My 2nd Piece of Unsexy advice to simplify your work day
Last week I talked to you about my unsexy tip for making massive progress this year. Go here if you didn’t catch the article.
My unsexy tip for you this week is going to help you to simplify your workday.
One of my favorite ways to simplify all of the repeatable tasks you have to do year over year as a coach is by simply creating SOPs, or standard operating procedures.
Don’t freak out if this term is new to you. SOP is just a big, fancy phrase, mostly used in the business world, that has a fairly simple meaning once you get to know it and use them.
HOW TO CREATE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR YOUR PROGRAM
I remember the first time my performance/business coach asked me what my SOP’s were about 10 years ago now… I didn’t even know what that term meant, so clearly I didn’t really have any in place. A standard operating procedure is just the workflow that it takes to complete a larger task. It’s the step-by-step process that you can repeat and do again and again in order to have the same result, no matter who’s working on the task.
Think about how many repeat tasks you do every year as a coach. Or think about how many things you are currently doing that would be amazing to delegate to somebody else. This is what you create a SOP for.
Let’s talk about the easy steps to create SOPs in your program so you can achieve maximum efficiency and less miscommunications with your team, staff, and recruits!
STEP 1: PINPOINT YOUR OVERARCHING TASKS:
The first step is just putting together a list of your biggest tasks. All of mine are in my Master To-Do List. By “biggest,” I mean the ones that make the biggest impact or are infused into your daily or weekly work life. For recruiting, maybe it’s communicating with potential 2023 recruits and their parents. For everyday tasks in the office, it could be booking hotels or it could be telling your story by adding new images or videos to your social media sites. Get a list written down of your needle movers, the broadest and most birds’ eye level work tasks.
STEP 2: LIST THE SUBTASKS NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE LARGER TASKS:
These overarching tasks likely have bunches of littler subtasks it takes to complete them. You might even have multiple people or steps required to get ’em done. I want you to go through the most important large tasks and literally write a list underneath them of every single piece or step it takes to complete the task. And try to put them in order of start to finish. You can do this in a digital document like Google Docs or physically write it down on a big sheet of paper to make it more visual. Fun fact: you just made a process map (aka, a visual representation of your big tasks broken down into the little tasks needed to complete them)!
STEP 3: REVIEW THE WORKFLOW TO LOOK FOR HOLES + OPPORTUNITIES:
I feel like you can live in Step 3 forever, constantly tweaking and refining until everything is running silky smooth. Writing down the detailed steps and order of how to complete important tasks in your program or with your recruiting is powerful. It allows you to see if there’s anything missing, or if there are unnecessary steps that are wasting time or resources. You can also assess whether any parts can be automated or handled by your staff. Watch for trends, repetitive tasks, or unnecessary back and forth that may be stealing away your productivity.
SETTING UP CAMP EXAMPLE OF A STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
For example, as a coach you are probably doing camps every year. Setting up a camp is no easy task and there are a lot of steps involved. Here are a few ideas and big categories to get you started. If you want the full camp SOP, I put it up on my website.
Residential Camp Checklist
Get camp dates
Check with other schools to make sure our camp doesn’t conflict
Run it by compliance (add compliance persons name and email)
Ask administrator (add specific name and email) if field is available and indoor space is available incase weather is bad.
Fill out the forms for compliance-jumpforward
Create brochure-send it to brochure person (add name and email
Get non-current players pictures
Once brochure is finished, send it to compliance, administrator, and business for approval
Get it up online with Bill Phillips at myonline camp. email@example.com
Put it on our website- Sports Info (add name and email)
Camp confirmation letter-in summer camp folder.
- Review it first to make any necessary changes. Show other staff to proofread it.
Check the weather
At the end of camp
This is a pretty simple example (FYI, I left out a lot of the details for this example because it is based on each individual clients wants and needs but you should have enough info to get the idea), but you can see how it’s helpful to know the process from beginning to end for simple and more complicated tasks, too. One way we have streamlined creating recruiting content is by holding brainstorm sessions with my clients to batch-decide the upcoming recruiting topics 1 to 2 months ahead of time. We’ve also utilized scheduling to draft and plan out social posts at the same time as writing the recruiting emails and letters when the content is still fresh. In fact, we batch-work the majority of the recruiting process to keep it as streamlined as possible.
THE TRUE BENEFIT OF SOPS
It helps to know each and every little step because if I were to be unreachable ever (like when I am out doing an on-campus workshop for an athletic department, for example), my clients know the exact protocol to follow to continue producing the same level of work as when I’m there to support. It allows for clear communication and increased efficiency for everyone. So, I would encourage you to drill down into the SOPs in your program and share them with your staff.
And even if you don’t have a staff, it will keep you organized and consistent for when the time comes that you are able to hire an assistant. Until then, it allows your team and recruits to experience the same level of communication and know exactly what to expect from you! When things get super busy during your season, this is what you can fall back on because you know you have systems that work and are reliable and optimized.
If you want my help to create yours, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will set up a call to go over what your needs are, I will share with you what I do for the individual coaches and staff that I work with. Please reach out, I’d love to help.
To your success,
Tudor Collegiate Strategies