Be Effective AND Efficient???? It Can Be Done!
One of the biggest hurdles that coaches who reach out to me always seem to be facing is finding enough time to do everything they need to do when it comes to being a college coach.
Today I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my Busy Coach Time Management Workbook for Coaches on how you can be both effective and efficient.
How can you be more efficient and productive with your time and efforts during the day with all that needs to get done?
I’m not sure if you should try to do everything. But you do need to find the most important things and spend the majority of your time there. To do that, I want to talk to you about the Pareto Principle, or commonly called the 80/20 principle.
The Pareto Principle states that 20 percent of your priorities will give you 80 percent of your production, IF you spend your time, energy, money, and personnel on the top 20 percent of your priorities.
The unspoken corollary of the 80/20 principle is that little of what you spend your time on during the course of your day actually is productive. By concentrating on the few things that do matter, you can unlock the enormous potential of the critical 20 percent and multiply your productivity and effectiveness as a coach.
Here are some examples:
20 percent of your time produces 80 percent of the results. Of all of the things you have to do in a day, identify which 20% of your coaching responsibilities you can focus on that will give you 80% of your returns. Automate or delegate the rest. Strive for excellence in the few key areas, rather than for good performance in many.
20 percent of our work gives us 80 percent of our satisfaction. Make an effort to fit the 20% you enjoy doing with coaching into your day every day. If you allow all of the other stuff to take over your day, you will burn out and not enjoy the job as much. Increased work happiness = increased productivity and effectiveness not only for you, but also for those who have to work and be around you all day.
20 percent of the leaders/players on your team will be responsible for 80% of your programs success. Everyone you recruit for your program should be a potential leader, but you should not try to personally mentor everyone that comes through your program. Lead and nurture everyone within your influence, but spend 80 percent of your time on the most promising 20 percent of the potential leaders around you.
Dan Tudor, has talked about at his conferences needing to be asked 5 times before we will buy something. The 20% of college coaches who are persistent enough to ask for the sale (commitment) at least 5 times, have an 80% close rate with recruits.
The value of the Pareto Principle for a coach is that it reminds you to focus on the 20 percent that matters that produces 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things in every aspect of your program. When the fire drills of the day begin to sap your time, remind yourself of the 20 percent you need to focus on. If something in the schedule has to slip, if something isn’t going to get done, make sure it’s not part of that 20 percent.
As a coach or athletic administrator, you can consciously apply the 80/20 Principle to four key areas that have a huge impact on your success.
- Time Management
- Player Development
- Leadership Development
From a time management standpoint, examine the list of 10 or so tasks you need to do today. Now determine which two would yield the biggest and best results if you accomplished them. Be sure to focus on those two items first before even thinking about the other eight. As Stephen Covey says in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, successful people focus their time on the important rather than getting caught up in the urgent. Too often coaches get caught up in the urgent eight to do’s, rather than executing the critical two.
North Carolina women’s soccer coach and 20-time national champion Anson Dorrance says much of his success has to do with making sure his superstars are on track and feeling good. He doesn’t ignore or neglect the reserves, yet he does want to make his superstars’ psyches the priority each week. They are the primary producers — and he must make sure that they are mentally and physically ready to produce.
Similarly, Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea spends a lot of time having one on one coaching conversations with his top players. Of course you want to develop your reserves, but you can’t afford to throw round after round of batting practice to your walk-ons at the expense of your superstars. Deploy your assistants to help you develop your reserves.
Are you investing enough time in your superstars each week?
Typically many coaches get bogged down with administrative work. Or end up spending an inordinate amount of time policing the troublemakers. Are you devoting enough quality time to the key 20% of your roster who determine roughly 80% of your success?
From the earlier example of randomly selected high school students in a gym, you can see how valuable the 80/20 Principle is when it comes to recruiting and player selection.
First, if you can upgrade your recruiting to get the top 20% of available physical and mental talent, you obviously vastly increase your program’s chances of success. This is exactly what Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese did when she took over the moribund program.
Second, since effective recruiting and player selection determines 80% of your success, be sure you are investing enough time in assessing talent, writing letters, making phone calls, cultivating relationships with coaches, etc.
In our Leadership Development Academies, we typically focus on the top 20-25% of the student-athlete population (the emerging and existing leaders) because we realize that they determine at least 80% of an athletic department’s success, both on and off field success. By investing heavily in the development of the top 20%, we positively impact them and the other 80%.
How much time are you investing in the top 20% of the athletes on your team who seem to have 80% of the influence on your team’s work ethic, commitment, confidence, chemistry, etc.?
(Interestingly, most Division I college athletic departments invest most of their development resources into the bottom 10% of their student-athletes, hoping to keep them eligible. They provide them with tutors, learning specialists, and a host of other services trying to keep the bottom 10% afloat. Rather than solely focusing on the bottom 10%, it seems that a better approach would be to invest in the top 20% as well. Are you investing more in the bottom 10% of your athletes than you are in the top 20%?)
Find your “critical 20%” and transform your time, productivity, and effectiveness — forever!
If you want more information on how to apply this to your program or you are looking for ways to execute your daily tasks better, check out my Busy Coach Time Management Workbook for Coaches
If this was helpful, will you send me a quick email letting me know so I can keep sending you things that will be useful for you? Thank you!!
Have a great week.
Busy Coach President
To schedule a FREE 30 minute call with me click here http://www.meetme.so/
P.S. If you have found this article helpful, please share it with your staff or other work colleagues! Studying time and energy management over these last 8 years and applying it to my coaching and recruiting has been a game changer for me. I am committed to helping coaches get more important work done in less time so more time can be spent with family and friends. Thanks!