by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
I have been getting a lot of emails lately from coaches who are coming to terms with the fact that they waste a lot of time during the course of their day looking at and responding to emails and are looking for some tips so they can regain control of their day and get their email under control.
The first step we take is to set up an email plan or routine for when they first get in the office.
I start with their morning routine because I have found that what you decide to do with your email during the first 30 minutes of your day can make or break how productive you are throughout the entire day.
A lot of time management guru’s will tell you that you shouldn’t open your email first thing when you get into the office. I understand why they advise against it, but I also understand how much coaches rely on email to contact recruits, communicate with their staff and team, for camp, for administrative purposes, etc. I truly believe that as long as you are using your email in a productive way, it can be an effective tool that will help you get a lot of work done.
I have played with A LOT of different ways to get off to a good start to my day. After a lot of trial and error, this is how I am currently using email during the first 30 minutes of arriving in my office and is the framework I am using to help other coaches get a better start to their days.
Before I look at my inbox, I send off a quick email reaching out to connect or express my gratitude to at least one person. Keep in mind that I am a college coach, so my gratitude is usually written to another coach, a parent, somebody who works at the school, etc. It really has been amazing how just sending out this one quick email first thing has helped with my recruiting or with building relationships with other people on campus.
Next, I send a to-do list email to each of my assistants which I started to prepare the night before. I find that my staff appreciates me sending just one email of what I want them to do for the day first thing when I get in rather than sending multiple emails throughout the day or stopping in every time something new comes up. It requires me to be a lot more organized but it gets them going on their day, they don’t have to waste time reading multiple to-do emails from me, they don’t have to deal with me constantly interrupting them, and I don’t have to deal with them coming in looking for things to do which saves us all a lot of time.
Third, I now actually look at my inbox and do one of four things with these emails: I will forward it, categorize it, respond to it, or I will delete it.
- Forward it – I go through my inbox and forward to my assistants any emails that pertain to responsibilities that they have. Once I forward it, I delete it to clear out my inbox.
- Categorize it -as you may know by now if you have read any of my articles or my Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook that I am big on time blocking. I block off 30, 60 or 90 minute blocks of time during the day where I focus on doing nothing but recruiting, administrative, or team tasks. For each email in my inbox, it gets assigned a category folder and will get worked on during the block of time that I have assigned for it. I have found that I save an incredible amount of time doing like tasks together instead of randomly jumping around from one task to the next.
- Respond to it – I will respond to email if I can give a quick response in under two minutes, or if I need more information to get something I am working on later done.
- Delete it. Self-explanatory. It is probably junk and I don’t need to waste time reading it.
This process takes me about 30 minutes. It is amazing how much I can get off my plate by going through emails this way first thing in the morning. It is at this point that I shut down my email until I am in a block of time that I have assigned to work on recruiting, administrative, or my team and I take care of those emails at that time.
I have been setting up my days this way for quite a while now and have really loved the results I’ve gotten. If you would like me to help you get the same results, check out my website at Busy.Coach or email me at email@example.com.