by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
Everyone hates email. Almost everyone I talk to feels that email takes up too much of their time. And yet we can’t stop checking it.
Checking your email over and over is a huge time waster and I honestly feel it is what could prevent you from reaching your goals this year.
How many times have you checked your email today? Be honest. 2, 5, 10, or too many to keep track of?
For most of the coaches who have contacted me, I hear that they have their email open from the moment they get into the office until the moment they shut down their computer at the end of the day.
And if you are like most other coaches out there, you’re probably guilty of checking email when you get home, while on the toilet, while waiting in lines, and even on the weekends. You might find yourself worrying about emails during dinner, or when you’re supposed to be having some family time.
The problem isn’t knowing what to do. You’ve read plenty of advice telling you to close the inbox, to avoid checking emails first thing in the day, and to get on with your key tasks first. But are you doing it?
I think most coaches would agree that they check their phone a lot. But I think very few realize how many times they actually check it and how much time they are wasting because of it.
I have heard a few different stats on this but, the average person picks up their phone 85x a day. If you calculate that, in a 12-hour waking and working stint, that means checking your phone 7 times for every hour. (I mentioned that stat to my team when we were delayed in the Chicago airport yesterday and they all said that the number would be much higher for them. Yikes!)
There is just no way to make significant progress with your program, with recruiting, or with anything you are trying to accomplish if you are only allowing yourself to focus on your work for 5-6 minutes at a time because you are getting distracted and checking your phone 8-9 times per hour.
There are a million different apps out there that can help you keep track of how many times you have checked your phone, how many minutes you are on your phone, what app you are spending the most time on, etc. Here are a few:
Checky – The phone-habit tracker tallies how many times a day you check your phone. It compares today’s number to yesterdays for a progress comparison.
Moment-Records minutes instead of “checks,” this app totals how many minutes you’ve spent on your phone, and lets you set a self-imposed limit for how much time you want to be spending.
RescueTime – gives you an accurate picture of how you spend your time to help you become more productive every day.
For your college athletes-
Pocket points – This mobile app awards students who don’t use their phones in class with gift cards to local restaurants, shops, and online stores. You need to check to see if your school is on the list of programs it works with. Currently, it looks like there are only about 200 schools on there. If it is not, just go to the website and submit the name of your school to see if you can get on the list. https://pocketpoints.com/
Personally, I think the best productivity tool is paper and pen. But, if I had to go with an app, it would be an app that limits the amount of time that coaches waste on distractions.
Most people don’t realize how much time they are wasting. Once I realized how bad I was at it, I changed how I was thinking and realized that each time I allowed myself to get lost in distractions on my phone, it gave me less time to work on my goals, recruit the talent I need, build relationships with my team, and spend quality time with my kids.
My challenge to you this week, download one of those apps and do an honest assessment of how much time you are wasting on your phone. Eliminate checking your phone even just a few times each hour and repurpose that time and focus it towards something that really matters to you. Good luck. Let me know how it goes or if you need any more help managing your email at firstname.lastname@example.org.