Six months back I was almost a year into a side project that is now /tap. The project started simple, but the more I worked the more complicated it became. At the beginning I felt a sense of progress. By the time I was a year in, completion was a mirage. Around that time, a work colleague , Cayla, mentioned she was starting a life coaching practice.
Curious, I asked her what a life coach does. She explained. At the time, I thought what she described could be helpful, but I didn't think I needed more motivation — I was already working a ton. She said she would give a few one-on-one sessions for free. Not about to turn away free help, I took the offer.
What I didn't realize was how close I came to passing on the single biggest productivity gain since the day I started /tap. More than that, working with Cayla, I became more excited about my work and more satisfied with my accomplishments.
What Cayla does is ask questions. Lots of questions that lead to a plan. Each of her questions sharpens the focus on what needs to be done to realize a goal.
The questions Cayla asks help me consider why I'm doing what I'm doing. She has an incredible ability to surface my motives, interests, reservations and concerns. As a result she is able to help me plot a course that I feel sure about. Confident with the goals, the plan and the reasons behind it all, I can focus on getting things done.
It's hard to overstate the value she brings to my process. I know what I'm working on is carefully considered, so I don't get bogged down wondering if my time is better spent elsewhere. It is easy to underestimate how much time can be sunk wondering.
When working alone you are responsible for the vision and execution of your creation. But both those things have a tendency to interfere with the other. When trying to get something done you will imagine what else it could be. When trying to imagine the next feature you will get preoccupied with implementation details. Through coaching with Cayla, my process has been organized so that vision and execution interfere less with each other.
I meet with Cayla once every two weeks via Zoom. She doesn't have a background in programming so there's no risk of engaging in a technical discussion. We talk about goals: how I feel about them, and what to do to accomplish them. While I work between our meetings, if I think of a new feature or idea I want to pursue I take a note. Before our next meeting I take a quick inventory: new ideas, accomplishments, likely next steps. And repeat.
Establishing the process that led to creating /tap is as important as the /tap product itself. Cayla didn't write a line of /tap code, but all the lines I wrote might not amount to /tap if not for her.
Thanks again, Cayla.
If you think Cayla might be a valuable addition to your team, send her a note! She is a proponent of self care, slowing down to speed up, and helping high achievers avoid burnout. She also has over ten years of graphic design and art direction experience and loves consulting and empowering entrepreneurs with the tools to create cohesive and aligned visual branding. To learn more and view her offerings visit her website: caylamerrillcoaching.com or follow her on instagram @itsheycayla for daily Mindfulness videos