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How Decluttering My Office Increased My Focus and ProductivityMonday, May 14th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

A few years ago at the school I was working at, our new basketball arena just opened up so we had a massive reorganization of offices. 

Being the proactive planner that I am, I made sure to plan in advance and I started the packing process about 3 weeks before I was actually going to be allowed to move because I didn’t want to have to be stressed doing it last minute right before our preseason started.

As I was packing up my old office to get ready to move into my new one, I took the time to go through everything piece by piece, little by little every day.  I had been in that office for almost 7 years so I had accumulated a lot of stuff.  Needless to say, I threw out a lot of things that I didn’t need anymore, or scanned and filed electronically some of the paper files that I had. 

As a result of cleaning up my office for my move, I found that I could think better and focus more than when I was surrounded by clutter.  It was a pleasant surprise to see how liberating it felt to have an open desk and half full desk drawers that are not jammed full of files and old soccer equipment that I didn’t need.

So I did a little research on the affect that clutter has on workplace productivity.     

Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published the results of a study they conducted in the January issue of The Journal of Neuroscience that relates directly to uncluttered and organized living. From their report “Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex”:

When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.

No matter what article or study I read, they all seem to say that when you sit down at the beginning of the day at a clean, neat, and tidy office and desk, your mind will move straight to work; when you sit a messy desk and office, you’ll find it difficult to focus at all.  Every piece of clutter-from desktop documents to stacks of books and magazines-has a negative effect on your productivity.

“Clutter overloads your senses, just like multitasking overloads your brain.”

For most coaches at this time of year as you are wrapping up the spring, reorganizing your whole office is not in the cards.  I suggest to just commit to doing something small every day.  Start by picking a single drawer.  Clean up and clear out every drawer, closet, cabinet, and trunk that doesn’t give me a sense of calm and peace when you see it.

I have found for me that getting physically and mentally organized has allowed me to focus at a level I would have never believed possible. What I love most about it, is that it has left my energy to go nowhere to go except to what matters.

Start Now
Whether you are responsible for creating your own information management system or if those higher up are in charge, it’s still up to you to take action and make it happen. Here are some steps:

  • Set aside time weekly to manage and organize information. Adhere to that commitment like an appointment and you will stay ahead of the game.
  • Always organize your desk at the end of the day, so at least 80 percent of the desktop is visible. This will make going to work each morning a joy because desk stress and mental overload will decrease while your productivity increases.
  • Eliminate anything on top of your desk that is not used often. Put everything else into drawers, cubicles or containers that are easily accessible. Your efficiency will double and your fatigue will decrease.

Go Home, Coach!Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

I work with a lot of coaches on managing their time better in the office.   When I am on campus working with a coach, it is fun to see their eyes light up as we set recruiting, team, administrative, and personal goals and then come up with a plan on how accomplishing these goals to make it reality.  Never fails, we always hit a snag when I mention the “D” word. 

That word that seems to hang up a lot of coaches is delegation. 

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” This seems to be the favorite saying of a lot of the coaches that I am working with. To me, it says a great deal about their willingness to delegate. These coaches work non-stop morning to night, and still do (although they are getting better), because they somehow can’t embrace the notion that it’s possible to get things done any other way.

Beneath the many excuses for not delegating lays the reason why many of us coaches avoid delegating things:  True delegation means giving up a little of what we would like to hold onto (some measure of control) while keeping what we might prefer to give up (accountability).

Delegation is an area of personal and professional management that many coaches struggle with. The difficulty stems from our need to control outcomes and a strongly rooted belief that we know how to do things best.

It’s often a scary prospect even to think about letting someone else take over a task or duty we’ve been doing for a while:

What if they don’t do it correctly?
What if the outcome is not up to my standards?
What if they don’t do it the way I’ve been doing it?
What if I become less essential to my program?
What if, (gasp), they do it better than me?

Think about it coach. By nature we love to keep control. We also fear the repercussions when our support staff fails to complete something correctly or in a timely manner. The failure might reflect badly on us so we take the path of least resistance. Rather than working on improving our delegation skills to the other coaches we work with, sometimes we simply keep hold of more tasks. That way we can make sure things are done completely the way we want them done. Being overworked somehow seems less risky than having things done that might not meet our exact requirements.

