by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota
For a coach who is trying to learn ways to become more productive and efficient in the office, I think that the first HUGE step you need to take if you haven’t
done so already is to own your agenda. No offense, but I think that a lot of coaches have become extremely wimpy in letting other people set the agenda of our day, our life, and our moment to moment experiences.
Unfortunately most coaches are not even aware that it is a problem.
Coach, if you want to spend less time in the office, get more important things done, and have time left over in the day to have a life outside of your sport, you must take back where are you going, what are you doing, how are you managing your day by regaining control over your agenda.
Your agenda is where you are going with your program and on your agenda are the things you need to do to progress your program forward.
By controlling your agenda it means that you are not doing immediately what your inbox is asking you to do, checking your email or Facebook every two minutes to check in on the world, stopping everything to pick up the phone every time it rings, letting a coach who stops by eat up a good chunk of your day with office gossip . . . I could go on, but you get the idea.
Do not let others mess with your agenda, EVER!
Coaches say to me that that is really hard: I have no assistants, I have kids, I am constantly getting interrupted, etc. Trust me, I get that. I am a Division 1 Head Soccer coach and only have two part-time assistants working with me, I have a young son, and I get interrupted just as much as anybody. I have made the choice to control my agenda and no matter what your circumstances are, you still have to choose to own your agenda as well.
After you have taken the first huge step in becoming more productive by deciding that you are going to own your agenda from now on, the next big step is to have clarity. Clarity with your vision, coaching, team, and recruiting aspects of your program will give you something to continually focus on during the day.
Vision = Ultimate Destination, Personal Plan = Values, Team Plan = Coaching Philosophy, Recruiting Plan = who you want and how you are going to get them.
By creating a vision you create a destination. Your vision becomes the filter through which you sift every decision, from how to train your team to whom you recruit to how you spend your time in the office despite all of the other stuff going on around you. Once your vision is solid enough, it will dictate every action you make (assuming you are owning your agenda), ensuring that everything you do takes you closer to your goals.
Personal, team, and recruiting plans are there so you know what you must do every day to succeed and they add structure to your vision. It allows you to come up with appropriate development plan for the day, week, season, and year. Planning is the tool that takes you from wherever you are to wherever you want to go.
A good plan identifies the outcomes you want, tells you whether you’re on track, helps you to get a better return on energy, and guides the decisions you’re making, especially regarding how you are managing your time. You will use it and refer to it on a regular, on-going basis.
I had always joked about having a “method to my madness.” I was able to eliminate most of the madness by putting in a lot more method. Once I knew my own “what’s” and “why’s,” I moved onto figuring out the “what’s” and “why’s” of my program. It was a lot of work, but I still believe it is the most valuable and important exercise that I have ever done as a college coach.
Coach, clarity does not come into your life and magically land at your feet, you have to choose or decide what you want. You have to create clarity, not wait for clarity. Lack of clarity is probably more responsible for frustration and underachievement than any other single factor.
Being clear on what your future looks like to choosing to own your agenda will help you make more productive choices and sound decisions in your present.
In my new Green Time Management System For Coaches, which consists of a workbook and daily planner, I teach you how to take back the agenda of your day. My goal with this Green Time Management System is to not just help you get things done, throughout the workbook, I will get you to map out what you really want, why you want it, and become very strategic about how you are going to get it. I show you how to think about your day so you don’t get sucked into all of the other crap coaches typically get sucked into because you may not have been strategically thinking about how to set up your day at all to be
productive and efficient.
Watch for Coach Green’s new workbook and calendar system soon here.