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Use this day well.

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Here is a snippet from a coaching session I had recently (my own, so I will share freely!).

I had a session with a peer coach with whom I have a regular exchange in order for us to hone our craft and be continuously better at coaching--we receive coaching on our own real life topics and we give valuable feedback to each other on our process as a coach.

In this session I was mulling over (or maybe even stewing) about how I am not so good recently at using my time well. I get my things to do list mostly complete, but I don't feel creative or like I am making progress on my larger business goals. I wouldn't say I'm stuck, exactly, but rather feeling sluggish. (In reality, I am distracted by my personal life transitions and not actually able to give my business my full attention, nor should I be, I think!)

But I do believe I can do better, if I only would. Do you ever feel that way? One of the standard coaching questions is, "how will you support yourself to be more resourceful with regards to this (topic of the day)?" So, on a whim I changed my wallpaper on my phone right then and there so that it says, "Use this day well." That's it. That's all the reminder I gave myself. I realize in hindsight that it is the location of the reminder that makes it so helpful, not the power of the words. Since it's on my phone, I see it rather often. I see it when I am checking email or making a social media post or putting something in my calendar. I also see it, when I am tempted to use my phone to doom scroll about world events or make that shopping list for various and sundry things.

When I see it, I immediately am faced with the decision to make a better choice for my time in that exact moment. And wow, does it work! I have been immensely more productive. I also like how the wallpaper looks and it makes me smile to think that I am the type of person who uses the day well. This is also one of the hacks for developing new habits from Atomic Habits by James Clear--thinking about yourself as the type of person who does [new habit] actual motivates you to do that new habit.

Another reason why this reminder on my phone is beneficial is it is something I came up with myself. In traditional coaching, that's how it's done. The client decides what they want to focus on and how they want to address it going forward. The questions come from the coach, but the answers come from the client. And my answer for myself right now is, "Use this day well." The question remains in each moment, how?

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