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Evernote: A Great Tool for College CoachesTuesday, November 6th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Information abounds these days, and most coaches are feeling the brunt of not just paper overload but also digital overload. With the popularity of smart phones and apps, it has become even more confusing as to where and how to store, organize and find the information we want to keep and need to run our programs efficiently.

Enter Evernote!

If you’re like most coaches, you have heard of Evernote, but aren’t sure what to do with it.

For years, I kept hearing how awesome Evernote was: how it could store everything you possibly needed, make it available everywhere, and how scores of people couldn’t live without it.

You might even have the app on your phone, but haven’t used it because you aren’t sure what to use it for. I have heard this from literally hundreds of coaches in the last year, and I was there too, until I heard Theresa Beekman’s talk about how she uses it as a College Coach at NCRC.  Plus, I got sick of just looking at the app so decided to dig in.

Evernote has become a daily tool that I use to manage my coaching and personal life.  As a coach, Evernote allows me to use notebooks, notebook stacks, optical character recognition in search, cloud storage, document management and so much more. I am going to cover some of my favorite features below.

I find myself clicking on that elephant nearly every day of my life and here is why you should too.

1. Access Everywhere – Evernote is available for iOS, Mac OS, Android, Windows, Chromebook and an available web interface. It also syncs with the cloud so that you can have access to anything, anywhere, anytime. Knowing that all of these notes are safely tucked away in the cloud where I can access whenever and wherever I need is a great feeling.

2. Travel – Anytime I travel, I create a new notebook in Evernote with the title of the trip. Then I just add my airline tickets to that notebook along with any hotel/rental car info, any addresses or other travel info. When I arrive, I have all of the information I need at my fingertips and don’t have to go searching through my phone for the reservation email or pull out the paperwork.

3. Recruiting – I put the schedule of games and players I need to watch in a notebook. I put my top 5 recruits at each position in a recruiting notebooks as well. When I send a top recruit an email, I Bcc myself. That adds the email to their notebook so I can keep track of what has been talked about. I also have all of our recruiting topics and the templates we use all saved in Evernote.

4. Pictures –Evernote has a fantastic feature that allows you to take a photo of recruiting receipts, team food receipts when you are on the road, funny team pictures, cool quotes … and puts it in the notebook you want.  It is so much easier to find the pictures we need for highlight videos at the end of the year.

5. Dictation – with Evernote, you have the ability to audio dictate right to notes. I use this while driving to capture ideas and thoughts, while out at the field recruiting, or even when I am on a walk and think of something that I want to remember later.

6. Documents – I have all of my SOP’s and email templates for my program all save in notebooks. I also have our Master To-Do Lists saved in Evernote.  You also can create shared notebooks, allowing you a repository for ideas, projects and anything else you want to share with your coaching staff.

7. Receipts – All coaches have to keep copies of receipts when we are out recruiting or traveling with our team. Evernote offers a streamlined solution to this ever growing challenge. Simply take a picture of the recruiting or team expense receipt and save it to the year notebook created (maybe titled something like 2017 Recruiting Expenses or Team Expenses). Voila! Less paper and less stress.

8. Notebooks – Evernote allows me to create an unlimited amount of notebooks to store my content. I can then organize notebooks into stacks if they are similar. I have a work stack that includes notebooks for recruiting, my coaching philosophy, standard operating procedures, soccer drills and strategies, and more. These layers of organization give structure and order to my content. which allows me to find things rapidly when I need them.

9. Security – Evernote has taken every measure to keep your notes, emails and documents safe. They employ every security measure possible to keep your stuff from being lost, stolen or hijacked.

10. Evernote Web Clipper- This has become one of my favorite features lately. When I am reading a good blog post, coaching tip or other online content that I want to have at my fingertips for later then I use the Web Clipper to cleanly clip it into Evernote for future reference. I can put any article that I want to read in a “read later” notebook and then I set that notebook for offline viewing so that I can read them while traveling with the team on the bus or while I am waiting to get in for an appointment. This is a really handy feature that Evernote has added.

Think of Evernote as a way to bring together all the loose ends lurking in your brain or on your desk. This is a fast, efficient and easy way to streamline multiple areas of your life and free up bandwidth in your mind so you can focus, rather than try to remember everything.

The More You Add, the More Useful Evernote Becomes

I hope that this encourages you to checkout Evernote and find it as useful as I have. I have really found a love of this app and use it to keep documents, organize files, write notes and plan out nearly everything in my life. Enjoy!