Delegation means taking true responsibility and inevitably means giving up some control. If that sounds a bit scary, how can you overcome your mindset and become a better delegator? Here are some tips:

Realize that you just can’t do it all. Everyone has limits. If you fail to acknowledge yours, you will burn out. Maybe not tomorrow and maybe not even next year, but the stress and pressure of trying to do it all will get you eventually.

Start small. Delegation is a skill and learning it needs patience, persistence, and practice. Start by giving away small, uncomplicated tasks. As your confidence grows so will your willingness to delegate more.

Realize that “Your Way” is not always the “Only Way.” A big part of letting go is the fear that the task will not be done “right.” Consider that there are other ways to achieve the same result.

Work on giving others the tools to do what you do. Delegation will only work if you help your support staff succeed. So make sure he or she has the right resources and then keep communicating, participating and supporting your staff. Remember, delegation means NOT abdicating your responsibility, so you need to make sure you have done everything you can to influence a successful outcome.

Appreciate others’ accomplishments. You might be bored with organizing on-campus visits, but if one of your coaches has never done it, the challenge can be exciting, invigorating, and motivating. The successful outcome is not just a well-organized visit. It’s the opportunity for someone else to shine and get recognized for their achievements.

Seize the opportunity to work on more stimulating projects. The less time you spend on lower level tasks, the more time you have to concentrate on your main objectives. (You know the ones, the really important issues that keep getting shoved to the bottom of the pile because you’re so overloaded…)

Use the leverage. Delegation can put the right people on the right tasks. And the better allocated your coaches and staff are, the greater the productivity, effectiveness and the opportunity for organizational growth.

Delegation, when done well, benefits everyone. You have more time to concentrate on the main responsibilities of your position. Your support staff will have more opportunities to expand and enrich their jobs. An added bonus is the fact that because delegation relieves your own time pressures, the job gets done better in the long run.

So, cast off your preconceptions about delegation! You were doing a good job before: You can do even better when you delegate more. With a fresh perspective and little courage to “let go”, you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve!

To have Mandy Green help you and your program one-on-one, contact her at mandy@dantudor.com. She is the national expert on coaching organization, and has helped hundreds of college coaches become more efficient, better organized leaders of their program.

How Coaches Can Eat Healthier When They’re on the RoadSunday, April 22nd, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Eating healthy when you’re at home can be challenging enough with our demanding coaching careers and busy family lives. At least when you’re at home though, you can control what comes into the kitchen and what lands on your children’s plates.

But what happens when you’re not at home – when you’re traveling with your team, recruiting, or waiting at the airport? 

If we allow ourselves to opt for the faster and easier options because we are in a rush on the road, overtime poor nutrition can leave us over extended, overwhelmed, and overweight, which is obviously not ideal when we have a lot of people counting on us to bring our best every day.

While sticking to your good habits when you’re traveling can be tough, there’s no need to arrive home from your trip with a junk food hangover and 5 extra pounds. There are some simple, yet effective strategies that will help you continue to eat healthy, it just requires some knowledge and organization.

Here are five ideas to help you stick to your healthy eating habits when traveling.

Determine your food rules: A little planning about what your food rules are can go a long way when it comes to eating healthy and saving time while traveling. Before you leave, have the decision made about what foods are a big “no-no” for you and for your team, and what foods you’re willing to “slide” on. For me, a few no-no’s are chips, pop, hotel cookies, or candy. My “slides” are items fried like sweet potato fries. When you do that, you’ll spare yourself the stressful mental banter when opportunities arise and lessen your chances of experiencing any post-consumption “unpleasantness” the next day (and yes, I speak from experience.) You’ll also be able to plan ahead better about what kind of foods to bring with you and how much you’ll need.

Plan Your Snacks Ahead of Time: Whenever possible, arm yourself with healthy snacks for the car, bus, or plane so that you’re not stuck with the limited offerings available at gas stations, airports, or at the hospitality tents at the recruiting event. 

Dried fruits, granola, mixed nuts, apples, oranges, and cereals stay fresh and transport easily – especially with the array of cool, non-toxic containers available.  Invest in some reusable glass or stainless-steel lunch containers and pre-prepare your snacks in advance.  I also recommend checking out Love with Food. It’s a SUPER FUN way to get a box of surprise organic or natural snacks delivered to your door monthly.  And I absolutely love that with each box you buy, they donate a meal to a hungry child.  I really love that part!

