First up for my short series on self coaching – creating the conditions to be successful.
Just as you would for any other important project, it’s critical to allocate space and time for your coaching.
- SCHEDULE UNINTERRUPTED TIME
I find it helpful to block out a good chunk of time in my calendar, and to know that for more challenging topics or projects, I’ll need to do this over a series of days to allow for reflection, exploring options and creating a realistic plan. I’ll also want to schedule time to check in on my progress, and very crucially, plan time to celebrate my achievement. Make sure this is a time when you won’t be interrupted.
- FIND A QUIET COMFORTABLE PLACE
To do your best thinking, you need to feel relaxed and safe. Pick a spot where you can be warm, comfy and uninhibited. Think not just about the space, but also what you’re wearing and who else is around.
- BRING A NOTEBOOK, PENS & HIGHLIGHTERS
A big part of coaching is externalising and making sense of what’s in your head, so get ready to take notes. There’s a magic that happens when you start writing down your thoughts and ideas, and a sense of accountability and making it real when the ink hits the paper. I like to have plenty of pens, pencils and even highlighters and tape to organise and emphasise my aha moments and key actions.
- HANG A ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ SIGN
At least metaphorically, or if you have kids – literally! It’s really important to have space and time to really think. Sometimes you’ll find silence helpful, another time it might be non-stop writing, and it’s harder to do that when your focus is broken.
- SETTLE YOUR MIND
Before you start, take some deep breaths to settle and focus your mind. Pay attention to how you are sitting and where you are holding tension. Breathe. If it helps, imagine your brain is like a recently shaken snow globe and breathe slowly as you watch the flakes gently settle to the bottom and the liquid gradually clear. Take some time to arrive at your task.
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