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Episode 24: Coach Rob Harris on the Changing Early Recruiting LandscapeFriday, April 28th, 2017

Early recruiting has been an ongoing debate around college athletics for years.

Recently, one coaches organization took steps to push back against the growing trend. The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association proposed new limits on early contact between coaches and recruits, and those changes were accepted by the NCAA.

Our guest on this episode of the College Recruiting Weekly podcast is Rob Harris, head women’s lacrosse coach at Davenport University in Michigan. He has a unique perspective on this as a successful college coach at many levels, as well as a director of a club lacrosse program. He see’s the debate from both sides, and talks about his thoughts on the new rules.

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AHCA Recruiting Phone Call Notes & ResourcesFriday, April 28th, 2017

Recruiting phone calls aren’t easy much of the time, but they also sure don’t need to be as hard as some coaches make them.

If your goal is to make better, more effective, more time-efficient phone calls, I want to help make that happen. So, as a follow-up to our AHCA recruiting session information we presented in Naples, Florida, I wanted to pass along some resources that will really help you if you’re a coach who wants to master this aspect of your recruiting job.

Here’s what I’m including:

  • The full powerpoint presentation notes for “7 Ways to Make Better Recruiting Phone Calls”.
  • Additional important reference articles, research and other resources to make you an expert at what you do.

Three other things before I get to that:

  • If we don’t work with you on a client basis, and we’ve never talked to you about what we do before, click here. We are good at what we do, and work with other hockey programs around the country. If you’d like to have a conversation about what that would look like with your specific coaching staff, email me at dan@dantudor.com.
  • Next time you see your athletic director, suggest that he or she brings me in to work on your campus for two days and teach the department the latest techniques and strategies, click here for an overview that outlines this comprehensive, customized training. If you liked the session you sat in on at AHCA, you’ll love it when we personalize everything to your school, and your specific situation.
  • Join fellow coaches from all over the country this June at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference. It’s an unbelievable weekend of next-level recruiting techniques and strategies. Watch this, and then save your seat.
  • Finally, consider becoming a student at Tudor University. It’s a comprehensive recruiting training and certification program for college coaches. It’s advanced online learning, and lots of coaches say it’s the best training they’ve received when it comes to recruiting. Click here for the details.

O.K., here are the notes from the AHCA Convention recruiting session:

 

7 Ways to Make Better Recruiting Phone Calls

 

AHCA 2017 – 7 Ways to Make the Right Recruiting Phone Call NOTES

  • Why do your prospects dislike phone calls so much? Click here for some interesting insights we didn’t have time to get to during our AHCA session.
  • There are a lot of reasons we find today’s recruits prefer text messages over phone calls. Click here for the research and reasons (you’ll be glad you did).
  • We have a fantastic recruiting strategy podcast, College Recruiting Weekly, and you should subscribe to it (available on iTunes, Google and Stitcher). Here’s an episode that you can listen to right now that talks about how you can get your prospect to reveal the truth to you by pushing their “psychological pause” button. You haven’t heard this information before, so take the time to listen to it, Coach. Click here and be amazed.

Thanks again for attending, Coach, and for letting me contribute to your convention on a regular basis. I appreciate it, and look forward to the next time!

Trial Close Questions Will Help You With YieldTuesday, April 25th, 2017

By Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’ve got one or more undecided students that haven’t officially told you they’re coming, and they haven’t submitted a deposit either…but you feel really good about your chances. Plus you haven’t asked them if they’ve made up their mind because you’re worried they’ll take it as you pressuring them.

If that sounds like you or one of your admissions colleagues, the next step is to learn how to start asking effective trial close questions.

Not familiar with that term? It’s okay – you’re not alone.

A trial close question is a closing technique that gives you insight into what the other person is thinking thus making it easier for you to know when it’s time to ask for their commitment. These kinds of questions need to be in every admissions recruitment playbook.

Today, I’m going to give you a sample of the strategy I outline when I lead an admissions training workshop, and we discuss this topic. Again, using this technique will allow you to interact more effectively with the prospective student or parent that you’re talking to.

Once you gain agreement through small wins that I call little yeses, and you overcome objections, you’re a step closer to gaining their commitment.  Now I want you to build on that momentum. There are two more important steps in the selling process that need to take place.  One of those steps is to use a couple of effective trial close questions with the student or his or her parents. A trial close question is one that assumes a future action, or the other person’s interest level in something, because you want to see how they will respond.

