Mapping My Days

A day in the life of a college coach can consist of any number of a thousand things on the to-do list. It’s impossible to do them all – there will always be work that is pushed to tomorrow.

I’ve struggled with how to best manage the workload and prioritize what’s important today. It’s easy to build a long to-do list, get one or two things crossed off and feel like you accomplished nothing on that day.

Recently, I began doing to activities on a regular basis that have really helped me manage my days. The first was to monitor how I used my time throughout the day in 15 minute intervals. Just a quick note to jot down what I was doing or how long an activity took me to do. If it took more than 15 minutes I drew a line through to the end. This helped me to get a much better feel for how long things really take.

The second thing I did was to add my “Top 3” for every day on to this sheet. Every day, I have three things that are time sensitive (have a time assigned to them), three things that I want to do that day, and three things that I have to do for me. This helps me to prioritize my activities for that day and have a guide for what I want to accomplish. It also helps me to maintain some balance in my life – get things done in my personal life that need to be done. The time sensitive things can be meetings or just projects that I put a deadline on. The three things to do can be anything from phone calls to organize my desk. Personal items are often things like go to the grocery and workout. At the end of the day, I almost always get my “Top 3” done, as well as the million other things that come across my desk.

Ultimately, there are a lot of different ways to organize your day to make it the most efficient and productive it can be. I’ve found this to work for me – I suggest trying a few different things and figuring out what works best for you. I’ve attached the sheet as an excel file – feel free to check it out for yourself.

Time Mapping

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Stress and Control

I had a thought over the weekend about stress and where it comes from. It might be different for different people, but for me stress comes from control.

Whenever I’m feeling stressed, it is because of a lack of feeling in control. Whether I am actually in control or not does not matter. It is the feeling of being in control or a lack of feeling in control that affects my stress levels.

The things that I measure myself by are what are important to me. When I don’t feel in control of those things, I feel stressed. This was a good lesson for me – how do I maintain a feeling of control?

Tackle the things that are important to you every single day. Get touches in on whatever it is that matters. If it is money, check your bank account. If it is family, pick up the phone. If it is a clean house, take out the trash and do the dishes. Do something every day to maintain a feeling of being in control over the things that matter.