Do you detest looking at your weekly to-do list because tasks keep piling up, leaving you overwhelmed? Or do you spend hours sitting in your workspace, to the point of back and neck pain, and find that you've really only worked on one thing the entire day?
How do you improve and increase your productivity? What are new habits that will help you stay focused and energized to maximize your time and work? Easier said than done, and everyone has a different answer to this. For a lot of people though, the preferred solution is hiring a productivity coach.
What is a productivity coach?
A productivity coach is a professional or service that helps you ensure you're doing what you need to do efficiently and on time, and that your tasks and daily priorities are in line with your long-term, big-picture goals. The personal productivity coach does not just help you plan, schedule, and manage your tasks better so you approach them with less stress, but also keeps you accountable to your goals and helps you bring about behavioral change by enforcing good habits and getting rid of your bad ones.
Some popular productivity coaches:
An advisor and angel investor in social media platforms Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), and Uber, Tim Ferriss is famous for introducing the "4-hour work week" to encourage people to work when they're feeling the most effective as a way to improve productivity.
Best known for his book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen has shared with the world many simple productivity tools and hacks to help make work and organization convenient and fun. The GTD system has revamped the way many of us organize our lives, and is based on a simple belief – the more information you're trying to store and remember in your head, the more difficult it becomes, leading to stress, overwhelm and uncertainty. The GTD method proposes a system to organize all the mental clutter in your head so that you can focus on what's important.
Counted among the greatest management gurus, Stephen Covey focused on boosting productivity and success through everyday habits. His 1989 book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, sold more than 25 million copies around the world, and his quadrant model for time management is diligently followed by most productivity coaches and enthusiasts even today.
A computer science professor and author, Cal Newport has helped popularise deep work, an all-important work productivity tool with benefits for all. He promotes a style of focused, distraction-free work schedule to increase your productivity and help optimize results.
Author of Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career, Scott Young is a blogger who advises on productivity levels, developing productive habits, career growth strategies, and quick learning methods.
Who needs productivity coaching?
Everyone has different ways of being productive. But a productivity coaching program or coach is for people who would like help with any of the following:
Productivity coaching could help people who struggle to optimize and divide their time between various things that demand their attention, by providing them with tools and systems to manage their time better.
People who keep adding tasks and switching between projects without realizing the order in which they can and should be done, could benefit from understanding how to prioritize with help from their personal productivity coach.
Delaying a task or abandoning it in lieu of other things is a common problem, but one can learn and develop smart ways to control and overcome this.
Not sure why you procrastinate? Take our quiz!
Maintaining focus and motivation
It's happened to all of us – we start a project with a lot of enthusiasm, but when the novelty wears off, it starts to lose its sheen, and frankly, get boring. Sustaining your enthusiasm in the long term is an integral part of getting any big project done. Productivity coaching can help keep you motivated, and less likely to abandon your goals when the going gets tough!
Types of Productivity Coaching Clients
While anyone and everyone can benefit from productivity coaching, there are certain kinds of occupations and situations that are particularly suited.
- Entrepreneurs looking to start and grow their business
- Freelancers who want to set up a proper system of work
- Sales executives and account managers looking to improve their workflow and increase productivity
- Artists and writers who need help staying motivated
- Students and researchers who need to stay accountable
- People juggling multiple jobs, who need to keep their tasks prioritized
- People who want to get rid of bad habits and develop good ones
- People who want to bring positive changes to their lifestyle
Benefits of working with a productivity coach
Better work and time management
Organization and time management are two important tenets of a productivity system, and a productivity coach can help you learn how to get better at both.
Having a coach keep an eye on what you're doing to achieve your goals will ensure you're making progress on both professional projects and personal life goals.
Consistency is key to developing new, productive habits, and a productivity coach will ensure you're able to achieve it!
Support and motivation
A productivity coach's encouragement and understanding will make you feel better about your life goals and about facing the obstacles on the way to achieving them.
When we're too close to an issue, it can be difficult to focus and be objective. A coach can help us take a step back to look at the big picture and provide impartial advice and ideas on how to deal with challenges.
While all these benefits are going to be visible, the when varies from person to person. So don't be discouraged if you don't see results right away – trust the process! At the same time, it's important that you as the client iterate to your productivity coach what is working, and what is not, so you and the coach can improve the relationship together.
Where to find a personal productivity coach
Productivity coaching programs
Many productivity coaches have their own productivity coaching programs available to try. These productivity coaching programs are in-person, through YouTube videos, or online coaching sessions.
There are some productivity apps that guide you through setting goals, breaking them down, and achieving them. Check out, for example, Amazing Marvin and Intend.do!
Boss as a Service
This is our favorite suggestion (no surprises there)! Our bosses have tons of productivity tips and tricks to ensure you stay on track for big or small goal setting that you may have. And, we keep you accountable every day, including with help from our friends at stickK and Beeminder, along with our goal setting introducing you to a community of like-minded productivity-seeking individuals through our periodic challenges.
Productivity is not an in-built trait – getting anywhere requires help! So working with a productivity coach can benefit those who need a little extra guidance and motivation.