by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
For those that have read my Time Management Workbook for coaches, you know that I am big on helping coaches have more productive days through the use of time blocking, making lists, prioritizing, and working with a sense of urgency.
This week I wanted to share with you four ideas that you can use to help get yourself organized for maximum productivity. I will have four more ideas for you next week. The more of these tools you learn to use, the more that you will get done each day.
Plan Everything in Advance
I am a big believer in making a plan for each day based on your goals and vision for your program and then schedule your day to make sure you are giving yourself enough time to work your plan. Brian Tracy, author of Time Power, says that the top 3 percent of high achievers are all persistent, continuous planners. They are forever writing and rewriting their lists of goals and activities. For you coach, once your to-do list is organized based on your goals and vision, 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 which will help save you a tremendous amount of time that you might have otherwise wasted on less important busy work that isn’t necessarily going to move your program forward.
Plan Your Day the Night before
Prepare your work list for the following day before you leave the office or at least the night before. Brian Tracy has found that when you plan your day the night before, your subconscious goes to work on your plans and goals while you are asleep. Very often you will wake up in the morning with ideas and insights that apply to the work of the day. He says that often that’s when you will gain a new perspective on a problem or job, or see a different or better way that it might be accomplished. I found that once I started to write down everything I had to do the next day the day or night before, it cleared my mind and enabled me to sleep deeply instead of lying awake trying not to forget to remember everything that I have to do the next day.
Remember when you start planning; make sure to strategically think about and write down what you could do during the day to move your program forward.
Perhaps the very best question that you can memorize and repeat, over and over, is, “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?” What are the most important tasks you have to complete to make the greatest contribution to your program? These questions will do more to keep you on track, hour by hour, than any other single question in the list of time management strategies. Every hour of every day, you can ask yourself this question… and this isn’t one of those questions where there’s “no right answer.” There is a right answer, and your job is to be clear about the answer and then to start and work on this task before anything else.
Be prepared to take notes
You never know when you are going to have a great idea. Carry a small notebook, or have an easy-to-use note-taking app on your phone, with you wherever you go so you can get any great ideas down on paper before you forget them. When trying to stay focused on what I am working on, I have found extremely helpful to have a notebook nearby so I can write down any thoughts of other tasks that I remember that I need to do that may come into my head. So if I am writing an email and I remember that I need to call a coach, I write it down instead of immediately making the call. Writing it down allows me to get the thought out of my head and then I can immediately get back to staying focused on finishing my email, which results in the email getting done a lot quicker. When the email is finished, I will make the call.
I have found since I have started to work with coaches that these ideas are common knowledge but they are not common practice. Try implementing just one of these ideas this week and see what sorts of results you get. And then each week after starting incorporating a new one into your daily routine. Trust me coach, if you want to get more important things done well and in less time, this simple techniques can make a world of difference.
I would be very interested in hearing how these techniques are working for you. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org about how you have incorporated these techniques into your daily routine or even if you have any other questions that I can help you with to be more productive this year!