by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
One of the many things that coaches approach me about for help is how they can better manage their email. I want to share with you 3 strategies that you can apply that are going to help you stay on top of your recruiting emails.
Now, let me just say, I am not wanting you to just get more emails done with these techniques. Ultimately, if you are in your inbox responding to emails all day, I want you to stop and fix your current process for handling your email and get back in control of your day. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some very simple, but game changing ways to take control of your day back.
Batching. Batch together and work on emails at the same time for similar subjects. For example, recruiting you just identified and are writing to for the first time could be one batch, recruits who you are trying to get to come to campus to visit could be a 2nd batch. A 3rd batch could be an email you need to send to your already committed recruits. I found that the questions and conversation are pretty similar so I can cut and paste and use a lot of the same information. By working on like emails one after the other, I save a lot of time and use a lot less mental energy having to jump from one email conversation to the next.
Use templates to get more done in less time. For years, I have used templates to improve my productivity. It takes a tremendous amount of time to write from scratch every email that goes out. I save a lot of time sending messages by having a lot of pre-written email templates. Templates let you create responses to the questions and requests to which you usually find yourself drafting identical replies over and over from scratch. So instead of reinventing the wheel every time, I do it once, save it as a template, and then reuse it.
At least use a template as a basis for your response, and then customize it for that person or situation. Don’t worry—you can still let your sparkling prose and winning wit shine through, just without having to invent the wheel 10 times each day.
I pretty much saved every written response I wrote to every question I would get about the school I was at. I can change things here and there and of course I try to add a personal 3-4 sentences or more to every email when they respond.
Set a time-limit. If you have ever heard me speak at a conference or brought me to your campus to work with your staff, you will always hear me talk about how you should work like you are going on vacation tomorrow. The reason, you will get a lot more done in a day with this added sense of urgency.
One way to create this urgency is to set time deadlines for getting work done. Working like this in the office is just how most of us run our training sessions. We prepare in advance what we will work on. We decide on how much time we have. We get focused, start the clock, and then we work hard to get as much out of that time as possible. I think that you can apply the same principals with the work we have to do in the office.
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.
So for you, I am saying that you should set shorter deadlines and 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. This self-imposed time limit creates urgency, keeps you focused, and helps keep you from getting distracted.
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 an email to-do list that is a mile long.
To reach Mandy Green for advice or consultation on how to be a more effective and more organized college coach and recruiter, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.