Productivity Hacks for Coaches

written by Erica Quam

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I had a coaching call last week with a new head coach. She had just taken over program, had a long list of to-do’s, and was feeling really behind.

“Uggghhh…I don’t have enough time to fit everything in!”

I asked her about her priorities and she said, “What do you mean priorities? Everything is a priority right now. I’ve got so many things that have to get done. Everything’s important! Maybe people were right. Maybe I’m NOT ready to be a head coach yet.”

Most coaches get really down on themselves when they have a lot on their plate and are spinning their wheels. Self judgement makes things harder.

If you’ve ever felt this way, it’s not that you’re not good at what you do, ready to be a head coach, or a responsible assistant coach….

  • My guess is you're proactive.

  • My guess is you're a bit of a perfectionist.

  • My guess is you're overwhelmed.

  • Or, you’re all three. 

Wanna know the upside of this?

You can train yourself to get stuff done. Just like you train your athletes new skills. You can help yourself accomplish more each day by tricking yourself how to get things done.

Here are my favorite tricks to help coaches get more stuff done (even the worst procrastinators!):

1 – Take the first step.

Whatever you need to work on - whether it's writing a workout, filling out paperwork, or writing a newsletter for your alumni - you have to begin.

If you've put it on your to-do list and it's a priority for your day, take one little step to get you started.

  • Don't look at your phone first. 

  • Don't clean up your desk before you do it.

  • Don't worry about how busy you are for the rest of the day!

Stop doing this!

  • Write the warmup. 

  • Make an outline.

  • Write the first sentence.

Do something!

Once you start, it's easier to keep going.

2 – Use small windows.

All coaches complain about not having enough time. My guess is you have more time than you think.

You can't do everything at once. And you can’t react to other people’s agendas by letting your email inbox dictate your priorities.

Take time to get clear, prioritize what needs to get done, and take the very next small step forward.

Learn how to utilize small chunks of time to get small chunks of stuff done!

3 - Do it imperfectly.

Begin with a rough draft...as rough as it can be.

Make it your goal to get something down. 

  • Don't worry if it's perfect.

  • Don't even try and perfect it.

  • Do part of it and do it badly.

4 - Get clear on your actual to-do’s.

I've got so much to do” is a lot like saying, “I should really do something to make a difference in the world.

Most coaches have a hard time figuring out priorities and getting clear on what specifically needs to be done...and by when.

Most coaches just want results - like everything needs to be done RIGHT NOW!

So ask yourself before you get started each week:

  1. What do I need to do? (Prioritize)

  2. What's realistic to get done this week? (Chunk it down)

  3. When am I going to do it? (Write an exact time in your calendar)

  4. How long will I work on it? (Have a start and stop time)

Your brain will love having this kind of clarity!

Most coaches will never do this sort of thing on their own. They think they’re wasting time by sitting down and going through these four steps. Once they do, they find that they’re more clear, more focused, and more productive than ever before!

If you need a little help or accountability getting started with this, email me and let me know. I’d love to hop on a coaching call to help you break things down!

Leave a comment and let us know one thing you will do and a deadline for when you’ll have it done.