by Mandy Green, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, The University of South Dakota
What is it for you coach? What is it that no matter what else gets done, as long as these one or two things are finished by the time you leave the office, you are feeling pretty good about your day?
I thought I knew what it was for me.
Being that I read, write, and talk to people about time management regularly, I certainly have a general idea which few activities for me were the ones I knew needed to get done.
Then, about a week ago, I went home feeling uneasy and stressed. I started to reflect on what happened during the day and what maybe didn’t get done that was causing me to feel this way.
That day I had to readjust my schedule of To-Dos because a few student-athlete meetings lasted longer than planned. When I got home, I took out my Green Time Management Planner and looked back over my day. I had finished the majority of things on my To-Do list, but there were still one or two things pushed aside. Reflecting back on my day helped give me some insight as to what was causing me to be stressed, but I needed to look more into it.
The next day was just as crazy as the day before, but I went home feeling okay with what I accomplished during the day. Did I get everything done on my To-Do list, no, but I did get a few of the things done that I hadn’t gotten done the day before. I again sat down and looked at what was finished and what was pushed aside during the day.
I ended up experimenting for a few days, monitoring what I had completed and what I left for the next day to do, while really paying attention to how I felt when I got home that night.
What I found is, for me, I feel good leaving the office as long as I have sent my recruiting emails out and had a chance to plan and prepare practice for the following day.
The development and future success of my program is obviously dependent on my ability to consistently communicate with recruits. The success of my current team depends on preparing and executing challenging practices so we can keep getting better. When I make sure to get these two things finished before I leave for the day, I feel assured knowing I still have time to review my practice plan the night before and make adjustments if necessary. As a result, I walk into practice feeling more prepared. I also love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I know I have taken another step forward with the recruits we are trying to get.
When these two things don’t get done at work however, I have to do them at home. These things have to get done. What causes me the most stress is not only does this take away time with my kids, but I feel they don’t get done as well as I would like them to be. I feel like my recruiting emails are not as clear and concise and my practice plans aren’t as well thought out as they could and should be since I have a 4 and 1 year old also competing for my attention.
To avoid feeling stressed out, it took three or four days of analyzing what I did and didn’t do, as well as assessing the feelings that followed for it to really hit home with me which tasks absolutely had to be done before I left the office.
I now try to do my most important activities first thing in the morning, when I get done with practice (we practice from 6-8 am). I found if I put them off until later, I get busy and run out of time to do them.
So coach, what are your most important activities? What are the one or two tasks that you know if you get done, even if you don’t get everything done, you can leave the office and feel good about what you’ve accomplished for day?
If you are not sure, do what I did. At the end of the day, review your To-Do list and see what got done and what didn’t get done. How are you feeling when you get home? Once you have your data, analyze what could be causing you to feel this way. Then try to restructure your day to make sure you are getting your most important tasks done.
I would love to hear what they are? Please email me at email@example.com and put “My MIT’s” (Most Important Tasks) in the subject line.
Mandy Green has a Coaching Productivity Newsletter that goes out every other Sunday. This newsletter is for coaches who have an email overload issue. She shares methods or techniques that she is trying in an effort to process, manage, and keep track of recruiting emails better. If you are interested in joining in on the conversation or if you have something to share please go to www.mandygreencps.com. Opt in and she will send you her newsletter every week it goes out and you can get a FREE copy of the chapter in her Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook called Organize Your Recruiting.