As coaches, we always stress the importance of time management to our players. We tell them they need to balance their daily schedules of classes, study, homework, meals, weightlifting, practice, individual workouts, rehab, etc....and we expect them to do all of these things to the best of their ability.
But what about the coaches? How are we doing with time management in our own lives?
I'm not going to lie. Being a basketball coach is the greatest job in the world. Not only do we get to wear t-shirts and sweatpants to work, but we are able to watch a lot of basketball and get paid for it! Seems like easy time management to some.
However, there are a lot of responsibilities that come along with being a coach. Our players, teachers, media, and family are all constantly grabbing for our attention. We all want to lead and impact the lives of our players and those around us, but sometimes it feels like there is just too much going on in our lives. If we do not manage our time well, our obligations as coaches can begin to negatively impact our health and our families at home. We have a responsibility and an opportunity to lead others, but do not take on so much that you will not be able to give your best at everything you do.
1. Plan your day the night before.
Set goals and establish a vision for the next day. Give yourself enough time in between tasks to process thoughts and prepare for the next task. Sometimes we fail in the preparation category because we don't make time to do it! Keep a clear schedule of your meetings and allow time to prepare for those meetings. Make sure not to schedule too much throughout the day so that you leave enough time to build sincere relationships with the people around you.
2. Limit your use of technology.
Our smartphones and tablets are amazing tools that can serve us well, but they are also a hindrance to our ability to manage time. Be conscious of how often you use various technologies (phone, tablet, computer, TV, etc.) throughout the day so that you can properly commit to your other responsibilities. If I'm being honest, this is one of my biggest struggles in managing my time.
3. Family always comes first.
Never sacrifice the needs of your family so that you can fulfill the needs of others. Obviously as coaches we have hectic schedules and are often away from home, but that doesn't mean we should expect our families to be perfectly fine with that. We need to invest the time we do have with our families and make them a priority in our lives. Be concerned if your job becomes more important than your family. If you don't have time for your family then you don't have time to lead effectively. Sometimes less is more.
Although there is a lot more that goes into effective and efficient time management, I hope these thoughts help you take an honest look at yourself as a coach. My eyes are opened every time I think about these things. We expect a lot from our players, but we should expect a lot from ourselves as well. This is humbling as a leader and I'm going to do my best to work on my time management skills so I can give 100% too every opportunity I get!