Technology is your friend

Finding good places to eat that meet your teams or your nutritional needs can be challenging and very time consuming (gluten free or vegan).  Although most big corporate chain restaurants now provide nutrition information, independently owned restaurants usually don’t.  I don’t know about you, but part of the fun for me when traveling is finding those one-of-a-kind places that you can’t find back home.

There are a lot of apps that can help you locate healthy eating options no matter where you are.  If you have some time before you leave home, check out one of these apps- Healthy Dining Finder,  Eat Well, or Good Food Near You. With a little research and a GPS, you’re instantly connected to restaurants that share your food needs and values.

For example, the Healthy Dining Finder website currently lists healthy menu options from tens of thousands of restaurants around the U.S.-including lots of independently owned and find dining establishments.  Nutrition professionals review and analyze menus according to criteria posted on the Healthy Dining Finder website, where you can search the database by location as well as price.

The Hotel

Search for hotels that offer a mini-fridge in the room. Not only will you be able to house health-promoting foods in your room for easy access, but you’ll also save big money by bringing your own snack foods which can add up quickly on recruiting trips or when trying to feed a team.

If you’re looking at a few different hotels, search each one in google maps prior to booking to see how close they are to surrounding grocery stores and markets. The closer they are, the easier it is to make a stop or two throughout your trip. You can grab simple things like bottled water, or even perishable items like fruit or veggies and dip.

Lastly, do some research on what the hotel breakfast has to offer (especially if it’s free!) Stocking up on hard-boiled eggs or fruit from the breakfast buffet can serve as breakfast or snacks during your trip. Call the hotel ahead of time, or check reviews on Trip Advisor for the hotel (specifically search “breakfast”.)

The Arrival

Whether traveling in your own car or by bus, plan to stop at the grocery store just before reaching your hotel or at some point shortly after you arrive to get items you weren’t able to bring. This is also the time to pick up large bottles of purified water that will last you throughout your trip.

These options are all simple and don’t require a ton of upfront time to get set up.  The upfront time spent on finding healthier food options will save you a lot of time on the backend, and you will go home feeling much better because you stuck to your healthy eating habits. 

What are your tips for eating healthy on-the-go? Please respond to this email at mandy@busy.coach and share your tips.  I’d love to hear them.  Thanks in advance

7 Ways Managing Your Time Makes You a Better CoachMonday, April 16th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy.Coach

As I continue to train coaches on how to manage their time better so they can be their best for their career, their team, and for their family, I’m finding more and more that everybody hates this topic.

These are pretty common responses I get all the time when I tell coaches or business professionals that I can help them get higher quality work done in less time with less effort:

“There is no way I can manage my day any better than I already am because I have so many things to do.”

“I am being interrupted all of the time or I have all of these obligations.”

“It is hard to believe that I could actually have harmony in my life, so why even bother trying to do better with my scheduling each day?” 

This is my typical response when I hear these things-

“If you don’t have a high level of focus or discipline to work on the right things, you are wasting time and things are taking longer to finish so as a program, you are probably working a lot more hours than you need to, which is taking away your free time to spend at home with family and friends.”   

Here are a few other good reasons you should focus on learning to manage your time more of a priority this year:

You can accomplish more with less effort

Better time management can help you do more of what you have to do –- faster. This doesn’t mean cutting corners or a decrease in quality. You just do what you have to do quicker (office paperwork) so you can do what you want to do sooner (coaching your sport or going home to spend more time with your family).

You feel calmer and more in control

When you don’t have control of your time, it’s easy to end up feeling rushed and overwhelmed with all there is to do. And when that happens, coaches tend to work harder and longer which leads to burnout and fatigue.  Once you learn how to manage your time, you no longer subject yourself to that level of stress. Besides it being better for your health, you have a clearer picture of the demands on your time.

Free time is necessary

Everyone needs time to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, though, many of us don’t get enough of it. Between office responsibilities, recruiting, family responsibilities, errands, and upkeep on the house and the yard, most of us are hard-pressed to find even 10 minutes to sit and do nothing.

