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Could You Use a Productivity “Tune Up?”

Start the new year running on all cylinders.

magine a world where everyone is driven to create things and share their creations with others. Some work on projects alone, and some work on larger projects with others.

In this world everyone is free to work on projects that allow them to learn new skills, demonstrate their mastery of their existing skills, and increase the amount of good in the world.

And imagine that each of these people starts with a clear mind, an organized life, and has enough self-understanding and self-mastery to keep moving toward their goals even on those rare occasions when they don’t feel like working on them.

Just imagine what all those people could accomplish in a year.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely a creative individual (a business owner, a writer, a developer, a grad student, an event planner, etc.).

In other words, you’re a real go-getter. And that vision probably appeals to you.

In fact you likely have some creative projects of your own in mind that will allow you to learn new skills, demonstrate your existing areas of expertise, and increase the amount of good in the world.

Let me ask you something:

Are you ready to create all the things you want to create in 2014?

Or do you fear that you will struggle to find the time, focus, and energy to work on what’s really important this year?

I want you to succeed this year, and I want to help you get started on the right foot.

Specifically, I’d like to help you get a clear mind, get organized, and keep yourself moving on your creative projects.

There’s a good chance you’ve got a lot on your plate, so I’ll take just a couple minutes to explain what’s on offer. Then you can consider whether you want to work with me a little in early January to get things rolling for the rest of the year.

Why Me?

My name is Jim Stone. I’m a writer, software developer, well-informed amateur psychologist (with a focus on Motivational Psychology), and credentialed philosopher (my Ph.D. is from the University of Washington, class of ’06).

I’ve studied many contemporary works in Motivational Psychology, such as:

  • Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory (SDT)
  • George Ainslie’s “Picoeconomic” theory of willpower
  • Locke and Latham’s Goal-Setting Theory
  • Gollwitzer’s work on Implementation Intentions (and modifications, such as those Charles Duhigg makes in “The Power of Habit”)
  • McGonigal’s work on will power
  • Oettingen’s work on Mental Contrasting.
  • Piers Steele’s “Procrastination Equation”
  • And I’ve kept up with the literature on Evolutionary Psychology over the years as well.

I’ve studied many communication methods, models, and theories, such as:

  • William Miller’s Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • W. Barnett Pearce’s Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM)
  • Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory (RT)

I’ve also studied and implemented many productivity systems, such as:

  • Agile SCRUM
  • David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD)
  • The energy management techniques of Loehr and Schwartz
  • And many other systems

After much study and experimentation, I’ve gathered what I take to be the best ideas from all these methods, and have left out what seems to me to be unnecessary. As a result, I’ve tinkered and tweaked my way to a fairly simple productivity system that keeps me clear, focused, and motivated.

I’ve written about many of these topics on this blog.

I am not saying all of this to impress you. I am saying it to help you decide whether I’m qualified to help you get clear, focused, and motivated for the coming year.

Why Now?

There are three converging trends that make NOW a very good time to work with me.

First, there’s the trend of increasing lifestyle complexity. The world is more complicated and distracting than it’s ever been, and it’s getting more so every year.

We have Facebook, Quora, LinkedIn, Twitter, and our email clients sending us “important” alerts constantly. Our friends, family, and business contacts can interrupt us nearly 24×7 via phone or text. Our best video games are completely addicting, and our best television shows are extremely compelling. We have more options for spending (and wasting) our time than ever before.

Even things that seem extremely productive (like watching YouTube instructional videos, reading Wikipedia articles, and watching TED talks) can lure us deep into the night, robbing us of precious sleep.

Even our work is more distracting. The typical knowledge worker now juggles many projects simultaneously, and business owners juggle even more than the typical knowledge worker.

If you’re like most people, you’re walking around most days with an overwhelmed, disorganized, and unfocused mind, and, if you don’t get a handle on it now, you can look forward to being even more overwhelmed, disorganized, and unfocused a year from now.

Second, my ability to help you is currently greater than it’s ever been.

I’ve been studying Motivational Psychology and the procedures of various productivity systems for a long time now – long enough to develop a sense about which ideas are crucial determinants of creative productivity, and which ideas are relatively minor sidebars.

I’ve learned that the world’s accelerating complexity is generated by relatively simple, recursive processes. And I have learned that we can use simple organizing structures to unravel that complexity and tame it.

At this point in the trend, I feel confident that I can help almost anyone get a clear mind, get organized, and stay motivated.

Third, I hope (and have reason to believe) that I will have the privilege of helping more and more people in the future.

I have just started offering personal productivity coaching. I understand the methods and theories very well. But I’m still taking my first clumsy steps with the logistics of helping others to use these theories and methods to get clear, organized, and focused lives.

And that means my services are still relatively cheap :-)

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m fortunate to be in relatively high demand already. But I also want the people I work with to feel like they got a lot of value for their money.

Since I’m still in the process of developing and refining my process, I am charging a low-ish fee at this point. To be honest I want to have the freedom to make a mistake or two and still leave you feeling like you got more than your money’s worth.

OK, So What’s The Deal?

In short, this productivity “tune up” is for busy individuals who must dream up, design, and juggle many creative projects in their professional, personal and/or creative lives. And it is for those who still find themselves in periods of confusion, overwhelm and stress, in spite of all the organizational tools and systems they’ve already tried.

It’s a lightweight, one-shot, coaching process that promises to get you a clear mind, an organized life, and ways to keep yourself moving – all within a week.