For example, you could ask, “When you get on campus this fall, do you think you want to live in (insert freshmen dorm name)?” Another one might be, “Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, have you talked about how often Sarah might come home during the school year?”

Do you hear the tone of those questions?  They already assume that Sarah is coming to your school in the way that you ask the question.  Now it’s time to listen closely to the other person’s response. Do they answer in such a way that tells you they’re assuming the same thing?  Or do they answer your question with, “I don’t know…I’ve never really thought about that before” or “I don’t know…we haven’t talked about that yet.” If you get a response like either of those ones then you know that you still have more work to do.

Trial close questions will allow you to:

  • Know when to ask for their commitment without appearing to be “pushy”
  • Better understand their mindset
  • Uncover possible objections that remain unresolved in their mind
  • Keep control over the entire recruiting process

Let me be 100% clear. Trial close questions are not the same as “asking for the sale.” They’re questions that lead up to it. Again, you’re asking for an opinion and not a decision…it’s almost like a test run to see if the other person, namely the student, is ready to commit.

If you have questions about this, I want you to email me. I also want to encourage you and your admissions team to develop a list of effective trial close questions that you can incorporate on a regular basis during your recruiting conversations.  Doing so will give everyone an added degree of confidence.

Be sure and check out the two new features to my newsletterReader Q & A and Poll Question of the Week. Take advantage of both because your involvement will help you and every other reader of this newsletter grow and win!

Power Up!Monday, April 24th, 2017

Ken Whittaker, Front Rush

Most of us have probably heard of Tesla – the motor company famous for their electric cars capable of operating hundreds of miles on a single charge. Whether or not you are a “car person” it’s hard to deny the fact that such a technical and engineering accomplishment is impressive. However, the company does more than just build cool and energy efficient cars and SUVs. They are a power company, aiming to build some of the most innovative products and solutions. With Earth Day being this past Saturday, you may have seen some discounts on small appliances or gadgets to help reduce your energy bill. We’ll take a look at some more extreme products currently being developed by Tesla, which may not be too extreme within the next few years.

There’s no doubt that walking or driving around your neighborhood you have seen some of your neighbors with solar panels on their roof. Hey, maybe you even have them. Ignoring the hefty price tag and installation costs, Tesla has entered the solar panel market – claiming to offer a product that is more natural and cleaner. However, the most fascinating solar product they offer is what is known as the “Solar Roof.” With this product, the roof shingles each contain solar panels. This allows a home to keep the standard traditional look – currently offered in 4 different patterns, but provide the benefit of regular solar panels.

The most fascinating part to me is that Tesla advertises their product stating, “Our roof costs less than an equivalent roof, with projected savings from your utility bill.” If you’ve ever had a roof estimate, this may sound intriguing. If you’re interested or just want to see what this looks like, check out this video!

The last residential product currently offered by Tesla is the Powerwall – a product that stores energy and can be used in a variety of situations. You can think of the Powerwall as a more modern backup generator, but one that doesn’t require gas to start up. While there are limitations as to how much power it can provide, it also integrates with solar products to allow more flexibility.

It will be interesting to watch how these products transform and advance over the next few years. Coming from the company that has successfully marketed long range electric vehicles, I’d expect that the solar panel roof and Powerwall are just the start of what Tesla is hoping to develop in the near future.
Some information quoted or referenced in this article was taken from https://www.tesla.com/energy

More Questions to Ask Undecided Students Right NowTuesday, April 18th, 2017

By Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services

A couple of weeks ago I told you to ask your undecided students an important question. If you did that you should have a better feel for how each student will make their final decision.

Remember, at this point in the process it’s less about “selling” to this group and more about knowing what kinds of questions you can ask that will get them to say more than two or three words to you.

With that in mind, I’m going to cut right to the chase this week and give you more questions that I’ve seen work well towards the end of the process. Asking one or more of these should produce vital information that will tell you what your next step should be.