Having good time management skills helps you find that time. When you’re more structured, focused, and disciplined to get the right things done, you’re going to get more done in less time. You accumulate extra time throughout your day that you can use later to relax, unwind, and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

You have more energy

Your ability to manage time has a direct effect on your energy levels.  Strange but true — the act of finishing tasks often brings a level of satisfaction and energy that makes you feel good. The importance of time management here? It will help you do more of those endorphin releasing activities.

Become more successful in your career

Time management is the key to success. It allows you to take control of your life and career rather than following the flow of others. As you accomplish more each day, make more sound decisions, and feel more in control, people notice. Your team will notice that you are more organized and have more energy to lead and run your practices.  Your administration will notice that you are happier, more organized, and will see it in your team’s results. 

You enjoy your life more

After all, that’s what it’s about, isn’t it? What’s the importance of time management in your life? The more value you put on your time, the greater your ability to learn how to do what matters so you can enjoy life more.

Managing how you use your time is a means to an end, but it brings enjoyment and satisfaction in its own right as well.

Accomplish your vision and goals

Time management is ultimately about working a vision backwards into strategic and scheduled chunks of time and tasks.  If you are not being strategic about what you want to accomplish in your life or with your program, then I feel you are just kind of doing random tasks each day and you find yourself doing busy work instead of work what is going to move your life, career, or program forward. 

Time management is not just about improving your efficiency at work. The efficient utilization of time gives you as a coach the opportunity to maximize your potential to do what it is they will do with their time. The efficient utilization of time improves efficacy, productivity, and personal satisfaction. Learning to manage your time, will so improve your life quality by whatever definition you choose as to make time management a high priority for completion. Schedule it now!

Connect Deeper

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One Technique That Will Make You a Better Coach in 24-HoursMonday, April 9th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

For me, I try to live as if every single day is a fresh start.  Every day is a new chance for me to be better than I was yesterday. 

The practice of self-reflection has played a critical part in my effort to get better every day as a coach.  The 5 minutes that I am spending at the end of the night to reflect, has helped me make so many better choices going forward and has moved me towards what I want a whole lot faster.

Reflecting helps you to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carry on doing things as you have always done them. It is about questioning, in a positive way, what you do and why you do it.  And then deciding whether there is a better, or more efficient, way of doing it in the future.

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection, from the quiet reflection will come even more effective action”Peter F. Drucker

We learn by experiences and mistakes. But, unless we question ourselves about what our experiences mean and think actively about them, research has shown that we won’t make any changes. Self-reflection enables you to move from just experiencing, into understanding.

So coach, do you ever take the time to figure out how well you are actually doing day to day?  Not just evaluating whether or not you’re on schedule to reach your goals, but how well are you doing on that schedule?

Do you understand what you have done well so you can repeat those actions? Do you know where have things failed? 

How would we know the answer to these questions unless we are measuring ourselves and our performance all along the way? 

To do this, at the end of the day, find a quiet place to sit and think for 5-10 minutes. Start by asking yourself these simple few questions:

  • What happened today? Did today well or did it not?

With that simple few minutes of reflection, you’re able to say “here’s what I do well, here’s how I operate, and here’s where I get off track.  And then based on that information, here are the changes I’m going to make to guarantee that I’m more successful tomorrow than I was today.”

Here are a few more questions that you could ask in a daily review:

  • Did I focus on what matters today? 
  • Did I show up and perform by best today? 
  • Did I progress forward today? 
  • What level of energy did I bring? 
  • Is there anything I can do better tomorrow?

I have also found that using video can be a great way to aid reflection. Since you can only self-reflect effectively once you have left the practice or game environment, it could be easy to forget exactly everything that was going on at the time. Video can help provide you with an objective perspective; helping you to notice things you may not have otherwise remembered. Videos can also become resources that you can re-visit and watch again to gain deeper insight into what happened.

Self-reflection is not something you should do once and a while.  I encourage you to reflect on a daily, weekly, and a monthly basis. Asking these types of questions consistently helps us stay on track.  You might be working hard and getting things done, but if you are not continually checking in with the process, you won’t know if you are being successful.  Check in with yourself all along the way.

To connect with Coach Mandy Green and have her work with you and your staff to become more organized, more effective recruiters and coaches, click here.

