Celebrating productivity wins (and how to use this in other life areas)

I was having a conversation with a woman the other day who’d rung me to discuss helping her 16-year-old daughter with studying. At one point she said to me “I can see that she does well in some areas but that she doesn’t apply what went well THERE to the areas that need help.” 

I knew exactly what she meant, it’s something I see often with clients. Sometimes we can’t see ourselves clearly, and we discount our wins because we’re focusing so much on what’s not working. Observing what my clients do well, pointing these things out to them, celebrating them, and then applying the knowledge of those wins as solutions to other problems is a part of my work that I absolutely love.   

An amazing, out-of-the-box connection came about recently for a lovely client of mine that I have to share. My client was lamenting to me about their inability to focus and we were brainstorming as to how to tackle it so that they had fruitful and fulfilling days. In order to understand more about how they approach planning, I asked my client, who loves food and cooking, how they go about meal planning. What they revealed was that every two weeks they are making 150 dumplings by hand! Definitely, something I don’t think I’d have the patience for!

Stumbling upon this made me ask the question “So when you’re in the middle of making the dumplings, do you ever have a moment when you think, ‘Oh, I can’t be bothered!’. What is it that keeps you going and keeps you motivated to make those 150 dumplings?!”

Asking them that question had my client realise that yes, wow, they can focus for a good length of time. And when we dived into it deeper, my client said “I think it’s the sense of urgency around the task. It’s just that mindset of keep on going, let’s just get this done, get it done as quickly as possible, because I don’t want the meat to go off and I want to get on to other things.”

I suggested that we use this. That DUMPLING becomes their mantra, their visualising tool that yes, they can do this!!! They can focus!!! Dumplings are their proof that they have it in them.

The next part of the recipe was to ensure that we create urgency around every task that they find they are avoiding in order to play with their mindset and ability to focus. This then makes it something that they can tap into readily when needed.

So my question to you is, what’s you DUMPLING? What’s something that maybe you’ve discounted but is really quite an achievement? And how can you transfer that win over to another area that may be needing some help? I’d love to hear what comes up for you.

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