Today, a client’s perspective on how coaching has helped him. From guest blogger Ryan Bearschell of The Salvation Army.

I have this common time period every day from 1-4 pm where I’m just no good. I’m tired and unproductive– I call it my “brainless time” or my “muddled middle.” Of course, given standard working hours in the U.S., having downtime in the afternoon isn’t very helpful for my productivity. I’ve tried skipping lunch to trick my body into thinking it’s still morning. I’ve tried having coffee to wake myself up. Nothing seems to make much difference– the muddled middle just seems to be part of the way I’m wired.

My coach came up with a really simple idea that makes the most of my natural rhythm. I keep a running list on my whiteboard of those small tasks that can be done brainlessly: organizing a storeroom, cutting out material for Sunday school, making routine phone calls, making copies. They all need to be done, but they don’t require a great deal of focus. This is my muddled middle list. I save these items for that time of day when I need to get up from my desk, move around a bit, and do something that’s not so thought intensive. I try not to write sermons or schedule meetings between 1-4pm. The muddled middle. It’s easy for me to remember and my list is right there on the whiteboard for me– filled with tasks that need to be done.

I’ve been using this strategy for three months now and within that time, I feel much more accomplished. Instead of feeling like I’m a waste of space in the mid-afternoon, I’m getting things done. Instead of trying to learn other people’s ways of doing things– ways that don’t work for me– I’ve been implementing a strategy that was designed for me. That’s how to get change that sticks.