If you want more ideas of how you can use Evernote as a College Coach, check out the e-book that Theresa Beeckman wrote on how she uses it.

Why Every Smart Head Coach Needs to Learn to DelegateTuesday, October 9th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

“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!

3 Time Saving Hacks for College Coaches and AdministratorsMonday, October 1st, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

As administrators or coaches, the reality is that if you added up the amount of work to do on our to-do list, there would be 100’s of hours of work represented there.  There are a lot of people to manage, emails to send, teams communicate information to, and paperwork to fill out. 

We have a lot of people counting on us to do our job well.  It really doesn’t matter how many items you checked off your to-do list or how many hours you worked, it only matters the value, the output, the results, and your performance.

Ultimately, we have to figure out, how instead of working 50, 60, 70 hour weeks and continually throwing more time at it, how can we be more efficient, get the maximum results we can get but get it in the minimum time so we can get out of there and get home to our families. 

I want to show you 3 small things you can do from by Time Management Workbook for Busy Coaches that will help you to consistently show up and perform well but also have some sense of control over my day.

Win tomorrow today with a great plan. A great routine always starts the night before.  Take 10 minutes tonight to plan tomorrow.  These are the 3 things I want you to plan for.     

  1. Every night, plan TOMORROW’S morning routine. Wake up with a plan of action and a routine in place, making it that much easier for you to take action right away.
  2. Write down ONE GOAL YOU’LL ACCOMPLISH TOMORROW before you leave for the office. What is one thing that you could do to make progress on something that matters to you?

Once your to-do list is organized, it becomes a map to guide you from morning to evening in the most effective and efficient way. This guide tells you what you have to do and what is more or less important so it helps to eliminate a lot of wasted time. You will soon develop the habit of using your list as a blueprint for the day.

Batching

Batch processing is the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources in order to streamline their completion. Batching is simply a form of time management that allows a person to maximize concentration and decrease distraction. As a result, it increases your productivity, creativity, and mental sharpness, while decreasing fatigue, procrastination, and stress.

Batching is very simple and extremely effective.

Plan 30-60 minutes each day to work on similar tasks. For example, you might say I’m going to work on my emails for this weekend’s upcoming tournament, then I will block out a time to email all of the youth coaches, then I will do all of my administrative emails. 

You can apply those same strategies to the work that you do with the same principles apply for example more analytical work can be bad together

When you do that you get higher-quality work, you get more work accomplished, you get fewer distractions, it’s more efficient you don’t bounce between things as fast or as often so you can stay with one thing longer and with all of that being built into the system you get so much more work accomplished you’re so much more focused on one specific thing ideally you’re only scheduling

Parkinson’s Law with Email

Timothy Ferriss, in “The 4-Hour Workweek” introduces a concept called Parkinson’s Law.  Parkinson’s Law dictates that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. 

When you set shorter deadlines you’ll get a heck of a lot more done than you are right now.  For example, if you don’t give yourself a deadline to get your emails done, it is a good possibility that it will take you all day to get them done.  If you give yourself 60 minutes to write an email, Parkinson’s Law says that it will take 60 minutes.  And if you give yourself 45 minutes, magically the email will get done in 45 minutes. 


Setting a deadline for how long you allow yourself to do emails and/or for how long you allow yourself to do each email is the secret to getting all of your emails done.  These deadlines you set for yourself will keep you on track.  By incorporating deadlines for everything you do in the office each day, especially with emails, you’ll find yourself getting more done and ending the day with less of the stress associated with hitting quitting time and still having a to-do list that is a mile long.

A College Coach’s Keys to ProductivitySunday, September 23rd, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

As we are almost 2 months into the fall competitive seasons and 1 month into school, I wanted to send you a few friendly reminders about how you can completely change the energy that you bring to everything you do as you are trying to finish this fall out strong.

You might be asking, “Why is Mandy talking about my energy levels again?” For me, managing my energy levels really has been key to my productivity and getting things done.  If you want a great book on the subject, read the book The Power of Full Engagement, by Tony Schwartz.

How is your health these days? Can you wake up before your alarm and do what’s important, handle all the demands of the day, and put out the inevitable fires, all without ending the day exhausted and out of breath?

It’s a fact that the state of your health and fitness is a huge factor in your energy and success levels— especially for coaches. Doing what’s required to keep your team performing at a high level while staying on top of the whole recruiting process requires a ton of energy.

