I have spent the past 20 years refining my own productivity systems, at home and at work, and now I get to help people go through their own journey and develop systems that work for them.
My first jobs were in the service industry and it was easy to tell if I was being productive, quite simply – was there a queue of customers waiting to be served or had they all completed their transactions smoothly and happily?
When you work on the front line you need to be reactive, able to pivot at any moment and you get direct feedback from the customers.
When I turned to teaching the rules changed but no one told me.
In one way I was still on the front-line, in the classroom, at the chalk face, reacting to situations as they happened. The productivity was clear – are children learning? Are they leaving my classroom smarter than when they arrived?
I loved teaching. It absolutely spoke to my strengths, the people, the service, the challenging debate.
But then there was teaching’s darker side – the admin.
I’ll be honest, they brushed over this very quickly in my year-long training, spending maybe 1 hour in total on it, if that.
The lesson I had to learn was that productivity for admin was exactly the same as productivity for customer service. It’s just that the customer is actually a team member, feedback is not immediate or forthcoming (unless you do it very badly) and admin is not simply reactive, it is all very very well planned.
I worked reactively,
- I would wait for a second or third email reminder to get the job done. It was just how my brain was used to working.
- I developed amazing systems to complete work quickly and get the right job done just in time.
If I had just learnt how to manage my working methods better I could have completed the work comfortably within the time set and cause myself and the lovely admin teams a lot less stress.
I did learn these skills. I would like to say that it was a steep learning curve but actually it took me a few years to get there. Staff were patient(ish) with me but there was a feeling of ‘why don’t you just know this?’
When I asked my peers how they coped with meeting deadlines they looked at me blankly and said that they ‘just did the work’.
This all seems obvious to people for whom scheduling comes naturally, but it left me feeling like something was wrong with me. It should have been easy but it wasn’t.
I took a break from teaching (after 10 years and making it to Assistant Headteacher) to raise my children and explore alternative careers. I moved into coaching and realised that the love I had for customer service, providing bespoke options and problem solving could be brought together with all the skills and processes I had developed for Productivity and Time Management. I could help teachers by providing the coaching support that was not available when I started out, I can help new teachers manage their workload and senior teachers structure their projects.
I put 20 years of experience in the work-place into coaching people who know they can be more productive but don’t have the structure to get there.
Whether you want to work in groups or individually, I can help you understand the systems you work in, use your strengths to do well and make little changes to sort out the bits that feel less great.