  • Who are you leaning on to help you make your decision? If you asked a version of this earlier in the process I still want you to ask it again. We hear stories all the time of students being influenced both more and less by those same individuals down the stretch. Once you get an answer, ask yourself how well you’ve recruited those other individuals.  If the answer is “not that well,” or “I’m not sure,” you know what you need to do later tonight.
  • What are you and your parents talking about at home when it comes to the idea of being a student here?  No matter how well you think you’ve recruited the student, if you haven’t cultivated a relationship with their parent(s), our research continues to show that your chances of getting a deposit from that student go down significantly.
  • If you were going to tell me that you’ve chosen a different college, what do you see as the #1 reason you’d end up doing that?  I want you to get them to play “what if” with you.  Science tells us their answers are almost always based in reality.  Whether they’re going to tell you “yes” or “no,” you’ll most likely get a hint of that using hypothetical situations. We’ve also heard from counselors who ask this question that it revealed a last minute objection that they were either unaware of or thought they had overcome earlier in the process.
  • Can you see yourself living here on campus?  You could switch out “living here on campus” with any other activity or action. If they can’t verbalize this with some kind of specificity and clarity, it means they haven’t been picturing it in their mind, and that’s a telltale sign.
  • What do you like most about the students or campus environment here? Again, if they don’t know, or they can’t describe something specific about their visit to campus, that’s a red flag.
  • Since our school isn’t the least expensive option, is it really just going to come down to who gives you the best financial aid package?  This one, of course, is for a school that has a higher cost of attendance than their competitors.  For some families, the legitimate, 100% honest answer is, “Yes.” For most, it’s the fallback decision making tool that they use if they haven’t been consistently and passionately told stories about your school and your students that provide value and create emotional connections. Either way, you need to know.
  • What do you see left on your to-do list before you make your decision? You want to see if your undecided student verbalizes any remaining questions that are left unanswered.  If they list something, your top priority should be to get answers to that question or help them check those things off their list.
  • When have you told other schools that you’ll be letting them know what your final decision is?  If you just asked a version of this question very recently, I’d wager to say not much has changed. On the other hand, if it’s been a couple a months, then it’s time to get straight to the point. This is a good question to do just that.
  • When do you see us being able to talk again about all this?  If their answer is sometime in the next week or two, that’s a good sign. If they tell you they’re not sure, but they’ll “keep in touch” or “let you know,” that’s another red flag.
  • What do you want to see us talk about next?  Hopefully they give you a new topic that is central to their decision making process that they haven’t brought-up before.  Again, the goal during this time of the year is to keep them talking. Your undecided students need to feel free to communicate new questions or ideas to you. If you haven’t cultivated trust with them, this question probably won’t yield very much information.
  • Which school are you leaning towards choosing? You’re swinging for the fences with this question, but you never know what you’ll hear.  Remember, your prospect is under a lot of stress too.  Our research shows that students are likely to reveal more details as the process enters the final weeks.
  • Are you feeling like you’re ready to commit to our school? If you’ve been through our campus training workshop experience, you know how important it is to “ask for the sale.”  I’m willing to bet that right now you have some undecided students that are ready to say, “Yes”…if you just ask them. And even if they say, “No” or tell you they already picked another school, at least you have some closure and can cross their name off your list.

Try one, two, or all twelve of these questions out, and then email me and tell me how they work for you.

P.S. Here’s a picture of my descent into Atlanta at sunrise earlier this week that I thought you might enjoy.  Have a great rest of the week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 23: Rock-n-Roll Star Jim Holvay on Learning How to SellMonday, April 17th, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve ever wondered about the idea of truly “learning how to sell” when you aren’t a natural born salesperson, with a sparkling, outgoing personality and a way of summoning up just the right words in every situation, meet Jim Holvay.

If he could learn to be successful in selling, so can you, Coach.

Holvay was a hit songwriter and rock-n-roll musician in the late 1960’s through the 1970’s. One of his songs spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts, and he had other hits, too. He was touring the country, hanging out at the Playboy mansion, and was only focused on writing the next hit song.

Then his music career came to an abrupt end. With a wife and young son to support, what was a newly unemployed rocker to do?
He learned how to sell.

In this episode, you’ll join Jim and Dan Tudor at Dinah’s Family Restaurant in Southern California for a fascinating (and funny) conversation about learning how to sell, and what real-world lessons coaches can learn from this rock-n-roller’s wild ride into a 30+ year career in sales.

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Early Recruiting Rule Changes, and What They Mean For College CoachesMonday, April 17th, 2017

It’s a fight that’s beginning to gain momentum.