Like the athletes in the sport you are coaching, as a coach, you need an almost endless supply of energy and stamina.   To do all those practices, be constantly prospecting for new recruits, and ensuring each and every student athlete is having a good experience and staying on course to graduate can be exhausting. If you are overweight, out of shape, and constantly out of breath, setting bigger and bigger career, recruiting, or team goals is, in my opinion, a recipe for disaster.

The great news is that this is completely within your control! Here are three practices of top performers that you can use to ensure that your health, fitness, and energy levels fully support your program, recruiting and career goals and objectives:

Eat and drink to win. Put very simply, everything you ingest either contributes to your health or detracts from it. Drinking water puts a check in the plus column; 8 cans of Mountain Dew everyday probably won’t. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables equals more plusses. Rolling through the drive-through to wolf down some fast food, not so much. I know you know the drill. This isn’t rocket science, but you do need to stop fooling yourself. Become aware of what you’re eating and how it’s affecting your performance as a coach or recruiter.  If you are interested in really seeing how your eating is actually affecting your performance, check out my new Tracking Journal

Sleep to win. Getting enough rest is as critical to coaching performance as what you do or don’t have in your diet. A good night’s sleep provides the basis for a day of peak performance, clear thought, and recruiting calls after successful practices. You probably already know how many hours you need to be at your best. Reverse engineer your schedule so you are asleep in plenty of time to get all of the rest you need to perform at your best.

Exercise to win. It is no coincidence that you rarely see top performers who are terribly out of shape. Most invest 30– 60 minutes of their time each day to hit the gym or the running trail because they understand the importance that daily exercise plays in their success.  I try to start the day with 5– 10 minutes of exercise or yoga, I also recommended that you engage in 30– 60 minute workouts at least 3– 5 times per week. Doing so will ensure that your fitness level supports the energy and confidence you need to succeed in this profession. 

If you are interested in seeing how your food, exercise, and sleep really are affecting your performance, you can do that by using my energy tracking forms

In these energy tracking forms, you just keep track of some very simple information: 

· Write down how much sleep you get. 

· What you eat for each meal. 

· How much water you drank. 

· What exercise you got for the day. 

· Pay attention to how your energy is throughout the day and record it on the tracking pages. 

· Then at the end of each day, make not of what went well and what you could do better. 

Based on the information you collect and the results that you get, you need to keep adjusting and tweaking until you find the right amount of sleep, food, water, and exercise that will get your energy to the level you need to be at to perform at your best day in and day out.

Are You a Coach Struggling to Reach the Next Level?Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Coaches work hard to get things done.  We are passionate, persistent, and we are ambitious. 

But, because you are talented at what you do and have high levels of competency, it can sometimes backfire on you. You know what you are supposed to do and you are very good at just going in and doing things.  But what happens over a period of time is that you end up losing where you are at in the space of time and never really progress anywhere.

So let me ask you, even though the new school year has just started, are you where you want to be?  If not, it is time to sit down and actually examine why that is. 

All year long, we’re always examining how our team is doing. If they are off track or if they are falling short, we invite them to come in and meet or watch video.  We will ask questions, gauge their performance, and look at the stats.  Then we have the conversation about where we think they should be at this point in the year.  We’ll say things like “right now I thought you would be just a little bit further on your RBI’s, shot percentage, your goals scored (enter stat here).” 

I think as coaches, we need the same kind of feedback.  If you don’t do it consistently for yourself, who is going to do it?  Your sport administrator is not there every day so this needs to be something you do for yourself.   

Most people do this once a year and it’s usually at New Years.  It is really the only time they are checking in and doing an evaluation of their life. 

It is very important at this time of year to schedule time to get this done.  Take 30 minutes after you are done reading this or schedule it during the week.  Just sit there and think about your career, your job, your life, your kids, your health, your income, your relationships.  Sit down and evaluate where you are at in the context of what you thought you could build or become this year.  Really be honest with yourself and check in.

Coach, are you struggling to reach the next level because you are too busy scheduling to-do’s and tactics and not spending enough time doing a quick check-in on your progress?

The level of success you reach this next year is your responsibility.  If a progress check is not on your calendar, I believe you are leaving your progress to chance.  When things are left to chance, neglect and distraction will set in. Never leave your own success to chance.   

Do a quick 30-minute check-in every 90-120 days.  Based on what you find, use the information to tweak, eliminate what isn’t working, and improve whatever you can. 

Over the next year, my goal is to get as many coaches in the game of making and focusing on progress over busyness.  I want to revolutionize how coaches are working in the office because I believe how most coaches are working, are not working.

