What works for you?

I often work with people who are extrovert creatives. They find themselves in an environment surrounded by introvert technical people and notice where they are weak. Typically they complain that they are disorganised and manage time badly. When we talk further we discover that they do get things done, just in a less linear fashion. I suggest that they experiment with what works for them in terms of work and managing time and focus their attention there.

One client found that she preferred to work into the early hours on a project and just keep going until it was finished, rather than small amounts of time here and there. He was able to negotiate hours with his employer in a way that worked for both. Another found that using a spider diagram rather than a simple list was more productive for the way her brain worked.

Many have written on this subject. Covey recommends a quadrant – dividing tasks into important and urgent, important and not urgent, not important and urgent and finally not important and not urgent. He urges more time be spent on the important and not urgent as that can make the most difference.

Others talk of dedicating the first hour of the day – or some other hour for ‘A Time’, again the most important things. Or immersing  for a limited amount of time, say 25 minutes, without interruptions or ‘a pomodoro‘.

One of the things I do with clients is get them to dream their ideal life, the way they would love it to be. I want to give you permission to think more about what work for you. This is time management – extend that question into your job, relationships, fitness, your home. Don’t worry about the how yet – just explore.

What works for you?






1 question to change your 2016

What do you want the “theme” of your life to be in the next year – one word?

Early each year I take time to look back over the previous year and looking ahead. I do the same process with coaching clients. We take some time to celebrate their gains and note the disappointments. Having reviewed we look ahead at the year to come. What do they long to see happen this year?

This is quite a long thorough process that generally takes 45 minutes or so. So, I’ve condensed it. Below is a 5 question version and a 1 question version!

I want to share with you 5 questions to help you make this review too. I recommend that you do this with someone else, a partner, friend or coach. Let them ask the questions and allow you to concentrate on the answers.

5 question version:

  1. As you think back over the last 12 months, where have you strengthened your footing or gained new ground?
  2. As you look back over the past year, where have you failed to advance, or even lost ground?
  3. What’s the deep truth about your life as it is today?  
  4. What do you want the “theme” of your life to be in the next year? One word?
  5. What are the things you must do or be in the next 12 months to move your life forward in the direction of your deepest heart desires?

Often we find as we review our goals that things have just happened, that progress has been made without conscious thought or action.

And if I was to chose just one question it would be no. 4. So here is the 1 question version.

1 question: 

What do you want the “theme” of your life to be in 2016 – one word?

Let me know in the comments below what word you chose.

sharpening saw

Spring Offer – sharpening the saw coaching

Those who spend all their time fighting and advocating for others often neglect themselves. Any kind of self care or self development can feel like self indulgence, an unnecessary luxury. Time for me less important than time for others.

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening the saw”

This quote, wrongly attributed to Lincoln, is a reminder of how time spent sharpening the saw, sharpening the instrument, is invaluable in terms of getting things done. In much people related work our instrument is ourselves. Time spent on ourselves, on renewal, helps us to be more effective.

Spring Offer for human rights campaigners and Christian pioneers – 5 sessions of focus on sharpening the saw  Continue reading

What if you forgot to have a big juicy creative life?

“What if you wake up some day and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid?

SpringIt’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen. Repent just means to change direction — and NOT to be said by someone who is waggling their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing.

Pick a new direction, one you wouldn’t mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.” – Anne Lamott

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