Early recruiting, whether you like it, hate it, or just accept it as a necessary part of the college recruiting process, is one of the most debated topics among college coaches. And the ripple effect of the national conversation continues to force new approaches by college coaches, their coaching organizations, and the NCAA.

College lacrosse coaches lobbied for a ban on any recruiting contact before September 1st of a prospect’s Junior year in high school, which was approved by the NCAA. It halts the trend of Freshman and Sophomore contact in college lacrosse recruiting that many coaches were concerned about, citing their worry that it was putting too much pressure on families and younger players to make decisions before they were ready.

At the same time, the NCAA enacted several rule changes granting greater flexibility for college football programs to allow earlier official visits to campus for younger prospects, as well as an additional early signing period for prospects. It follows the lead of women’s basketball, which has started allowing for earlier visits to campuses in recent years.

Regardless of what you feel is the right course of action as college athletics continues to grapple with this issue, there are some recruiting truths about early recruiting that I feel are important for coaches to understand as they move forward:

  • In the mind of most parents and athletes, early recruiting – and early commitment – is seen as a good thing. I actually had the chance to fully explain this in 2016 while speaking on the topic at the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association convention, but in summary I’ll tell you this: According to our ongoing research and focus groups, both athletes and parents feel like early recruiting, and the chance to commit early, is validation that their hard work, extra time and expense, and dedication to their sport leading up to their high school career. In other words, it’s not necessarily a “bad” thing in their mind. For college coaches, it’s important to understand that they aren’t looking at the process from your perspective as a coach who has been through it all a few hundred times with different recruits. I’m not making a case for one side or the other…that’s outside of my influence. I simply want coaches to understand the perspective that they may find present in the minds of the families they recruit.
  • The other perceived benefit for prospects and their parents? Less stress. Many times we hear stories about the desire to “just have the process done” so that they can “relax and enjoy their last year of high school”. A more condensed timeline will result in more anxiety in the mind of your recruits and parents. For coaches, be prepared for that, and find ways to be the calming guide to lead them through the process that they will now have less time to navigate.
  • Explain why waiting is beneficial to them. That may seem like a very basic conversation, even one that isn’t needed, but it is. For the reasons in the first two points I’ve just talked about. If you want this generation of recruits to think differently about the process of making a decision, all of you need to be the voice of that side of the argument. This should be a part of your early, and ongoing, recruiting message.
  • Your recruiting message just became even more important. As the process is contracted into a shorter period of time, old-fashioned, vanilla, non-compelling messaging will not produce long term winning results. Whoever engages first, and continues to develop an interesting conversation the most consistently, will win. Another important point coaches need to understand: Simply because there are growing limits on when a coach can recruit won’t necessarily translate into the majority recruits holding off their decisions longer. I would expect to see many top-tier recruits making decisions within 90 to 120 days of being able to be contacted after September 1st, due to coaches putting accelerated deadlines on those recruits, as well as the aforementioned social conditioning to view early commitment as a good thing.
  • Did your sport just expand the availability to recruit earlier? You face the same challenge when it comes to your recruiting message. Getting the chance to talk to a prospect earlier than before means that you need to take a long term view of your communication. If the best you’ve got consists of a bland first contact letter, a few general emails about the program, and then attempted phone calls, you’re in for a rough fight with other programs using more advanced, more systematic approaches (or programs that offer more money, are part of a higher division level, or some other perceived advantage that they have in the eyes of recruits). Taking a serious look at your plan for answering the number one question in the mind of today’s recruit, “Why should I choose you over all the other schools that I’m hearing from?”, is essential as we enter this new era of college recruiting.

Early recruiting is a bit of a two-headed monster: Limit it, and you will need to alter the way you communicate in a condensed timeframe with your prospects who, at least for now, view early decisions as largely positive. Expand it, and you will need to meet the challenge of more engaging, more consistent messaging over a longer period of time.

How good is your staff’s plan, Coach?

A systematic approach that takes a research-based view of communicating with this generation of recruits exists. And, plenty of coaches in different sports and division levels around the country are utilizing it. You can find out more here.

 

Fancy FootwearMonday, April 17th, 2017

Chris Mateer, Front Rush

Athletics have always been rooted in testing the limits of human capabilities. As much as head-to-head competition provides excitement and entertainment, it’s the records and milestones that are remembered. Whether it’s Wilt Chamberlin’s 100-point game, the home run world record and its ensuing steroid controversy, or the 4-minute mile, the world of athletics has always been fascinated by exactly what is humanly possible. The advancement of these milestones has always stemmed out of continual developments in training, conditioning, and strategy, but an undeniable aspect has also been the role of constantly advancing technology and equipment. Nowhere is this intersection of conditioning and technology more clear than in Nike’s coming assault on the 2-hour marathon.

