Doc Miltene

From July 30 through August 25 2020
June 4 over 2 months ago at 11:47am

Worksheet: Better Work, Better Life - Intro Questionnaire

Thanks for your interest in Better Work, Better Life!  When we talk during our Intro Call we’ll see if this is a good fit for you.  To jump start our conversation, please answer the following.

What are you looking to accomplish in the next 12 months?
My team is on the last 3-month stretch of a nearly 2 year project.  I really want to finish strong, so that I'm a shoe-in for a new position that's opening up (it would be a big promotion).

What would accomplishing that mean for your life?

More money (which would give me a bit more freedom), but also a sense that I'm really moving up in my career--that what I'm doing matters.  I really crave that sense of accomplishment and purpose.

What obstacles do you see standing in your way?
I'm starting to feel a bit burned out by the long haul and what it's demanded.  I feel like I need to unplug a little to relax and refresh, but I don't know if that's possible to do while trying to finish strong.

I'm also feeling a little disconnected from the overall purpose, so I need to work on that too.

How do you see coaching helping with this?
Honestly I’m not sure.  I like what you're suggesting, that quality of life is key to quality of work, so I'm excited to get some of that!

Maybe some productivity hacks?  I'm looking forward to having a friendly-but-tough outside opinion on how I'm doing and some suggestions of what I might try differently.

That's it!  I look forward to speaking with you about this soon!

Due Friday, June 5th at 11:00am
June 5 over 2 months ago at 10:54am


Schedule our first real session for next week
Done 2 months ago (6/5) at 10:54am
Was due 6/7/20 at 7:00pm
Friday, Jun 5 at 10:23am
If you feel like it, schedule out all 4 of our sessions.  Batching is efficient. :)
Friday, Jun 5 at 10:54am
Tuesdays at 10 should be great in general.

Looking forward to it!
June 5 over 2 months ago at 10:58am


Sync your calendar with our coaching appointments
Done 2 months ago (6/5) at 10:58am
Was due 6/5/20 at 5:00pm
Friday, Jun 5 at 10:58am
Very slick!
June 5 over 2 months ago at 11:00am

Session: Intro Call

So nice to meet you!  I know it's a big deal to undertake being coached: it's evidence of your commitment to be the best version of yourself that you possibly can, and I am truly honored to play a role supporting you in that.


On to business!


The Situation/Focus

You're on the home stretch of a HUGE project, and looking to tighten up how you do your work, especially as it pertains to quality of life.  You know that you can do so much better than a single-minded, "heads down/plow through it" approach: that sort of running comes with serious collateral damage, and probably won't give you the best result anyway.

So we're looking to "tidy up the hygiene" of your work habits, especially as they relate to your overall wellbeing and happiness.


Key Insights or Distinctions

  1. We're going to take stock of your work habits--how well they serve and how they affect the bigger picture of life.
  2. Just mere awareness will go a long way towards making improvements.
  3. Being clearheaded and happy with life will have you doing you best work, AND will make that quality work sustainable.



  1. Schedule our first real session for next week, due today at 7:00pm
June 5 over 2 months ago at 11:35am


Mark this Action complete (just for fun, the first of many!)
Done a little Late 2 months ago (6/5) at 11:35am
Was due 6/4/20 at 5:00pm
Friday, Jun 5 at 11:35am
That was kinda fun!  Love how it swooshes out of my to-do list.
June 7 over 2 months ago at 10:01am

Journal Entry: About tracking my project...

Hi David,

I've been thinking about what you said about coaching me around the progress of my big project.  I think that would be good BUT that whole scene is already being heavily managed and planned by those at work, and there's a lot of coordination involved with my fellow team members.  Plus confidentiality issues, etc.

So I don't think that's going to lend itself so well to being coached directly on.

BUT there's this other thing that I took on that's been stressing me out.  Like an idiot I volunteered to put the company picnic together.  I thought it would be cool and no big deal but now it's just one more thing to worry about.

Could we work on that instead?  It would be a relief to knock that out, and still be a real world opportunity to learn what you're teaching.
Sunday, Jun 7 at 10:56am
Hi Doc,

Right on, I totally understand and that's a great idea!  We'll talk on Tuesday on how to powerfully set that up and move forward... removing that worry sounds like a nice win waiting to happen!
June 8 over 2 months ago at 8:32pm

Worksheet: Pre-Session Prep

Tomorrow we've got a coaching call.  Please take NO MORE THAN 5 MINUTES to answer the following 3 questions.  Just a quick brain dump to give us some direction for our call.

What is your outlook on things right now?

Work is okay, chugging along as usual.  Still feeling a bit busy and burned out, so I'm keen to talk with you tomorrow to really get going.

What are you currently excited about?

I'm excited to work with you to knock out this picnic project so I can stop worrying about it.  And to generally learn what you've got to teach and start applying it.

What are you currently putting off or avoiding (i.e. where are you stuck)?

Nothing in particular, I think.  Just kinda slogging through and feeling behind.

Be sure to mark this complete so that I get it before our session.  Talk to you soon.

Due Tuesday, June 9th at 9:00am
Monday, Jun 8 at 9:03pm
This is great, gives us plenty to go on for today.  Talk soon!
June 9 over 2 months ago at 11:00am

Session: Coaching Session 1

The Situation/Focus

The office picnic is coming up soon, and what seemed so far away when you first volunteered (plenty of time to do this later!) is now less than 3 weeks away.  Time to make a plan, tame your to-dos, and make space to concentrate on the more vital work.