3 Ways to Be Exceptionally ProductiveMonday, March 19th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

The most productive people do a lot more than just stay busy.  Many coaches stay busy. After all, checking items off a to-do list isn’t hard.

What’s hard is checking the right things off your to-do list, completing the right projects, and getting the right stuff done. That’s when you go from busy to productive — and in the process become indispensable to your programs success.

Here are 3 things highly productive people do — and why that makes them so valuable:

1. They always start with goals.

Effort without a genuine purpose is just effort. Effective coaches don’t just have a strategic objective of what to do–they know why. They have a long-term goal. And they have short-term goals that support their long-term goals.

In short, they have a strategic purpose–and that purpose informs everything they do. That’s why remarkable people appear so dedicated and organized and consistently on-task. They’re not slaves to a routine or their to-do list; they’re simply driven to reach their goals and quick to eliminate roadblocks and put aside distractions that stand in their way.

When you are driven and prioritize your work in this way, you’ll find it’s easier to stay focused and be effective.

Even so, once they establish a goal, productive people don’t focus solely on that goal; instead …

2. Then they create systems.

As a coach, your goal is to build a successful program. Your system consists of your Step-by-step processes for recruiting, practices, operations, etc.

A goal is great for planning and mapping out what success looks like; a system is great for actually making progress through more efficient daily execution toward that goal.

Productive people know a goal can provide direction and even push them forward in the short term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win.

Everyone has goals; committing to a system makes all the difference in achieving that goal.

3. They let their goals make their decisions almost automatic.

Tim Ferriss described in a podcast how Herb Kelleher, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, makes so many decisions every day. Kelleher applies a simple framework to every issue: Will this help Southwest be the low-cost provider? If so, the answer is yes. If not, no.

Productive people apply the same framework to the decisions they make. “Will this help me reach my goal? If not, I won’t do it.”

If you feel like you’re constantly struggling to make decisions, take a step back. Think about your goals; your goals will help you make decisions.

That’s why productive people are so decisive. Indecision is born of a lack of purpose: When you know what you truly want, most of your decisions can — and should — be almost automatic.

Coach, I hope that it gets you thinking about how you are currently working and encourages you to tweak and keep tweaking until you find that magic zone where you crush every work day.  If you want to know more or even have me take you through this process, I invite you to check out my upcoming Win the Day Academy.  Click the link to learn more or go to www.busy.coach or email me at mandy@busy.coach.

Two Simple Ways Systems Can Eliminate Coaching StressSunday, March 11th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

I have made some of my biggest breakthroughs with productivity only after I created systems. 

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you some of the very simple, but effective systems that I am helping coaches create in my Win The Day Academy that you can create for yourself to help reduce the time it takes you to do things.     

Effective self-leaders in every profession have systems for just about everything from work activities like scheduling, follow up, entering data, and sending thank you cards, to personal activities such as sleeping, eating, dealing with money, cars, and family responsibilities.

Those systems make life easier, and ensure they are always ready to perform.   Here are three examples of basic systems (the third one being the ultimate game changer):  

Daily Attire— One thing that can actually make your life easier and your mornings far less stressful: planning your outfit for the day the night before. Sounds simple enough, but how many of us actually do this? Not only will you be able to look more stylish/professional because you’ll know ahead of time how your outfit will look, but it will leave you extra time to hang out with your family or sleep if you so choose if you plan accordingly.

To make it work, take a few minutes to look at your calendar to see what is on your schedule.  Lay out the night before everything you will need for work, working out, and practice.  It sounds simple, but that extra 15 minutes that you save every morning adds up over the course of the week.   

Travel— We travel a lot as coaches.  Collecting the items we need for every trip can be time-consuming, inefficient, and ineffective, especially if you tend to often forget things at home or in your office. 

For me, after the third time of forgetting the charger for my computer and having to spend another $75 for a replacement (ouch) or ask the front desk for a phone charger, razor, or a toothbrush, I’d had enough. I assembled a travel bag containing every single item I need for my trips, and now I can leave at a moment’s notice because my bag contains everything I need to be on the road— business cards, toiletries, adaptors and chargers for my phone and computer, even earplugs in case my hotel room neighbor is a noisy guest.

