model for clients, demonstrating how to adapt general methodologies to fit personal needs and cognitive styles. It's a powerful way to teach clients about setting manageable goals and maintaining focus in a busy environment.

    Maria Wade
    Maria WadeSenior Executive Coach, Maria Wade LLC

    Manage Energy with Kaizen and Breaks

    The productivity methods that have helped me be a better coach are focused on how I manage my energy. As someone who has perfectionist tendencies, I have held the belief that you must be constantly busy and not waste a minute. So, I used to schedule meetings back-to-back and would find myself exhausted! So, what I have embraced are two simple tools: Kaizen, the Japanese art of taking small steps, and small physical actions such as deep breathing.

    What helps me stay productive as a coach has been adding tiny breaks between my coaching calls and administrative and marketing work. I aim to always leave 15 minutes between calls to reenergize myself. And, one of my favorite recharging methods is to hula-hoop for two to three minutes during the day, as this lightens my mood and reenergizes.

    Kathryn Mayer
    Kathryn MayerLeadership development coach and speaker, KC Mayer Consulting

    Boost Dopamine with Physical Challenges

    Eat the frog and wash it down with cold water.

    'Eat the frog' is a powerful productivity tool that involves doing your most difficult and important task first to make others seem simple. When done correctly, it works. The challenge is that your willpower and dopamine levels to pursue that task are dependent on a lot of outside factors. Bad sleep, a couple of drinks the night before, or scrolling through Instagram in the morning will make this hurdle too large. This is why we need a little spice.

    Every activity depends on your dopamine levels, and if they are low from non-replenishment (sleep) or you use it on social media, that big task gets bigger. That means you need a way to increase your dopamine in a lasting way. You will need to step out of your head for this one and do something physically difficult. Physically difficult activities (i.e., painful ones) have a unique ability to increase dopamine levels and keep them high.

    My personal favorite is the cold shower. If I'm staring a difficult task in the face and don't want to get started, I shift my focus to a cold shower. I also don't want to do that, but it only takes two minutes, which seems much more manageable. After stepping out of the cold shower, I feel superhuman. I can then sit down at my desk and dial up my task with ease. Be sure to adhere to proper cold shower protocols or consult your doctor.

    There is more and more research coming out on how brain chemistry can be altered to offer boosts in productivity and happiness. It's time we take advantage of this research.

    Blake Farris
    Blake FarrisDopamine Coach, Mito Coaching

    Visualize Priorities with Jar Analogy

    Figuring out how to organize their time can be tricky for some clients. I have asked them to draw up a calendar for the week, dividing each day into three parts: morning, afternoon, and evening.

    We use this together with the image of a jar filled with rocks of different sizes, where the biggest rocks (which represent the most important things in our lives) are placed in the jar first, then the others in descending order of size.

    The visualization of the jar, with an explanation, has helped clients clarify their priorities when it comes to how they will use their time. They then make sure that the most important things in their lives find space in their calendars first.

    Jackie RulanderPersonal development Coach, Vetcraft Creative Studios

    Prioritize Tasks with Customized Eisenhower Matrix

    The Eisenhower Priority Matrix can be a game-changer in helping people prioritize their tasks by seeing which priorities to focus more energy on, and which to outsource or remove entirely. I've customized it further for my coaching clients to be a step-by-step process that will leave them with a rank-ordered list of tasks. This is really helpful for leaders who need to delegate more and work more strategically.

    First, you simply list out all of your tasks within a project, in whatever order they come to your mind. Then you go line by line through each task and add the deadline (if externally based), whether it is urgent (yes or no), important (yes or no), and who is responsible for completing the task.

    Then you go back through and add a deadline to anything that didn't have one yet and assign dates based on tasks that are urgent and important first, then tasks that are important but not urgent, then tasks that are urgent but not important. Lastly, you sort the list based on which deadline is soonest.

    Brittany Canaski
    Brittany CanaskiLife & Leadership Coach, Hello Velocity