The Amazing Benefits of Having a Personal Productivity Coach

Having  a personal productivity coach cannot only boost your productivity but also reduce your amount of stress and make you happier.

1. Lack of Productivity & Feeling of Overwhelm

In today’s workplace more and more people are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work, information and communication. They are therefore working long hours and at the same time feel that they are not getting everything done that they are supposed to. As a result more and more people are suffering from job burnout. 

With the coronavirus pandemic leading a lot of companies to switch to remote work, many workers are facing the additional challenge of being productive while working from home.

To solve the challenges of productivity and work overwhelm, a lot of advice is available on how to get more things done, achieve more focus and feel less stressed. 

However, few people are actually able to implement this advice by themselves. They need to have the help of others to be more focused and productive, be it their bosses or other team members. However, this help is not available for people working from home in a solitary way. Therefore, a large percentage of people currently working from home are feeling stressed or unproductive or both. 

2. The Personal Productivity Coach

For people experiencing the challenge to remain focused, not distracted and productive while working remotely, there exists a solution, a solution that helps them to become and stay productive: a personal productivity coach.

In this article we will see how a personal productivity coach is able to support your stress free productivity and we will see the benefits of having one.

A personal productivity coach is a person that has two goals: 

  • To lower your work stress and 
  • To increase your work productivity. 

She accomplishes those goals by:

  • Analyzing your current productivity, 
  • Establishing your goals, 
  • Giving expert advice on productivity, and
  • Being your personal accountability buddy.

So we have 4 steps of productivity coaching:  

  • Step 1: Status analysis
  • Step 2: Goal setting
  • Step 3: Expert advice
  • Step 4: Accountability buddy

We can summarize the reasons for getting productivity coaching and the elements of productivity coaching as follows:

If you are interested in having your own productivity coach to help you plan and follow through with your weekly plan and thus become less stressed and more productive, you should get in touch with Focus Cycles Productivity Coaching.

Focus Cycles is a productivity consulting company offering online productivity courses, productivity software and productivity coaching. As you are reading this, we let you register for a trial of the productivity coaching! In order to do so, you have to register at by entering this code: ILOVEWORK.

3. Step 1: Status Analysis

Personal productivity coaching starts with an analysis of your current productivity status. This is important because only once the coach knows your starting point can she determine where you want to go and how to get there.

In the status analysis it is important to be realistic. That means you don’t want to be too optimistic but also not too pessimistic. Also, you want to focus whenever possible on actual numbers and not only on your impressions. 

We show below the different areas of analysis and the questions the productivity coach should ask:

  • Physical state
  • Work time
  • Work space
  • Work tools
  • Disruption and interruptions
  • Focus cycles

3.1. Physical state

These are the questions the coach will ask:

  • How much do you exercise per day/week?
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? 
  • How much do you weigh and what is your BMI (body mass index)? 
  • How many calories do you consume and how many meals do you take? 
  • What kind of food do you eat?

Analysing the physical status is important because productivity needs a productive mind, and a productive mind needs a healthy body. Like the famous Latin expression: “Mens sana in corpore sano (healthy mind in a healthy body).”.

To help us with this status analysis, it helps if the client wear a wearable device, which generally is able to give exact data on:

  • Hours of sleep, 
  • Steps taken per day, 
  • Resting heart rate, 
  • Minutes of exercise per day.

3.2. Work time

These are the questions the coach will ask:

  • How many hours do you work?
  • How much time do you spend on different work categories?
  • How much time do you spend on email?

Many clients do not have a precise idea of how much time they are actually spending on productive work. For that reason they need to track their work hours. It takes around a week of measuring every task daily to get a more realistic assessment of the work time. 

3.3. Work space 

These are the questions the coach will ask:

  • From which places do you spend most of your time working?
  • Do you notice any difference in productivity working from different spaces?
  • Does your work spaces have enough fresh air, light, a nice view, absences of noise and interruptions?

3.4. Work tools

These are the questions the coach will ask:

  • Which email system do you use? MS Outlook? Gmail? Superhuman? 
  • Which cloud storage do you use? Drive? Dropbox? One Drive? 
  • Which project management system do you use? Asana? Jira? Workiamo? 
  • Which channels of communication do you use with your team? Email? Chat? Video conference? 