Despite continuous comparisons by both Nike and track fans alike, attacking the sub 2-hour marathon is a feat that exists on a different plane than that of the 4-minute mile. When Roger Bannister broke the world record by 2 seconds in 1954, he lowered the world record by less than 1% (0.8%, specifically). Meanwhile, the goal Nike has set of under 2 hours will lower the existing world record by 3%. Both of those fractions are small on paper, but they become enormous leaps when dealing with the world of human limitations. For reference, the last improvement of the world record for the marathon was only about 0.5% when it was improved from 2:03:23 to 2:02:57. To break 2 hours requires a drop of almost 3 minutes: 6 times greater than that of the last improvement.

This, of course, begs the question of how Nike plans to accomplish a feat of such magnitude. Their first goal was to ensure they have the best athletes, in their possible condition. Per their website, Nike started with a pool of 60 of the best athletes in the world and whittled that group down to 3 individuals. Although none of these individuals currently are in possession of the world record, they contain an Olympic Gold Medalist, the Half Marathon World Record holder, and a Boston Marathon Champion. These athletes have been training together under Nike’s supervision for months.

Furthermore, Nike is precisely engineering every aspect of the record attempt. Nike has chosen a perfectly flat, tree-lined course for the record attempt to reduce any environmental factors and have even left the race date ambiguous. This allows the coordinators to pick the date where the weather will be ideal. The window has been set for early May when temperatures will be cool and prime for fast times. Finally and perhaps unsurprisingly, Nike has made it clear that their shoes will be a part of this record attempt. Since launching the record attempt, Nike has released a new shoe called the Nike Vaporfly 4%. The 4% is included in the name since the shoe has been built and tested to improve running economy by 4% and this number should jump immediately off the page, given the current gap between the existing world record and sub 2 hours. Nike has designed a shoe that, per their claims, should be able to bridge the gap in human capability from where it currently stands to traverse what has now become a near mythical feat in the world of the marathon.  

Sometime in early May, the world will see if Nike’s attempt will be successful. If they fall short, the myth of the sub-2-hour marathon may only grow, and Nike’s attempt will be remembered as nothing more than an overly ambitious PR stunt. But, what if they succeed? One of the three athletes will go down in the history books as the first sub-2-hour marathoner, but how much credit goes to Nike? And what will be remembered, the shoe or the athlete?  

 

Dealing With Illogical College DecisionsTuesday, April 11th, 2017

By Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services

“That was completely unexpected!” Those were the words that a good friend of mine told me he thought to himself after having a conversation with an undecided senior at his school’s admitted student day event.

My friend doesn’t work in admissions and instead is the Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the small, private university. He had just finished giving a presentation at the request of the VP of EM to a group of students and their parents when one student approached him and said this:

“I really want to come here but you guys don’t have a football team…growing up I always dreamed I would be cheering for my school’s football team on Saturdays.”

The undecided senior explained to my friend that she had narrowed her choices down to his school and one other small, private college in the same state…the other school by the way does have a football team. She told him she felt like he was honest and genuine during his presentation, so she figured he might be able to help her understand how she would fill her weekends without football. She really liked the people at his school she had met/talked with throughout the college search process, but football, in her mind, was a big deal to her. She was having trouble understanding how she would fill that void.

Choosing a college based on a football team or a school’s athletic success, a high-end student center, or climbing walls and lazy rivers might seem completely illogical to you and the wrong way to come to a final decision. In fact the mother of this student told my friend she didn’t want to let her daughter ask him this question because she couldn’t believe this is what her daughter’s decision might come down to.

Always remember this – you’re not recruiting you, you’re recruiting this generation of students. And, over the past couple of years I’ve seen more examples of irrational, emotional decisions than ever before in our ongoing work with college admission departments.

