Since I’ve started this blog, I get this question over and over again from fellow coaches: where do you find the time? I typically smile and say it’s hard work (which it is), but I really enjoy doing it (which I do), so I find the time. But is there really such a thing as “finding the time”? We’ve all got the same seven days in a week and twenty-four hours in each day, correct? So it’d be more precise for me to say that I’m managing my time better by attacking every day with a plan. While I’ve never been one who’d be accused of being disorganized, now I’ve taken time management to near maniacal levels. Here are four things that you can learn from the special kind of crazy that I’ve become.
4 Things You Know You Should Be Doing (But Aren’t) To Manage Your Time Better
1. To-do lists. Start each day by thinking through all of the things that you need to get accomplished. Write it all out, even if you know that there’s no way you can get all of it done. Eons ago, I took a Franklin Covey class and they encouraged us to write out everything you need to do…phone calls, emails, meetings, etc. That way you’ll know what happened to your time and you won’t be trying to figure out how it got to be practice time and you still haven’t gotten anything done yet. Whatever you can’t do today gets carried over to tomorrow’s to-do list. If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t get done or it gets added.
2. Do the crappy stuff first. Once you’ve written that list, figure out the stuff that you really don’t want to do and knock it out first. Otherwise it’s going to get to be about midday and you’ll have to deal with meetings, player drop-ins, lunches, and whatnot that will keep pushing that to-do item to tomorrow’s list.
3. Give yourself time limits. If you’re like me, once you start working on something, you want to hammer away at it until you’re finished. Sometimes that’s just not an option. Look at your list and figure out how much time you can devote to that item and stick to it. Tell yourself: I’m only writing emails for an hour because I’ve got to make calls for two hours…and then I’ve got to get home so that my family doesn’t hate me. Then stick to it.
4. Focus! Does this happen to you? You’re working away on something and then your phone dings. You stop what you’re doing to check the email you just received. And since you’ve already stopped, you might as well hop online and check things out there…oh, and texts, gotta send out a couple of those! Smart phones will be the death of productivity, I’m sure of it. We can check all ten of our email accounts, Facebook, Twitter, and send out a few texts all from one place. I personally love having access to all of these things, because it means I can get work done from wherever I am. But it also means that, much like Pavlov’s dogs, I’m trained to pick it up each time it chimes. Sometimes at work, silence (of all that dinging!) is golden.
Now that we’ve gotten rid of the “I’m so busy and I don’t have time for anything” excuse, we can all go out and be more excellent than we already are!
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