I recently completed Coach Approach for Organizers coaching class named Strength Based Coaching. I have always thought about using your strengths to maximize productivity and organizing. A strength based effort felt right, much more so than focusing on weaknesses. Strengths capitalize on success, while weaknesses may make us feel like we are not capable. While learning, I thought of my clients and how they focus on strengths to get more done. Here’s 4 ways to use your strengths to be more productive.
How do I know my strengths?
When you look back at your schooling, what did you find worked well to learn? Did you see it, hear it, do it, talk about it, write about it, think it through or just feel it was right? There are many modalities we use to learn with and those are the same strengths we use as adults. Look back and reflect on what was easiest for you. Whether it’s learning new technology like a smart phone or learning new tasks at work, we are always learning. For me, I learned that I am a visual and tactile learner. I like to see information to learn it and write out information to solidify my learning. I use my cognitive modality to create frameworks and systems to incorporate learning.
How do I use these strengths for planning?
The debate continues for paper or digital planners. Look to your strengths to help you decide what works for you. A paper planner works well for visual and tactile learners. You can easily see all the details on paper and write in your dates and tasks. A digital planner works well for auditory learners. Auditory reminders make it easier for auditory learners. For verbal processors, that being people who like to speak to process, setting up a family or work meeting helps. Verbal processors are talking through the upcoming dates and plans. Setting a consistent date, like every Sunday evening, commits you to planning as well. Think through the ways you can use your strengths to determine your planning tools.
How do I use my strengths for maintaining a task list?
There’s oodles of choices for list making. With a visual or tactile strength, a basic notebook can help you get started. Post it notes can be an option for kinesthetic modality. You write one task on one note, post them, and then tear them up once completed. If you are an auditory learner, using reminder chimes help you get tasks done. If you a cognitive processor, one who thinks through the options, you want to categorize your list. It’s easier to be productive with a framework. A verbal processor will want to talk through the list as it is created. For cognitive processors who like a framework, establishing a system for tasks is just what’s needed. We can all approach tasks differently using our strengths to be successful.
How do I use my strengths for organizing?
An organized person is a productive person. Getting organized is a basic step for being more productive. What does organized look or feel like to you? That’s the key! Organized is different for each of us. For those who are visual, it can be a minimal environment with few distractions or a lovely aesthetic. For auditory strengths, you might have classical music in the background. Based on the kinesthetic strength, you may want a standing desk. Keeping aware of your modality helps you maintain your organized space too.
What about all these other things I am not getting done?
When your productivity is lagging despite using your strengths, delegating and collaborating are options. Find an assistant , team member or colleague who has strengths that match your weaknesses. When you delegate, start with a small, specific, deadline driven task. When you collaborate, be sure everyone knows their specific job and when it is due. Keep your deadlines short so you can communicate and stay on track.
I have not shared all the modalities we explored. To learn more, check out Denslow Brown’s book, The Processing Modalities Guide. I know it will create curiosity and interest for you.
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