3.5. Disruption and interruptions

These are the questions the coach will ask:

  • How much time do you spend on social media? Facebook? Instagram? Pinterest?
  • How many times do you get interrupted by your colleagues or your family members? 
  • How much time are you able to concentrate without being distracted or interrupted?
  • How much time do you spend in meetings?

3.6. Focus Cycles

These are the questions the coach will ask:

  • Do you use any online or offline system to plan work periodically?
  • Do you make a yearly plan? 
  • Do you make a monthly plan? 
  • Do you make a weekly plan? 
  • Do you make a daily plan? 

The answers of all of the above questions helps the productivity coach as well as the client to understand the baseline of productivity and to understand which areas to focus on.

4. Step 2: Goal Setting

Once the baseline has been established, and the critical areas identified, the personal productivity coach helps the client to set goals. There are two kinds of goal settings, which are quite distinct:

  • Setting outcome goals 
  • Setting system goals

Setting outcome goals is about defining what the client wants in life. Setting system goals defines the tools and structure that the client wants to implement on a daily basis to help him accomplish the outcome goals. 

4.1. Outcomes goals

Setting the outcome goals has 4 steps:

  1. Mind sweep
  2. Defining mission and vision
  3. Creating a goal pyramid
  4. Splitting the goals, project, tasks into time periods

Goal setting starts by making a mind sweep. A mind sweep is an unordered list of things that the client already has on his mind. 

The next step is for the client to think about his ultimate “WHY”. Why does he want to accomplish all of this, or in other words what is his life mission and vision.

Next, the client should think about how his mission and vision relate to the tasks he needs to work on. The outcome of this is a goal pyramid. A goal pyramid is a hierarchy of goals that has the ultimate life mission goal at the top and small actionable tasks at the bottom. The objective of this to get clarity on each level of the goal pyramid: 

  • Mission level
  • Project level
  • Task level
  • Subtask level

A goal pyramid will be a huge list, which will feel overwhelming. So the next step is for the coach and client to split the goals and tasks into different time periods making:

  • A life plan, 
  • A 5 years plan, 
  • A 1 year plan, 
  • A 1 month plan, 
  • A 1 week plan, 
  • And a daily plan.

We can illustrate the process of goal setting and putting goals into focus cycles as follows:

4.2. System goals

A system goal is about implementing the systems, tools or strategies that helps the client achieve his outcome goals. The main system to focus on are: 

  • Habit creation
  • Habit extinction
  • Focus cycles planning
  • Work tools
  • Fitness planning
  • Workspace

4.2.1. Habit creation

Habits are things we do on a daily basis without thinking about it. So these actions take place automatically and do not require any willpower. For example, most people do not need any willpower to take a shower or brush their teeth because these actions are habits.

It is important to identify the regular action that you want to take, in order to make them habits.

4.2.2. Habit extinction

Habit extinction is required when you have bad habits. For example:

  • You smoke every time you drink alcohol.
  • You surf on the Internet every time you feel tired. 

These negative habits have to be identified and then extinguished.

4.2.3. Focus cycles planning

Focus cycles planning is an essential tool of productivity. Therefore, it makes sense for the coach and the client to establish when and how they would do monthly, weekly and daily planning.

Most common would be for the coach and the client to meet at the beginning of the month and the beginning of each week to discuss both the cycle that ended as well as plan for the coming focus cycle.

4.2.4. Fitness planning

Underlying a productive mind is a healthy body. Therefore certain fitness discipline has be installed:

  • How many hours of sleep do you need? 
  • How many steps do you take per day, on average? 
  • How many minutes of high intensity exercise are you able to do every day?

4.2.5. Workspace

The coach might discover that the client doesn’t have a productive workspace. For example, a workspace without a window, without fresh air, too hot, or too many interruptions.

4.2.6. Work tools

Work tools are things like email, cloud storage, calendar or project management systems. The work tools can be a great help to achieve more productivity and therefore get your goals accomplished. But it is important to note that there are some tools that work far better than others. Therefore, the coach will help you in selecting the best work tools.  