You’ll know you need a system when you have a challenge that is recurring, or you find you’re missing opportunities because you’re unprepared. If you’re walking out the door with just enough time to make an appointment only to discover you’re running on fumes, you need a system for getting out the door earlier: pack your backpack the night before, have your clothes already out and ready to go, set the coffee maker, get up earlier, etc.

Said another way, wherever you feel like you need to get your act together, you need a system. A life without systems is a life with unnecessary stress!  

If you want to see more systems that I create and even go through my Win The Day Group Coaching program where I help you systematize everything in your program, go to Win the Day Academy.

P.S. – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you do to make time for recruiting? Email me at mandy@busy.coach. If you want more tips about how to save time with recruiting, go to my website at www.busy.coach. 

P.P.S.  If you have found this article helpful, please share it with your staff or other work colleagues!  Studying time and energy management over these last 8 years and applying it to my coaching and recruiting has been a game changer for me.  I am committed to helping coaches get more important work done in less time so more time can be spent with family and friends.  Thanks!

The Secret to Writing Your Recruiting Messages FasterMonday, March 5th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

As College coaches, we write a lot.  We write to juniors and seniors we are recruiting or have already committed, we write to parents, or we are writing to youth coaches who have players we want.

If you just sit down and try to come up with a brilliant message that will get opened, read, and returned, you may find yourself wasting a lot of time staring at a blank screen as you try to figure out what to write.

Also, if you don’t have a lot of experience writing recruiting messages or are not a very good writer, it can feel incredibly time-consuming.  But more importantly, if you don’t have a strategy or workflow, I have found it takes even longer. So what I want to do today is to share what I learned from Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.”

Michal Hyatt uses a 10 step process to write his blog posts quicker. I highly encourage you to try when you have to send out your next batch of recruiting emails. I know that it will help to speed up the recruiting writing process.

  1. Start writing the night before.  Come up with what you want to write about and then rough out the details. The idea is to just get the process started and then let it simmer in the background of your thinking as it sits in your subconscious  I’ve found that helps me so much. If I just sit down and try to write, I sometimes end up just being stumped, looking at a blank screen not knowing what to write about.
  2. Use your downtime to think. I want you to think about when you get your best ideas. Usually our best ideas happen when we’re relaxed. That’s why a lot of good ideas come to you in the shower and other places. By starting your recruiting message the night before, in your downtime until you actually write the email, you can purposefully be thinking about the next set of messages that you could send out.
  3. When it is time to actually write your recruiting messages, go offline. Put yourself in a distraction-free environment where your phone and email notifications are turned off.The thing that kills writing recruiting emails and turns a 30-minute process into a 7-hour process is when you’re allowing yourself to be bombarded by social media and other kinds of interruptions.
  4. Turn on some music to get into a creative mindset.  What kind of music will get you focused and creative?
  5. Give yourself a time limit and then set a timer. I have found this helps a lot to create more urgency and helps to keep me focused on the work at hand.
  6. Use a template. Writing recruiting emails can go a lot faster when you have a premade writing template that you are following.  By following a certain skeletal structure I’m not having to create that from scratch every time or having to guess what the flow of the email I am creating is going to be. For great ideas on what should go into your template, go to www.dantudor.com.
  7. Write without editing. Coaches can get stuck and it really slows them down if they’re editing as they go. Try to just write without interruption as fast as you can and just try to get it all out.
  8. Then go back and edit.
    1. Look to eliminate redundancy
    2. Try to eliminate complex sentences and make them simpler and more straightforward.
    3. Ask yourself if there is an easier or simpler way to say that or a simpler word to use?
  9. Add the pictures or links. We try to put in a lot of links to get recruits to keep going back to our website.  Or sometimes we use a lot of pictures to paint a picture of what it would be like to attend our school.
  10. Send to a colleague to preview. There are things they might pick up that you wouldn’t pick up otherwise.

Now, these 10 steps may work great for you.  If not, hopefully at least I have you thinking about how you could tweak this to find a formula or process that would work for you.  I think the important thing is that if you can define a process for yourself, no matter what that is, and then spend the next several weeks optimizing that so you know exactly what the steps are, it’ll be much faster for you to get in the groove and be productive with writing.

My hope in giving you this process as well is that it will take a little bit of the stress out of writing recruiting letters for you, because it can be very stressful. And when we get stressed about it, we actually end up procrastinating or putting it off, and then those consistent recruiting messages we are supposed to be sending never happen.