Key Insights or Distinctions

  1. Just making a list helps to get it out of your head, which helps to reduce overwhelm.
  2. Obligations swirling around in your head often look bigger and more daunting than they actually are (especially true the more the accumulate!).
  3. When you map out what there is to do, you can gauge how much time something will REALLY take.



  1. Map out your picnic organization as an Action Project, due in 2 days at 7:00pm
June 9 over 2 months ago at 11:51am


Send thank you note to all
Due 6 weeks ago (7/8) at 5:00pm
June 9 over 2 months ago at 11:52am


Map out your picnic organization as an Action Project
Done 2 months ago (6/9) at 11:52am
Was due 6/9/20 at 7:00pm
Tuesday, Jun 9 at 11:52am
Just take a few minutes to break down ALL the to-dos.  Set suitable due dates for each, and any helpful reminders.
Tuesday, Jun 9 at 11:52am
Fun!  I can see it all laid out.  This looks manageable...
June 13 over 2 months ago at 8:17am

Message: Frustrated!

Hi David,

So I got 3 emails yesterday telling me I was late on my action items for the picnic.  I didn't even think about when I would get those things done, so now to have the system tell me they're late is frustrating.

I was excited to put this all down as a "plan" after talking with you on Tuesday, but this doesn't really help me when things are busy as ever.

So... how's this supposed to help me?  So far it's just putting the fact that I'm falling behind on display--not fun!

Saturday, Jun 13 at 10:24am
Hi Doc,

I'm so glad you wrote me!  Yeah, I saw those, too.  This is all in what I call "The Art of making actual space to do those things that are Important".  Being motivated is one thing, but execution it turns out is an entirely different beast.  We'll talk about this on our next call.

In the meantime let me give you an exercise that will help you wrap your mind around this.

Have a great weekend,
June 13 over 2 months ago at 11:02am

Worksheet: Creating that it Matters

In the coming weeks and months we're going to be doing a lot of work together.  Some of it will come naturally and easily for you.  Other parts you'll resist and have a natural tendency to put off or skip outright.

All of it matters.

All of it is designed to move you along towards your goals, toward accomplishing those things that are important to you.  Together we'll be creating numerous tasks and assignments for you to work on, and the things you resist doing are quite likely going to be the things that are the most important part: they'll be the stuff of you growing, reaching beyond what is already typically comfortable for you and into true expansion.

For this to work as best as it possibly can we need for you to create a commitment to doing the work and staying true to the plans we make.

In short, I need for you to create for yourself that this work matters.

On a scale of 1 to 10, without yet having gone through it, how much do you trust this process to be worth doing?
7 - I feel good about this, not sure but I'll play the game

Say more about that.
Well, I've already tripped up on some of my action plan, so I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up!  I suppose that's part of what I'm trying to learn in working with you, and I REALLY want that.

So... yes, I'm up for the challenge and hope (without knowing!) that it will work!

How committed are you to making this work?
Pretty darn committed.  There's a lot at stake for me, the promotion, the money, the freedom that comes with it; plus feeling more at peace rather than in the hectic swirl.  So yeah, I really want to make the effort to get these things.

What's likely to prevent you from doing all of the work?
Hitting a wall.  At some point sheer exhaustion kicks in, making it impossible to put in more effort, even if I want to.  I don't know how to overcome that.

What sort of things are you apt to put off or ignore?
New practices or ideas, when I don't see (or am not sold on) the point.

Are those things worth doing to get you what you want?
Maybe?  Again, I can be stubborn when it comes to trying new things.  So I really want to be sold on something as worth doing.  If you can convince me then yes, I'll find them worth doing.

What will you do when you're feeling stuck to get unstuck?
I'll try to notice when I think something is a waste of my time, and reach out to you to let you know that (and maybe ask you to convince me again--sorry, I'll try not to be annoying about this!).

How about if it's something you think is genuinely not worth doing?
I'll let you know point blank, I have no problem with doing that!  Then I guess we can have a conversation.

I think if you can remind me of what's at stake, that'll help me to take on faith that something is worth doing, even if I'm not feeling it.

Thanks for bearing with.  The point of all of this is to provide a reference point for you to circle back to when the going gets tough.  We don't ever want to have your dashboard Overview tab to be littered with a red smattering of incomplete and overdue stuff.

Instead we want to cultivate a sea of timely green completion and accomplishment, a sure sign of you making worthy and difference-making progress.

Put this all together.  In a paragraph or three please summarize your commitment to doing the work, what's at stake for your efforts here, and what your strategy is for keeping on track:
What's at stake for me in mastering this program is to really excel at work: to get that promotion, raise and freedom, and to do it without killing myself or burning out.

In summary, to gracefully do my best work and reap the rewards from it.

I'm committed to getting myself to that place, and when the going gets tough I promise to let you know and have a conversation to get back on track.

Now, commit to live like this:

I,  Doc Miltene, commit to following through.


Due Monday, June 15th at 5:00pm
Saturday, Jun 13 at 11:17am
Really great work, Doc. Thanks for doing this.

I get you're at a 7, that's okay.  This doesn't have to be a faith thing and I'm good with being on the hook to convince you that whatever I ask you to do is worth doing.  We'll see what we can do to help you with the sheer exhaustion issue, too.
June 15 over 2 months ago at 8:17pm

Worksheet: Pre-Session Prep