Want to join the ranks of college coaches who are using the proprietary techniques and strategies of Coach Green to organize and structure your office and approach? Contact her directly at mandy@dantudor.com

Coaching Meetings That Get ResultsMonday, August 27th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

For coaches, we need to have meetings.  We need to meet to make sure our staff is on the same page, to sort through recruiting, to make sure important work is getting done on time and by the right people, to talk X’s and O’s, we meet with our team together and individually, etc. 

According to Cameron Herold in his book Meetings Suck, your meetings hold the potential to drive alignment within your staff, team, or business; they give direction; generate energy, focus, and creativity; and inspire your people to elevate your program or business to the next level.

“The problem isn’t that meetings suck,” says Herold “it’s that we suck at running them.”

I hear from coaches all the time that they just dread their staff meetings because they either last way too long, some don’t seem to have a point to them, or nothing is ever resolved.

I want you to think back to your last few meetings.  Did any of the following happen by you or by one of your coaching colleagues?

  1. Somebody arrived late so it forced the group to start the meeting over just to get them up-to-speed.
  2. Somebody took a phone call while still in the room.
  3. Somebody got distracted and checked their e-mail.
  4. Coaches were engaging in side conversations.
  5. Nobody was taking notes.
  6. Belaboring each point by talking too much.
  7. Interrupting others with “better ideas”.
  8. Not coming prepared to contribute.
  9. Responding to every comment with a quip.
  10. 10.There is somebody who does not speak up.

Did I hit any of your buttons with this list?  If you or your staff are guilty of any of these common meeting mistakes, it might be a great time to take a step back and reevaluate and establish new code of conduct standards for your meetings. 

I learned this exercise from Laura Stack, author of The Exhaustion Cure.  Request the opportunity to lead an exercise aimed at making your meetings more productive and less draining.  Start by telling your colleagues that you would like to go over some guidelines or protocols about the meetings that you run.  Standing in front of a white board or flip chart, ask the group, “If you were king or queen of the world, what rules would you make about meetings, to make them as productive as possible?  What makes you crazy about our meetings? How do we waste time? “How can we make our time together more productive?”” and list the statements people make.

Improving the quality of meetings takes work. For things to change, you all need to be honest about how things really are or nothing will really change.

Type these up, title it “Code of conduct,” put it on a piece of paper, and take it to a print shop to blow up into a poster sized piece of paper.  Frame it and hang it where you have meetings. 

Since having meetings is a necessary evil, we just need to train our teams to get results with meetings.  As long as you have to have meetings, you might as well do them well.

Before you plan another meeting, here are a few of the meeting guidelines that I try to follow:

  1. Start and stop on time. The leader of the meeting has to set the pace. Start the meeting on time whether everyone is there or not. End the meeting on time, whether you are done or not. If you create these “hard edges” on your meetings, you are more likely to achieve your outcomes.
  2. Focus your attention. Demand that others focus theirs. Stay in the conversation. No laptops. No phones. No side conversations. All of these things make meetings longer and less productive.
  3. Be fully engaged. By that, I mean the following: be energetic. The most important thing you bring to any meeting (really to any encounter with anyone) is your energy. Your energy level impacts others. Just like a boat leaves a wake behind it, you, as a leader, leave a wake behind you. So you have to be intentional about your energy. Choose the attitude. Choose the energy that best serves your purpose.

The more efficient you can make your meetings, the better the return on our time and energy investment into them.

Home to Streamline Your College Coaching Office TasksMonday, August 20th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

There are a lot of tasks that we do as coaches every day, week and year in the office, with our teams, and with recruiting.  If you want to save time, and want to do it right every time, use a checklist.

For example, setting up a successful campus visit potentially can take a lot of time because there are a lot of details involved.   

For those that read Dan’s blogs, you know that you need to plan every possible area of your visit and your interaction with your recruits because they are watching your every move, and making judgement calls along the way as to whether or not to buy what you’re selling. On-campus visits are a pretty big deal, are a lot of work to set up, and can make or break your recruiting efforts.   

An easy way to reduce the time it takes to schedule the visit and make sure that everything gets taken care of is to invest a few hours creating a streamline procedure and have everything documented on an on-campus visit checklist.

The reason why checklists are good is simple: it’s easy for us to forget things. When you do something that involves multiple steps, it’s likely that you would forget one or two of them. Using checklists ensures that you won’t forget anything.