So no matter what kind of writer you are, come up with a system. It doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from the system from time to time. I do. But at least you have a track to get you started and a way to get your recruiting messages out that works for you 90% of the time.

If you want to see more systems that I create and even go through my Win The Day Group Coaching program where I help you systematize everything in your program, go to Win the Day Academy.

Hope you have a productive rest of the week!

Mandy Green

P.S. – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you do to make time for recruiting? Email me at mandy@busy.coach. If you want more tips about how to save time with recruiting, go to my website at www.busy.coach. 

P.P.S.  If you have found this article helpful, please share it with your staff or other work colleagues!  Studying time and energy management over these last 8 years and applying it to my coaching and recruiting has been a game changer for me.  I am committed to helping coaches get more important work done in less time so more time can be spent with family and friends.  Thanks!

Are You Doing the Work That Really Matters, Coach?Monday, February 26th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

A lot of coaches come to me who are struggling getting home on time, they are overwhelmed with their to-do lists, and want to know some strategies for getting all of their work done.

Most of the time, to their surprise, my answer is that you can’t get it all done.  What you can and should do though is make sure that no matter what you choose to do during the day, that you choose to do work that matters. 

A mistake that a lot of coaches make is that they prioritize easy.  Sure, they may get a lot of things checked off of their list, but at the end of the day, they just did busy work that didn’t make their program better.   

We then start setting up their 80/20 as a coach.

The 80/20, or another name is the Pareto principle, states that 20% of a person’s effort generates 80% of the person’s results. The corollary to this is that 20% of one’s results absorb 80% of one’s resources or efforts. For the effective use of resources, the coach’s challenge is to distinguish the right 20% from the trivial many.

Identify the high-payoff activities within your program.  High-payoff activities are the things you do that bring the greatest value to your program, team, or staff.  They are the three to five activities that lie in your “sweet spot.”  You do them with excellence.  These activities could be building relationships with recruits, making phone calls to parents, sending emails to recruits, managing your current team, etc.  They are your unique discipline or distinctive skills and abilities that distinguish you from other staff members. 

Being able to prioritize your personnel, time, and energy will allow you the freedom to produce more efficient results. 

Here are a few exercises taken from John Maxwell’s book Developing the Leader within You that should get you started:

Task Priorities

Determine what 20% of the work gives 80% of the return. These activities could be building relationships with recruits, making phone calls to parents, sending emails to recruits, managing your current team, etc.  They are your unique discipline or distinctive skills and abilities that distinguish you from other staff members. 

Make a list of the tasks that you are working on today, this week, and in the near future. 

Place each task next to the appropriate category below.

  • List of things to do now (High Importance/High Urgency). Tackle these tasks first;
  • List of things to do (High Importance/Low Urgency). Set deadlines for completion and get these tasks worked into your daily routine
  • List of things to delegate (Low Importance/High Urgency). Find quick, efficient ways to get this work done without much personal involvement.  Delegate it.
  • Low Importance/Low Urgency: Busy or repetitious work.  Delegate it. 

Staff/Team Oversight and Leadership Development

  • Determine which people are the top 20% producers.  Start by making a list of everyone on your team.
  • For each individual, ask yourself, if this person takes a negative action against me or withdraws his or her support from me, how big will the impact be?”
  • If their absence would hinder your ability to function, put a check mark next to that name.
  • When you finish making the check marks, you will have marked between 15 and 20 percent of the names.  These are the vital relationships that need to be developed and given the proper amount of resources to grow your program.
  • Meet one-on-one with the people you checked above. 
  • Spend 80 percent of your “people time” with the top 20%
  • Spend 80 percent of your personal development dollars on the 20%

Sit down and spend the time to find out how this principle applies within almost every aspect of your program, and you have the power to set the vital priorities which will mean the difference between failure, survival, and success. This principle will save you time, effort, money and resources, and take you further down the road to success.

Knowing what your high-payoff activities are and actually doing them, however, are two very different things.  Many surveys that I have read over the past several years have shown that the average American worker spends only 50-60 percent of the workday on activities specified in her or her job description.  That means that workers waste 40-50 percent of their time on low-payoff activities, tackling things that others with less skill or training should be doing.  Are you in this category coach?

