Eight months ago I launched my signature coaching service, The Productivity Pipeline. I started the service in response to a problem many of my clients faced. Now, I’m relaunching the service, to so speak. Although anyone can sign up at any time of the year, the beginning of the semester is a great time to start working on changing your writing habits. I’ve learned some important lessons from my clients, and I think that their work lives have improved. As I invite you to work with me over the next semester, I’d like to share some of those lessons.
Working with a coach brings order to a chaotic work life.
As one client stated, “I was working all the time, but I felt like I was spinning my wheels…Jane taught me how to implement some self-discipline and prioritization.” You might be writing a lot, yet never completing projects. Or, you might find yourself having very little time to write, but at a loss for what to do during the precious pockets of time that you do have. To counter these feelings, I work with clients to create a goal setting system that enables them to focus on short-term goals instead of mindless writing tasks. While I may encourage you to use the Pomodoro Technique, or write for 15 minutes each morning, we only do that in service of a bigger writing outcome. The second benefit of the short-term goals is that they prevent those bigger writing outcomes from seeming too onerous.
Coaching isn’t just for people who don’t write a lot.
When I launched the Productivity Pipeline I guessed that most of my clients would struggle with writing, in the sense that they couldn’t or wouldn’t prioritize their writing. That assumption was wrong! My clients are all over the spectrum in terms of their writing progress. Some have already published quite a bit, and have a consistent writing practice. They work with me because like the client quoted above, they have a lot going on and need to get organized. Some have no writing practice to speak of and want to build one. The benefit of one-on-one coaching is that I am able to meet you where you’re at, and tailor my approach to your needs and your goals.
Bi-weekly calls provide just the right amount of accountability.
During the semester it’s difficult to complete a large chunk of writing in a week. Even if you’re writing regularly, you may not have much to report during a weekly call besides the fact that you’re writing regularly. That’s why a call every other week, supplemented with email support, works better for everyone.
You can change your habits – if you put in the work.
This may seem obvious, but it bears discussion. Changing your habits is an iterative process. You’ll have to try things you may not initially enjoy. You’ll have to challenge some of your assumptions about what constitutes hard work. You might even have to rearrange your calendar. You won’t, however, do all of these things at once. The value of working with a coach is that you have an ally to help you think through what’s working and what isn’t, and to encourage you when you’re feeling like the work of writing is scary, intimidating, or just too hard. I’m the person in your corner reminding you that you’re capable of achieving your writing goals and that you are justified in protecting your writing time. The onus, however, is on you. I’ve
turned away prospective clients who have stated that they are unwilling to change their habits but want a magic bullet to jumpstart their writing. You won’t find that with me, and I won’t waste your time (or mine) or money if you’re not going to do the work.
Learning these lessons has made me a better coach. I did a *lot* of research on productivity, habit formation, and writing before I started coaching (after all, I am a sociologist), but the data I collected through observing my clients, asking them questions, and participating in the coaching relationship with them is irreplaceable (after all, I am a sociologist!). I use all of this knowledge in concert to inform my research-based, data-driven approach to coaching.
If you think you’d be interested in coaching or just want to learn more about it, visit this page. There you’ll find more details on the service and how you can sign up for a free consultation or start working with me.