Here are five important constants I see with this generation that I want you to keep in mind:

  • They’re deciding based on their emotions. Emotion outweighs logic and facts.
  • They’re thinking short term, not long term when it comes to their college experience. What feels right at that moment versus over 4 years.
  • They’re looking to see which colleges really personalize the process. Are you a resource or salesperson? Are you consistently staying in touch and asking them for their thoughts? Do you feel like someone they can trust?
  • They’re relying on others to help them make their decisions. Namely parents, peers, and other family and friends in their community. And possibly even you!
  • They’ll often turn to irrelevant statistics to justify their actions. You might develop a great relationship with a student and have a solid financial aid package, but in the end, they pick the school with the larger, newer dorm rooms or the one where they boyfriend, girlfriend, or group of friends are going.

The bottom line is this generation is a tough group to recruit.

Let me share with you some additional ideas/thoughts that might help you moving forward:

  • Search out information as early as possible about how they’re going to make their college decision. Ask questions that let the student reveal their tiebreakers and other things that matter to them…no matter how silly you might think they are.
  • If the early recruiting emails and letters you send are focused solely on the logical argument that your school and your academic program are the best choice right out of the gate, you may be making a huge mistake. It’s not that your prospect doesn’t need that it just may not be the right time as you start the recruiting process.
  • Over the past year in both this newsletter and during NACAC affiliate conferences I’ve spoken at, I’ve really tried to drive home just how much today’s prospects are driven by fear. How are you, your colleagues, and your recruiting messages helping to alleviate that fear?
  • Find ways to feed their emotions and make a personal connection rather than a logical case. If you take that approach you’ll set yourself up for having them listen to your logical case more intently once you have that illogical, emotional connection.
  • It’s okay to ask them, “Is that the smart way to make your college decision?”  Maybe the answer is yes, or maybe it isn’t.  Asking that question and actually getting them to think about everything in a new light is one of the most productive challenges you can issue during the recruitment process.
  • Make your case with more passion than your competition. I continue to see/hear plenty of stories where the emotional connections that the admissions staff helped build end up being a significant reason why the student chose their school. Emotions sell because emotions are real. And remember, passion has nothing to do with your budget.
  • Always include the parents. When you clue them in early on to your conversations with their son/daughter, and why your point of view is important, you gain allies.

This advanced thinking and problem solving is one of the many skills I teach admission counselors and leaders when I come to campus and lead our popular training workshop. If you or your colleagues are looking for fresh perspective and insight from someone who works with many college clients throughout the country, email me now and let’s start a conversation. My spring/summer calendar has filled up even more over the past two weeks, and I don’t want you to miss out!

Use These 2 Tips to Increase Office ProductivityMonday, April 10th, 2017

Mandy Green, Busy.Coach

Coach, have you ever sat down and really analyzed how effective and efficient you are being with your day?  Which one do you focus on?  Is one more important to you than the other?

 In his book, The On-Purpose Person, author Kevin McCarthy describes the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. “Efficiency is doing things right in the most economical way possible; effectiveness is doing the right things that get you closer to your goals.”
 
It seems to me that being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe. What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it.   Now, being efficient is still important, but we all know that it is useless unless applied to the right things. 
 
There are two ways for you to increase productivity that are inversions of each other:

1. Limit daily tasks just to the important to shorten your work time (80/20).
2. Shorten work time to limit your tasks so you only focus on the important (Parkinson’s Law)

Pareto’s 80/20 rule.  Pareto’s Law can be summarized as follows: 20 percent of your priorities will give you 80 percent of your production.

Ask yourself these two questions about your program, your team, and your staff:
–Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness? 
–Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
 
Once you have identified your top 20%, commit to scheduling those activities into your day, everyday.  Then, go the next step further by putting a time restriction on how long you will give yourself to complete each high-priority activity.   

Timothy Ferriss, in The 4-Hour Workweek introduces a concept called Parkinson’s Law.  Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. 

The best solution is to use 80/20 and Parkinson’s Law together:  Identify the few critical high-payoff tasks that contribute most to effectiveness and efficiency within your program and then schedule each activity with very short and clear deadlines. 
 
Coach, it is critical to the success of your program that you know what your high-priority activities are and are incorporating those high-payoff activities into your schedule consistently every single day.  Once identified, set an aggressive deadline for each task and block off certain sections of your day where you focus on nothing but that task to ensure completion. 
 
If you haven’t identified your high-priority tasks and are not setting aggressive start and end times for their completion, the unimportant emails, phone calls, and people popping their head into your office becomes the important.  These unimportant things can and will eat up a good chunk of your day if you continue to let them. 

 

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