We first fell in love with Brian Tracy with his amazing book “Goals,” which should also be a must read for all coaches. He is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the world today. He has authored several best-selling books and has a tremendous collection of motivational audio tapes.
Without question, an important factor in coaching (as well as any other profession) is the art of time management. Time Power first delves into the psychology of time management and some of the barriers that we must overcome in order to become more organized. What we like about Tracy’s book is not only does he go into the many problem areas but he delves into a variety of solutions that you can instantly apply to daily routine.
The book is beneficial in a variety of ways from the first page to the last. In Chapter 5: Developing the Work Habits to Get Things Done, Tracy deals with a variety of issues that we all face and gives both suggestions and answers to improving. As coaches, we would probably agree that one of the most important things that we can help our players with would be concentration. At LSU, we believe that if we can improve our players’ ability to concentrate then we would be helping them improve every part of their game. But as coaches, do we do all that we can to improve our concentration level at work. Tracy offers the following:
1. First, before you start work, clear your workspace of everything except exactly what you need to complete highest-priority task.
2. Plan your days and organize your work so that you create blocks or chunks of time to work on completing major tasks.
3. One very effective technique is to work at home in the morning for an extended period of time before you go to work.
4. Minimize idle conversation.
5. Develop a compulsion for closure.
6. Start earlier, stay later. Get to the office an hour before everyone else and/or stay an hour past everyone.
7. Fish for whales. In other words, stay focused on the big prize.
8. Set deadlines for everything you do.
Another positive attribute of the book would include the exercises involved that not only can apply to a coach and his/her staff but some that would benefit the team as well.
In Chapter 6 on Managing Multitask Jobs, Tracy writes about “Storyboarding Individual Job Descriptions.” He writes:
“One way that you can use storyboarding is to pin a series of five-by-eight-inch cards across the top of the corkboard and put the names of a team member on that card. Below each person’s name on the card, write the specific tasks that that person will be expected to complete along with the deadline.”
For us, we thought this was a great way to help develop roles for our team. We wrote their names on the card along with the things they did well and things they needed to improve upon. We share it with the team. We want them to understand their strengths and weaknesses as well as those of their teammates.
Chapter 10 on Saving Time When Dealing with Others touches on a variety of subjects including how to shorten phone calls and unannounced visitors to the office.
There is also a seven-step formula on how to get more done each day including:
1. Work harder. The goal being to work harder today than you did yesterday. Be single-minded in your approach to completing each task.
2. Work faster. Pick up the pace is the key. Develop a faster tempo. This does not mean to rush your work but we could also pick up the pace.
3. Batch your tasks. Do a series of similar jobs together.
4. Do more important things. Prioritizing is always essential to success of any job.
5. Do things you’re better at. Just as you do with players, putting them in positions they can handle, work at those things you are best.
6. Make fewer mistakes. This sounds strange but it is a great timesaver. We’ve always heard the saying, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over.”
7. Simplify the work.
This is a tremendous book that has far more to give you than we could possibly mention in this review. It is well-worth the cost and one that will allow you to be a better, more organized coach.