Besides helping you do your task correctly every time, here are some other benefits of using a checklist:

  • Creating a checklist will allow you to take the thinking out of repetitive tasks.  Since you don’t have to remember all the steps you need to take, you can use your brain power for something else.
  • You can save time. When you  have to think, remember, weigh your options, and agonize over every small task, it takes a lot of time, not to mention mental energy.  But when you make decisions in advance, you free up time to focus on other important activities that need to get done. 
  • You can delegate more easily.  If your recruiting coordinator is off recruiting, is ill, takes another job, or whatever, you don’t have to rush around trying to figure out what to do because every step for setting up a perfect on-campus is already outlines and recorded down on your on-campus visit checklist. 

Start by writing down the steps you take when planning a visit from the start to the end of the visit. What tasks need to be done?  Who is responsible for doing each task?.  When do tasks need to be done by? 

Here are some other things that you might want to create a checklist for:

  • Running a successful practice
  • Game-day routines
  • Travel procedures
  • Camp Produdures

I urge you to evaluate all tasks that you do on a repetitive, routine basis to see if you can dream up ways to do them faster.  Identify your regular office, team, or recruiting tasks and break them down into their consistent elements and you’ll probably get some ideas about how to streamline them.  Think about how to eliminate the hidden time costs of travel, gathering materials, revising, and cleanup.

One Simple Strategy That Could Save Coaches 10 Hours Every WeekMonday, August 6th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

I have made some of my biggest breakthroughs with productivity only after I created systems.  The systems that I have created have played a big part in helping to reduce the amount of hours that I work while in the office so I can get home quicker to my family. 

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you some very simple, but effective systems that you can create for yourself to help reduce the time it takes you to do things.     

In my study of the best time management strategies, it became very apparent that 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 two examples of basic systems (the third one being the ultimate game changer):  

Daily Attire— In addition to being a college coach, as you may know because you maybe have read some of my articles in the College Recruiting Weekly newsletter before, I run a company teaching time management strategies to college coaches called Busy Coach, have two children, and I have spent the last two and half years completing 5 different products that help coaches make a greater impact in a shorter amount of time.

As you can imagine, there is not a moment of time to spare. In order to ensure that I do not have to waste any time preparing in the morning, and to make sure I have proper attire, I make sure to lay out the night before what I will wear the next day in the office, to work out, and then out to practice.  It sounds simple, but that extra fifteen minutes every morning adds up in the course of a week.

Travel— As we all know, we travel a lot during our seasons, in the off season we are recruiting week after week, we may travel with youth teams we coach, and then we are traveling some more if we decide to be on the road working other camps.  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 or ask the front desk for a phone charger, 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.

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 more ideas on how to create systems for your recruiting, for working in the office, for your team or travel, or other time management techniques delivered to your inbox every Sunday, email me at mandy@busy.coach or visit www.busy.coach.

3 Time Saving Hacks for Coaches and Athletic AdministratorsMonday, July 30th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

As administrators or coaches, the reality is that if you added up the amount of work to do on our to-do list, there would be 100’s of hours of work represented there.  There are a lot of people to manage, emails to send, teams communicate information to, and paperwork to fill out. 

We have a lot of people counting on us to do our job well.  It really doesn’t matter how many items you checked off your to-do list or how many hours you worked, it only matters the value, the output, the results, and your performance.

Ultimately we have to figure out, how instead of working 50, 60, 70 hour weeks and continually throwing more time at it, how can we be more efficient, get the maximum results we can get but get it in the minimum time so we can get out of there and get home to our families. 

I want to show you 3 small things you can do from by Time Management Workbook for Busy Coaches that will help you to consistently show up and perform well but also have some sense of control over my day.

Win tomorrow today with a great plan. A great routine always starts the night before.  Take 10 minutes tonight to plan tomorrow.  These are the 3 things I want you to plan for.     

  1. Every night, plan TOMORROW’S morning routine. Wake up with a plan of action and a routine in place, making it that much easier for you to take action right away.
  2. Write down ONE GOAL YOU’LL ACCOMPLISH TOMORROW before you leave for the office. What is one thing that you could do to make progress on something that matters to you?
  3. Write down your TOP 3 PRIORITIES for tomorrow and what time you will block off to work on them.

Once your to-do list is organized, it becomes a map to guide you from morning to evening in the most effective and efficient way. This guide tells you what you have to do and what is more or less important so it helps to eliminate a lot of wasted time. You will soon develop the habit of using your list as a blueprint for the day.

Batching

Batch processing is the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources in order to streamline their completion. Batching is simply a form of time management that allows a person to maximize concentration and decrease distraction. As a result, it increases your productivity, creativity, and mental sharpness, while decreasing fatigue, procrastination, and stress.

