I once read that the most useful time management tool ever was to compile a to-do list for the following day the previous evening. So, in fact, my day always starts the night before.
What does that mean? Well, when I’ve finished my work for the day, I put pen to paper and start writing a list of everything I need to accomplish the following day, numbering them according to importance. I know it may sound really weird, but it is actually very effective. Apparently, it’s because your subconscious mind is already working on the day ahead while you’re asleep. Too good to be true? I don’t think so. I’m convinced it works as I am always at my most creative in the morning. I feel energized and ready to tackle all my tasks. In fact, I quite often get my best ideas completing mundane tasks such as brushing my teeth or preparing my morning porridge. I can often be seen with toothbrush in hand, rushing into my office to jot down my latest ideas.
I love my job – everyday is different and sometimes I have to pinch myself that I get to do this and get paid. Writing a book was definitely a natural progression for me and really does work alongside my other activities. I always try and write in the morning – blogs, guest posts and articles. I’m just starting work on my second book now.
In the afternoon, I generally spend time with my clients, either in person or via skype. I work with people who are looking to identify their next step in life. It could be an executive who is looking to change direction, an athlete who doesn’t know what to do in life after sport or a young person who needs help starting out. I love the interaction with my clients. It is so rewarding and I learn from them constantly.
My job is quite random at times and sometimes the trickiest part is working out what to wear – I like to keep it informal for coaching work but then dress it up if I’m suddenly heading to a boardroom. I rely on accessories and keep costume jewellery in my car so that I can suddenly switch it up – it is amazing what a necklace or scarf can do to a casual outfit. A change of shoes too!
Any change in life can be challenging so I like to work with my clients building resilience and self-confidence to be ready to deal with what life throws at them. Mindfulness practices are very useful in any tough transition, so I make sure that I embrace these very principles myself in my daily activity, even if I only have time for a 3-minute meditation a couple of times a day.
Late afternoon is when I take stock. This is the hardest part of the day for me as I am, by nature, a morning person. If I have trouble concentrating, I grow a tree! By using the forest app on my phone, I put aside 30 minutes when I fully concentrate on what I need to do to complete my day. Not wishing to kill a tree, even virtually, I find it a great way to focus the mind and round off a very busy day.
Career After Sport by Julie Schladitz is available on Amazon. (£14.99)