By disciplining yourself to clearly identify your high-payoff activities, and then by filling your calendar with those things and appropriately delegating, delaying, or dropping the low-payoff activities, you can and will get more productive things done everyday, reduce your stress, and increase your happiness.   

The more time you spend doing the high-payoff activities, the more value you will bring to your team, program, and staff.  By disciplining yourself to clearly identify your high-payoff activities, and then by filling your calendar with those things and appropriately delegating, delaying, or dropping the low-payoff activities, you can and will get more high-payoff activities done everyday, reduce your stress, and increase your happiness.    

If you are interested in working with me to set up your 80/20, email me at mandy@busy.coach. Or visit www.busy.coach for more resources.

6 Ways to Make Time for Your Daily Recruiting DutiesMonday, February 19th, 2018

I was 100% guilty of not making recruiting a priority at times.  I would get into the office and then get busy doing other things and would tell myself that “I will do it later.”  I would fit in a few minutes in here or there but at the end of the day, I would leave the office feeling guilty because I knew that I didn’t make any significant progress.   

Can you relate?

It is easy to get lost in all of the details of what you have to do day-to-day.  But for all of us, obviously recruiting quality student athletes is vital to the continued or future success of your program. Recruiting is and should be a priority, so we need to find a way to give it the time it deserves.      

As I have been reading about and applying different time management techniques over the last 8+ years, some methods have worked better than others. 

Here are 6 most effective things that I have done to make time for recruiting.  Depending on your work hours and situation, maybe some or all of these could help.

  1. Do it first. Absolute first thing you do is recruiting.  Get it out of the way.  When you prioritize it and work on it when your mental energy is the best, you will find that it actually takes you less time to get through it and the quality of your messages goes up as well.  Devote your first 30 minutes to 1 hour on just recruiting. 
  2. Start my day earlier.  Instead of waiting to do it when I got into the office, I woke up early and got at least 1 hour of pure recruiting work done before I got into the office.  It was quiet and there were no interruptions so I was able to work for a solid chunk of time and cranked out a ton of emails. It felt great walking into the office for the day knowing that I had already gotten a good amount of recruiting done. 
  3. I worked from a different location.  Depending on the week and how much there was to do, I figured out which were my least busy days and times around the office and went and worked from home or in a coffee shop for a solid block of time.  I was having a hard time making any significant progress in my recruiting when I was only doing it for a few minutes here and there in between 4,000 other things that needed to get done. Going somewhere different where I couldn’t be interrupted and was able to work for solid blocks of time was really helpful. 
  4. I made a long list of everything that had to get done with recruiting.  I figured out what I HAD to do, then I found people to delegate the rest to.  I’ve hired students through work study to do my database entry.  I have gotten my communication majors do our social media for a class project.  I have had to get creative here because my 1st 3 years here at South Dakota I didn’t have a full-time assistant.  There was a lot of work to do so I had to think outside the box and go find help with the resources I had on campus.
  5. I created systems or checklists for almost everything.  I have checklists for what needs to get done on on-campus visits, recruiting phone calls, game day, preseason, travel, after season meetings, the spring season, etc.  It takes longer, the work doesn’t get done as well, things get forgotten, and it is mentally exhausting when you always trying to remember things because you only have everything up in your head.  Get your standard operating procedures out of your head and down on paper.  When you can get those things running smoother, it will free up a lot more time to do recruiting as well.
  6. I time tracked what I was actually doing during the day.  From when I started working to when I finished for the day, I wrote down everything I did and for how long I did it.  It was annoying to do for the 2 days that I did it but I was shocked at how much time I was wasting doing unnecessary things and how little time I was allowing for things I know would help grow my program. I tweaked a lot of things from that one exercise and made myself take control of my day better.

I did all of these things above because I was tired of being tired and stressed out about not getting enough recruiting done. As you may have noticed, doing all of these things above required me to change how I was currently working. 

It was really hard to make changes at first because I was used to doing things a certain way.  But now, I don’t think twice about it. 

There really are a lot of simple ways to tweak what you are currently doing to squeeze just a little bit more productivity out of you and your staff.  Check out www.busy.coach for more information or email me at mandy@busy.coach to get more information.   

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