Batching is very simple and extremely effective.

Plan 30-60 minutes each day to work on similar tasks. For example, you might say I’m going to work on my emails for this weekend’s upcoming tournament, then I will block out a time to email all of the youth coaches, then I will do all of my administrative emails. 

You can apply those same strategies to the work that you do with the same principles apply for example more analytical work can be bad together

When you do that you get higher-quality work, you get more work accomplished, you get fewer distractions, it’s more efficient you don’t bounce between things as fast or as often so you can stay with one thing longer and with all of that being built into the system you get so much more work accomplished you’re so much more focused on one specific thing ideally you’re only scheduling

Parkinson’s Law with Email

Timothy Ferriss, in “The 4-Hour Workweek” introduces a concept called Parkinson’s Law.  Parkinson’s Law dictates that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. 

When you set shorter deadlines you’ll get a heck of a lot more done than you are right now.  For example, if you don’t give yourself a deadline to get your emails done, it is a good possibility that it will take you all day to get them done.  If you give yourself 60 minutes to write an email, Parkinson’s Law says that it will take 60 minutes.  And if you give yourself 45 minutes, magically the email will get done in 45 minutes. 

Setting a deadline for how long you allow yourself to do emails and/or for how long you allow yourself to do each email is the secret to getting all of your emails done.  These deadlines you set for yourself will keep you on track.  By incorporating deadlines for everything you do in the office each day, especially with emails, you’ll find yourself getting more done and ending the day with less of the stress associated with hitting quitting time and still having a to-do list that is a mile long.

Is a 40-Hour Work Week Even Possible for College Coaches?Monday, July 9th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

I listened to a great podcast while on the elliptical this last week.  It was Tony Robbins interviewing Tim Ferris about the greatest takeaways he got from writing his latest book Tools of Titans

One of the very first key lessons Ferris discusses is that to get better results, he learned that he needed to ask better questions.  For example, “Why can’t I accomplish my 10-year goals in the next 6 months?”

I love that question.  Why not, right?  But for you to accomplish your 10-year goals in the next 6 months, you would need to significantly change the way you think, behave, take action, and collaborate with others for it to become a reality.  What a challenge!  I love it.

It got me thinking back to the point in my career when I started to ask better questions.  About 7 years ago I was struggling with my own productivity and really close to burning out.  I was a new 1st time mommy and had just accepted my first D 1 head coaching job of a bottom 20 team in the country and had no full-time staff for my first 3 years.  I was wearing a lot of hats, working a ton of hours, and trying to do things the way I was comfortable with and had always done them.  As you can imagine, I was mentally and physically exhausted after a while.

Having a child to get home to was what ultimately forced me to ask better questions if I was going to continue to stay in the profession.  The question that I started asking was, “Is it possible to only work 40 hours a week as a coach, get the results I was after, and still be sane?” 

At first, with the circumstances of my situation being what they were, that question seemed impossible.  But for the sake of my pride, my career, my health, and my sanity, I knew I had to find a better way.

After asking the question, these were a few of the possible solutions I came up with. 

  1. Eliminate things on my to-do list that weren’t giving me a good return on the time and energy I was putting into it.
  2. I needed to figure out how I could create big chunks of uninterrupted work time.
  3. I needed a better system of keeping track of who, when, and how I was communicating with recruits.
  4. I needed to figure out how my energy levels waivered during the day and find a better way to keep my energy up.
  5. I needed a better system for making sure I was working on my top priorities, staying on track, and working with urgency. 

By the time I was done brainstorming, I had a full page of questions and I believed if I could find the answers, it would help me get better results and my work hours down to 40 hours.

I can’t truly pinpoint one source that I got this idea from, because I had been reading a lot of different business books at the time.     

Book after book, what stood out is that tracking is one of businesses best practices. Really great businesses track all of their important metrics (leads, closes, sales numbers, etc.) so they know where their time and resources are best spent. 

What completely sold me on tracking as I was trying to get my question answered was the saying that 1 hour of testing could save you 10.  10 hours saved would get me 10 more hours with my kids or 10 more hours building my program in other ways.  It will be well worth it.

I am going to use these numbers to figure out where I am getting the best ROI in time and resources.  Tournaments, letters, or other tasks that we are not getting a good result from, will either be tossed out or a better way will have to be found.   

If you want to see how I am using measuring and tracking with every aspect of my program, take a look at this free report about how I use tracking that I created called Track Your Way to Success.

If you have other ways that you have been testing or tracking, I’d love to hear it.  Email me at mandy@busy.coach.

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