by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
I read a lot about how successful people manage their day so that I can be more productive during the day. A pretty consistent message being sent is that successful people understand the importance of having control over their mornings and know how to use that time wisely. These people are able to weed out the noise in their first hour and focus on what matters to grow their career or program.
The first hour of the workday is critical for coaches, since it can affect your productivity level and mindset for the rest of the day.
Now, a lot of coaches I have spoken to over the last year tell me that they are buried in minutiae. Or at least that’s how they feel. Too many emails to read, phone calls to make, text messages to send, errands to run, practices to plan, recruiting events to attend, books to read, and camps to run.
Something’s got to give. In most cases, unfortunately for coaches, they are putting in longer and longer hours and sacrificing their personal rest and recovery or family time.
Coaching doesn’t have to be this way. You can change your relationship with time and control your day better by establishing a good morning routine.
Today I want to show you how to maximize your productivity by taking full advantage of the first few hours of the workday. Jumpstarting your day the right way will not only get you started on the right foot but can help prevent those dreaded end-of-day crises from erupting. Leverage your morning hours as effectively as possible by following these seven simple steps.
1. Have a plan
Using the mornings (or the night before) to do big-picture thinking helps you prioritize and set the trajectory of the day. Decide what are the 3 most important tasks that you’d like to accomplish in order for you to feel like the day was a success and will ultimately take you a step closer to reaching your career, program, or team goals. Then put it in your schedule.
2. Get in Early
Ideally, get in an hour or 2 before the chaos starts. Being an early bird gives you a period of uninterrupted, near magical time where you can work on your major goals in isolation, shielded from the screaming demands you will no doubt face throughout the course of the day. Those early hours in the office (or even at home) are a great time to focus on your recruiting or another important work project because it tends to be quieter and more distraction-free.
3. Email Routine
All time management experts will tell you to not check your email first thing in the morning. However, I’m pretty sure 99% of us do check email pretty near the start of the day and email is an important part of our job. The trick is to have a proactive routine with it first thing in the morning so you are not reacting to it all day long.
4. Check in with your people
A 10-minute meeting with your fellow coaches (if you have them) is a great way to start the day and to keep everyone motivated and on course. Also taking the time to greet your staff first thing with a smile will help build rapport and camaraderie and it can have a significant impact on their attitude and productivity throughout the day. Discuss the plan of action and get everybody focused on their most important responsibilities for the day. Make are all questions are answered, then leave each other alone for the next couple hours so all can get to work without needing to interrupt each other.
5. Tackle what’s most important
Once your staff meeting is done, go back to your office, close the door, shut off your phone and email, block off as much time as you need (I do 90 minutes) and get to work on your most important task.
Want more on the idea of being more productive day after day as a college coach? I am going to be doing another webinar this week to dig more into this topic. Join us Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 1pm EST for The Productive Coach and Recruiter. I will show you how to not get pulled in a million different directions during the day so you are making sure you are able to bring your best for the people who need you the most.