You're attacking the WHAT when you need to be looking at the WHY

Though I write quite a bit about time—how we value it, relate to it, spend it, and manage it—the coaching work I do one-on-one with clients is much less about WHAT they’re doing with their time, and much more about WHY they’re having trouble with their time.

Probably sounds like I’m splitting hairs, but it’s an important distinction. Let me explain.

Folks who want to achieve something and are struggling to achieve it are typically focused on WHAT’s filling their schedules, WHAT’s standing in the way of their realizing long-held dreams, WHAT time management systems they’ve tried, WHAT time management systems they might still need, etc. They come to me wanting a planner and an enforcer, someone who will tell them WHAT to do, and when; someone who will help them get WHAT they want by helping them to change WHAT they do.

In my experience, the WHAT is a red herring when a client puts it first. Clients see the WHAT as a fixable problem, so they attack it first (with new day planners, new apps, new systems)—because they believe that if they can just make the necessary tweaks in the WHAT realm, everything else will fall into place. My methodology isn’t centered around the WHAT. I mean, sure—that’s definitely part of it, but it’s never the backbone; it’s never the linchpin of our coaching work together.

In my experience, excavating the WHY is the only thing that gets a client closer to what she wants. Even as early as our first conversation together, I help folks to retrain their focus on the WHY: WHY they want to achieve the thing in the first place, WHY they haven’t yet achieved it, WHY they’re choosing other things first, WHY they’re creating a struggle that only looks like a time management issue (but isn’t really one after all).

In every single instance, the WHY goes deeper than the WHAT. And once we understand the root, the core, the heart of the time issue (WHY it’s an issue in the first place), we can examine the WHAT in a more thoughtful and informed way.

If you’re ready to take your eyes off the WHAT for a minute, and to dig into the WHY like never before, email me. You’ll be floored by what we can accomplish together in 90 minutes.