by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
A mistake I used to make when sitting down to write my recruiting emails was that I didn’t put much thought into creating an ideal work environment.
As a coach, you have no doubt heard the phrase being in the zone? It is mostly used with athletes to describe the optimal state of consciousness where they feel and perform their best. I believe that getting into the zone isn’t just for athletes and is arguably the most perfect state to work from.
One minute you’ve finished lunch and start to work on your recruiting email, the next minute its 7pm and you have no idea where the time went. It is the mental state where we are so focused and engaged with what we are doing, we produce our greatest results and where peak performance happens.
Unfortunately, most coaches have a hard time getting there because they are so distracted by the emails coming in, by social media, and by all of the interruptions they get.
I know that I can’t just show up and expect getting into the zone to happen. It certainly isn’t going to happen if I am jumping from one task to the next every 3 minutes because I am so easily distracted. It takes being intentional and strategic about how I set up my work environment. Ultimately, there is a way to get a lot of recruiting email work done in a shorter amount of time, but to do it, I need to create an environment where I can create total focus void of distractions.
I’m going to recommend some ways you can get in the work zone to get more quality work done faster and stay there for as long as possible. As I am going through this, think about your ideal work set up, and if there is maybe something you can change.
Being intentional and strategic for me started with my energy. I don’t know about you, but I am never as productive or have great focus when I am tired and hungry. You know when you tired when your head is on your hands or you’re slumped in your chair vs being up and total engaged in what you are doing. I try to go to bed and get up at the same time, I eat a good protein filled breakfast, I drink 2 liters of water before I leave the house, I pack a healthy lunch and snacks so I don’t have to run and pick up something quick, and try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise to rev up my energy for the day. This is what works for me and took a lot of paying attention to how I am feeling after I eat and from how much sleep I got.
When is my energy best
To write recruiting emails that connect and get a response usually requires that you be at your very best, rested, alert, and creative. For you coach, shat time of the day do you most feel the most alert, focused, and productive? We all have times during the day when we feel energetic and then other times when we feel tired. For a lot of coaches, your “prime time” or “magic time” is first thing in the morning. If that is the case, that is when you should do your recruiting emails. For some though, they are at their best at night. So, whenever you know that your energy is highest, you should plan to do your high-priority recruiting tasks. During the times of the day when you are feeling sluggish, take care of your non-challenging low-priority tasks. If you fit your schedule to your moods and energy levels, you’ll save time and be more effective in your job.
Clean up the mess
I will tuck away or clean up any papers or books that are on my desk. I tend to get distracted by a mess.
Get up and move
Before I sit down to write, I get up and move around a little just to get the blood flowing, I go to the bathroom.
Get everything I need first
I try and make sure I have all the info I need in one folder. I make sure I have water and my hot chocolate/coffee drink.
Listen to music
A lot of Neuroscience based studies have found that listening to the right kind of music can help you increase your focus and lengthen your attention span. It’s what gets you in touch with your emotion and enables you to faster get to that place where you can begin creating.
To break the time-sucking habit of constantly checking your email, turn off all email notifications on your computer and phone. When you don’t, there is always going to be something buzzing, beeping, blinking, vibrating and literally robbing you of your attention and concentration. Those random little “pings” are just conditioning you to check your email compulsively like a Pavlovian dog. Moreover, email notifications distract us from focused, concentrated work. Our brains aren’t really wired for multi-tasking. We may think we’re just going to spend only a minute reading that latest email, but studies have found it takes, on average, 25 minutes to return to your original work once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole.
When it is time to write your emails, go offline. Put yourself in a distraction-free environment where your phone and email notifications are turned off. The thing that kills writing and turns a 70-minute process into a 7-hour process is when you’re allowing yourself to be bombarded by social media and other kinds of interruptions.
To sum up quickly parts 1-4 of my email workflow so far.
- Stop what you are doing to do a little research to find a better way to send out recruiting emails.
- Plan everything out the night before.
- Have your email goals set out and handy to keep you focused on what you should be writing.
- Set yourself up for success by creating an environment in which you can get a lot done.
I will share the last 2 parts over the next 2 weeks. This really doesn’t take long at all to do each step. Just by being a little more intentional and thoughtful about how I go about doing email, I eliminate a lot of randomness, I save a lot of time, and the quality of my work went up. Well worth the investment of time and energy it took for me to figure this out.
What do you do to set up yourself to be successful?
Mandy Green is the President of Busy Coach, helping college coaches be more effective and efficient with their time. If you’d like to connect with Mandy to set up a strategy call, email her at email@example.com.