In the world of weight training, it’s well known that having a partner can lead to seeing gains more quickly. And research has shown that those who switch from training alone to using a personal trainer see many improvements.
Similarly, pair programming has been shown to improve quality of code, as well as keep both developers in “flow” state for a more sustained period of time.
The people around you can have a significant impact on your behavior. If I tell a friend about my goals, I’m much more likely to achieve them.
Finding a ‘life training’ partner
As I continuously work to improve myself, I’ve found that it helps to always have a “training partner”—for my day-to-day work, my entrepreneurial goals, and my personal projects like writing.
A few years ago, I consistently had a weekly meeting with my great friendKhuram
, in which we discussed our achievements and challenges to help each other keep pushing forward.
Today, my co-founder Leo and I act as personal trainers for each other for our work and life goals.
Here are four ways Leo and I work together as training partners to improve ourselves and meet our goals, in case you might want to give this method a try, too:
1. Writing a list for the next day
One of the activities Leo and I have built as a habit is to sit down together for 20 minutes at the end of each day and plan the key tasks we each want to do the next day.
We’ve found that whenever we plan the day ahead, we’re much more productive, we procrastinate less, and we feel happier as a result.
This is something I can definitely recommend you do with your co-founders—or, if you’re part of a team, you could try it with a co-worker.
2. Talking through daunting tasks
Whenever there’s something I need to work on that I find myself struggling to get started with, I will book a slot with Leo to ask him to work through it with me.
This is especially useful for analyzing and brainstorming, where you need to map out many things and come to some conclusions.
Although I do it with Leo, I am mostly leading it and it is one of those cases where simply explaining something to someone can help me a lot.
3. Sharing achievements and challenges
When Leo and I were both in San Francisco, the most productive few hours of my week were Friday night, when Leo and I would go to Samovar, drink tea and have a systematic mastermind session.
We’ve had many different iterations of the structure of our mastermind sessions, and they’re still evolving today. Some teammates use this structure today:
- 20 minutes to share and celebrate your achievements
- 40 minutes to discuss your current top challenges
Each of these sections serve a slightly different purpose and combine to create a very productive session.
In addition, we also have one-on-one mentoring meetings with a slightly different structure—instead of performance updates, it’s become a more open-ended way to work through challenges, get advice and brainstorm together.
4. Brainstorming blog posts together, in detail
When I originally started blogging, I wrote every post completely by myself. When Leo came on board, I naturally started discussing future posts with him, and he was super encouraging and interested.
Now when I write, I deliberately brainstorm many of my articles with Leo, right down to the individual sections. It makes my writing task much easier, and the posts are better as a result.
Today, our whole Content Crafters team collaborates closely on everything we publish—accountability and collaboration makes ideas stronger.
Over to you!
Do you have any activities that you do with a co-founder or co-worker to help you to make progress faster or increase your productivity? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.