By David Gould, Staff Editor
Below are three takeaways from our new website asset, the Golf Instructor’s Guide to Time Management, Efficient Operations, and Work-life Balance. You can find the full document elsewhere on the website, under the Life and Career tile on the homepage.
1.) Self-Evaluation. A golf coach will often have to look for obvious telltale signs that they’re managing time poorly and heading for unnecessary difficulties of all sorts, as a result. Here are some questions to ponder:
- Do you take a true lunch break nearly every workday?
- Are the basics of a public-facing operation covered where you teach, i.e. bath tissue and paper towels stocked in the restrooms?
- Do you have time to buy birthday cards for important people?
- Can your students reach out to you as often as they like?
- Do you practice or play golf anywhere near as often as you’d like?
- Does the average day seem like a losing battle instead of a challenge you can readily meet?
- Do you work at convincing yourself that activities you used to enjoy “really don’t mean that much”?
- When the off-season comes, do you have the self-discipline to carry out the business-planning and reorganizing tasks you were expecting to complete?
2.) Procrastination Workarounds. If you didn’t have tasks you prefer to avoid you wouldn’t be a normal person. In our survey on this topic, 25 percent of respondents said: “I dread starting tasks that require uninterrupted concentration over a lengthy period, because my mind jumps around.” Another 17 percent said: “I dread starting tasks that require uninterrupted concentration over a lengthy period, because I know I’m going to be interrupted.” The trick is to get real about the avoidance, and figure a workaround that will keep your train running on time.
- Identify all side tasks and list them in order of least appealing to most
- Highlight the ones that will trigger the most displeasure and procrastination
- Find someone else to do them for you, or
- Find someone to do them along with you, to add a social element and share the responsibility
Perhaps most importantly, find the organizational project or projects that will not only make you more efficient, but also have the best chance of being enjoyable to carry out (once you get okay with the fact you’re “taking teaching time” to do it.)
3.) Distraction Guardrails. With communication technology increasingly surrounding us, time management has begun to call for boundary-setting. How can a golf coach do that? Spencer Dennis of CoachNow wrote an essay offering a couple of interesting ideas on the subject. The first is to train your clients to do all their communicating with you via one channel only. Our survey backs up this idea, when you consider that no fewer than 29 percent of respondents said that “Going more than an hour without checking my email, text messages or social media often feels impossible.” Cutting down on the number of ways students can reach you will address that compulsion effectively.
The second strategy Dennis offers is to limit the time window when people can tap your energies, be that via their posted questions or their requests to view video. On top of that, you can set a numerical limit to the number of back-and-forth interactions you and any particular student can have in a given time period. You sell this idea to students by explaining that it prevents communication fatigue, very common now in many walks of life.