This week, I am writing about how motivation, focus and productivity.
As a "solo-preneur" with big dreams, I need to keep myself motivated and
maintain focus to make sure I hit my business goals. Making changes in
your career also requires all of those things and I encourage my
clients to treat their career transition much like a work project. Of
course I encourage my clients to harness their personal strengths and
values to keep them engaged but sometimes they also want some more
As a coach, I have been exposed to a plethora of motivational and
productivity “hacks”. Some of these are way more useful than others but
I’ve tried a lot of them out and picked the ones that work for me. I’m
often asked how I stay on track and so I thought I’d share my top 3
practices that have the biggest impact for me personally.
Top Tip One: Get Visual
I am a very visual person. My highest value driver is Aesthetic and I
feel most motivated when things around me are in harmony and look
At the end of 2019, I created a Vision & Action Board for where I
wanted to Dynami to go in 2020. I used glitter, coloured pens, string,
photos, buttons and anything else I could get my hands on. It had
various sections, some focusing on the business with revenue targets and
new programme launches, and some focusing on my purpose and how I was
going to look after myself to achieve my goals.
I had a strapline for the year: “2020: the year of the career”. I had
my 3 words for the year: Create, Thrive, Inspire. I had my 3 key
drivers: Love, Adventure, Home. And lots of photos of me, my husband,
my dog, my campervan, my holiday snaps and my guitar. It is beautiful!
I have this board in my office and it’s visible to me every day. It
connects me instantly, visually and emotionally with what I need to do
and why I want to do it. It makes me feel grounded, confident, with
purpose and it keeps me moving forward.
Top Tip Two: Dial up the internal resources you need right now
I have some lovely coaching cards called “At My Best”. They contain 48
different words relating to strengths and values and I use them with
coaching clients to help them to identify what traits are reflective of
them when they are at their best.
Whilst I encourage my clients to play to their strengths wherever
possible, the truth is that we are all capable of “dialling up”
different traits that might not come naturally to us when required in
order to get things done.
Now I have a little weekly practice that I created myself. On a Monday
morning, I spread the 48 cards out onto the large table in my office. I
then think about what my goals are for the week. I pick three cards
which represent the traits that I think I will need to dial up that week
in order to achieve my goals. I then get out another lovely set of
coaching cards which are a variety of photographs of different things
and I pick the one photo that speaks to me of “how” I need to be that
This week, for example, I am focusing a large amount of time on writing
content for my upcoming online programme "Get Clear on Your Career". My
three words for this week are: Creative, Patient and Focused. These
are not necessarily key traits of mine but they are things that I can
summon up to help me stay focused this week.
The magic this week happened with the picture card. I found a photo of a
grand piano. I play the piano and this made me realise that, although
these aren’t my natural traits, I have experience of using them to
create something beautiful and (to me) worthwhile: music.
These four cards get stuck on the wall in front of my desk so I can see
them all the time. They remind me that I can use all the resources
within me even if they’re not my natural traits. They also remind me
that it’s just for this week and I can probably get back to playing to
my strengths again next week!
Top Tip Three: Full Focus Planner
My third top practice is actually a product that I make use of, created
by Michael Hyatt call the Full Focus Planner. This is a beautifully
presented (aesthetic!) diary come journal come notebook which helps me
to focus on some very good practices.
The Full Focus Planner gets you to state upfront your annual goals.
This sets the foundation for your quarterly, monthly and weekly goals.
It encourages you to have morning and evening rituals as well as workday
startup and workday shutdown rituals. These last two are invaluable
Each week, it helps you to review the week just gone: successes, what
you want to keep, what you want to let go of. You then plan for the
week ahead and pick your weekly Big 3 goals. Your daily planner (double
page spread) then becomes a combination of your diary, your daily Big
3, your other tasks and a jotter.
This planner definitely keeps me focused and productive. Being a
creative soul who loves to acquire new knowledge, I am easily
distracted. I have learned that creating a structure for the essentials
enables me to be flexible and creative around the edges without being
pulled away from my goals.
What to do now
I know that everyone is different and that one person's habits and
practices do not necessarily work for everyone else. However, there
might be some ideas in here that could work to keep you on track. Here
are a few things you could do:
I'd love to know your own motivation and productivity practices. Please do share!
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