All of the above systems are important and the coach should not only look at the current status but also establish goals for each system.

Status analysis and goal setting are the two most important starting points to start your productivity improvement with your coach. They would generally be able to be completed within a week’s time. 

After that week, the work is not done. In fact, the work just has started because the productivity coach will work with you during your entire life. The two things that the productivity coach does continuously to increase your productivity and reduce your stress are:

  • Giving expert advice and 
  • Being an accountability buddy

5. Step 3: Expert Advice

A coach is an expert on productivity. She will provide you a large amount of this advice during the first week  (status analysis and goals setting), but the full expert advice you will get over time as she works with you every week. This advice could be for example:

  • How to improve your daily planning, 
  • How to have more productive meetings, 
  • How to set goals, 
  • How to improve your workspace.

6. Step 4: Accountability Buddy

An accountability buddy is someone that holds you accountable to accomplish your goals. This work as follows: You meet your accountability buddy every week and will share what you have accomplished in the past week and what you want to accomplish over the next week. In the next session your accountability buddy will hold you accountable for those things that you had planned for the week. 

6.1. Real accountability

In my own experience, accountability buddies rarely provide real accountability. This is because your buddy does not have a list of the individual tasks that you were supposed to get done nor the list of tasks that you actually got done. SO it is up to you to present to him whatever you have accomplished. And as the buddy is most likely your friend, the most common reaction would be: Amazing! You have gotten so many things done even though you really procrastinated on the most important tasks.

6.2. Best Accountability buddy advice

After having experienced different ways of working of accountabilities buddies, we strongly believe that the following process is the most helpful:

  • One meeting per week of 45 minutes 
  • The meeting has the following agenda:
    • Review: Last week tasks
    • Plan: Next week tasks
    • Observations
  • Daily review of accomplishments

The most important thing in this process is the accountability buddy is able to see the list of goals, projects and tasks that you made for the week and see every goal, project and tasks that you have actually accomplished.

6.3. Workiamo software

In order to support the above accountability process we needed a tool that would allow:

  • Easily create an overall goal pyramid
  • Split the goals and tasks into focus cycles (monthly, weekly and daily plans)
  • Share each plan with the accountability buddy
  • Let the coach see when you are working on what and for how long
  • Send all the daily and weekly accomplishments to the coach
  • Provide the coach analytics on your productivity

As there was no tool with these functionalities in the market, we developed our own tool, called Workiamo. 

Workiamo is a very simple tool that is ideal for anybody that wants to be less stressed and more productive. As you are reading this, we let you access it for lifetime for free! In order to do so, you have to register at by entering this code: ILOVEWORK.

7. Benefits of Productivity Coaching

As we have seen above, there are many benefits of having a personal productivity coach. The most importants are:

  • Increase productivity
  • More focus
  • Less procrastination
  • Less feeling of overwhelm and stress
  • More time for family, regeneration and fun

7.1. Increase productivity

The number one goal of a productivity coach is getting you more productive, getting things done and reaching more goals and automatically your life mission.

7.2. More focus

Another core benefit is that you will know what to focus on as well as what to cut out from your life. 

7.3. Less procrastination

Once you have yourself focused on the most important things and increase your productivity you will enjoy your work more, and you will be much less probable to procrastinate on your tasks. 

7.4. Less feeling of overwhelm and stress

Once you are focused on the most important work and you have determined how to distribute that work over the following months and weeks and days, you will know that you just have to get a small amount of tasks done every day in order to move into the right direction, this would reduce your feeling of overwhelm and stress.

7.5. More time for family, regeneration and fun

By being more productive and focused you would be able to free some time for your regeneration, for your family and for fun.

If you are interested in having your own productivity coach to help you plan and follow through with your weekly plan and thus become less stressed and more productive, you should get in touch with Focus Cycles Productivity Coaching.

Focus Cycles is a productivity consulting company offering online productivity courses, productivity software and productivity coaching. As you are reading this, we let you register for a trial of the productivity coaching! In order to do so, you have to register at by entering this code: ILOVEWORK.
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