Unlike one-size-fits all productivity advice, systems, and software, this consultation will provide you with enough friendly interactive expert guidance (and accountability) to get a handle on your specific challenges.

How the Coaching Works:

Once you sign up, the coaching comes in three parts.

First, you will answer some survey questions. These will help you get some clarity about your situation, and will give me the information I need in order to help you in your specific situation.

Second, you will receive three email lessons with exercises – one per day. The first lesson will help you clear your mind. The second lesson will help you get organized. And the third lesson will give you the tools you need to keep yourself moving throughout the year.

And at the end of each lesson you will be required to complete an assignment, and will have an opportunity to ask me questions via email.

It sounds pretty simple, but the lessons are actually fairly meaty. You will need to set aside about a half hour to read each lesson. And set aside between 30 minutes and 2 hours to complete the assignments (it will depend on the lesson).

And this isn’t busy work. If you read the lessons and do the assignments, you will have a clear mind, you will get organized, and you will know how to keep yourself moving the rest of the year.

Third, you will answer an exit survey, and have a chance to ask any remaining questions.

At the end of that process, I guarantee that you will have A) a clear mind, B) a good organizational system that fits your particular work style, and C) the self-awareness and strategies you need to keep yourself moving on your projects the rest of the year.

Now, as good as it sounds, this coaching opportunity is not for everyone.

In fact, I will now try to talk you out of signing up . . .

Client Requirements (Please Read This Section Carefully)

To work with me you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You have self-directed projects in your life (either at work or in your personal life — or both)
  2. You are currently feeling overwhelmed, disorganized, and/or unfocused.
  3. You see benefit in working with a coach, even when you COULD find the information you need and do it yourself.
  4. You can easily afford my (really quite modest) fee.
  5. You are willing to commit to doing the exercises, sending me your questions via email, and answering the exit survey I will send you at the end of the program — all within a week of starting the program.

Let me say a bit more about each of these qualifications:

1. You have many self-directed projects in your life

Some people are overwhelmed because other people bring them too much work, and their inbox is overflowing. Those people need learn how to process their inbox more efficiently (and perhaps how to delegate or say “no” more often). This coaching is not designed for those kinds of challenges. If you are in that kind of situation, let me recommend David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done”.

However, if your stresses come from juggling self-directed projects, where you must determine which projects will contribute to your larger goals, you must plan them out, and you must deal with all the complexities of bringing them to fruition, then this coaching is for you.

2. You are currently feeling overwhelmed, disorganized, and/or unfocused.

I want to work with people who will see immediate benefit from the coaching.

If you’ve got everything handled at the moment, you don’t need this coaching right now.

3. You see benefit in working with a coach, even when you COULD find the information you need and do it yourself.

Many of the ideas and strategies I will share with you can already be found out there somewhere on the vast internet. In fact, much of the content can be found on this blog.

If you’re a DIY type, and you would rather just find what you need on your own, and implement the procedures on your own, then I don’t want to waste your time or mine.

On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who likes to work with someone else to make sure you’re getting the most out of the techniques, . . . or if you want a little accountability and encouragement, . . . or if you want an extra eye on your situation to see how someone else might make the tradeoffs you need to make, then I want to work with you.

4. You can easily afford my fee.

The value of this coaching depends quite a bit on where YOU are at in life.

And I want to work with people who will see a tremendous return on their investment.

If you’re Bill Gates, this coaching could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (Though Bill Gates probably already knows how to keep a clear, organized, focused mind, or he wouldn’t have done all he’s done).

If you’re making $5,000/month in your business, then a clear, focused, organized mind could help you (very conservatively) grow your business by 10% this year, because you’ll be able to work with less friction and make sure you’re working on your highest priority projects. That means the coaching could be worth $6,000 this year to you. And it could be worth much more than that.

If, on the other hand, you’re out of work, with little savings, trying to start a dubious business, this might be a good investment, and it might not.

If that’s your situation, then I want to discourage you from taking me up on this offer. Even if I deliver on my promise to get you a clear, organized, focused mind, that might not make as much difference as you need it to. It might be that what you really need to do is figure out how to change course completely, and that’s beyond the scope of this coaching.

5. You are willing to commit to doing the exercises, sending me your questions via email, and answering the exit survey I will send you at the end of the program — all within a week of starting the program.

This coaching will only work if you do the work. And I want this to work for you. So I want you to do the work.

Also, I will be making a commitment to you — to be available to answer your questions. In exchange, I want a similar commitment from you — to finish the assignments and ask your questions in a timely manner.

If something important, urgent, and unforeseen prevents you from being able to complete the course within the week you start, I am happy to work with you, and am open to extending the period if needed.

But you must have every reasonable intention of completing the course, and all the assignments within a week of when you start.

Now, . . .

If you meet all of those qualifications, . . .

Here’s How To Sign Up:

  1. Click on the signup button below.
  2. On the next page, you will see if any slots are still available (I’m limiting this initial coaching program to 10 clients, so I can see how the process is working, and can give adequate attention to each person). If a slot is available, pick one.
  3. Once you’ve picked a time, you will make payment.
  4. After making payment, you will enter the email address at which you want to receive lessons.
  5. Then the coaching process will begin.

Productivity Tune Up (with Jim Stone)

This Course is Full for Now

Check back later. I might open up a second class soon.

Best wishes,



P.S. If you’re interested, I would suggest grabbing a slot quickly. There are only a few slots available, and they will fill quickly. I would never say that to pressure you. Personally I hate pressure (and make a point of not responding to it). I just want to make sure you’re able to get a time slot if you want one.

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