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What I Learned This Year - Part 3 | Routines & Organization

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

Before we get any further into this post I want to make sure anyone reading this understands that everything I am sharing is based off of my experiences and what I am learning day after day, week after week throughout this college basketball journey. By no means have I figured out the "right way" to do anything, instead I get more excited about the process of trying out new strategies, concepts and implementing techniques from people who have had proven success both on and off the basketball court.

Growing up I was so unorganized. Whether it was my bedroom being a mess, handing in ripped up loose leaf from my binder for class or forgetting my sneakers on the way to my AAU game...Put it this way, I was a mess. Unfortunately, it wasn't really until college that I realized how hard it would be to change these bad habits that I've developed over the years. By my sophomore year at Quinnipiac, I was pretty good about being disciplined for short periods of time. I'd make my bed for 30 days straight or write all my assignments down in my planner for like two straight weeks and honestly that was better than nothing. By my senior year, that 1 month habit had turned into a 3 month streak so you can that significant progress had been achieved,

When I found out I was going to be working back at QU as an assistant coach you can imagine how excited I was. I was a graduate assistant the year before so I had an idea of what would be expected of me and what the job entailed but there were so many different ideas and things that I wanted to do going on in my head. I didn't really no where to start in terms of organizing my thoughts and figuring out what my first steps would be.

I talked about what a typical day would look like in an earlier blog post so assuming you read that I am going to just kind of summarize some of the actions I took throughout the year to be more productive and even more importantly to minimize any feeling of being overwhelmed.

Early in the year my biggest struggle (I still struggle with it, but it's gotten better) was definitely not having a plan going into each day. I didn't have a focus on what I wanted to get done and as a result we would practice in the morning, have an hour or two in the office, meet as a staff and before I knew it, it was like 3pm and the day had just flown by. I felt like I was doing alot and was always busy but the problem was that I wasn't actually finishing alot of the tasks I had started. For example: I would start watching a full game film of a recruit, get to the end of the 1Q and then start looking at stats of an upcoming opponent. Or I would start editing a graphic on photoshop for our social media page and half way through would end up in a conversation about something else with one of our other staff members. I am highly ambitious but easily distracted. It was a lot easier said than done for me to be in the office all day and actually focus on one thing at a time...but the first step to fixing this was to acknowledge it in the first place!

After the new year, I really tried to buckle down on what the 2 or 3 most important things were for me to do each day. Some days it might be to make sure I watch 2 full game films, upload and tag practice and call 2 coaches before leaving the office. Every day was different but it allowed me to dial in on solely those tasks and not feel that I needed to be working on 10 different things at once. After a few weeks of successfully following this process, I decided to be even more detailed and set aside the times that I would spend on each of these tasks... now this was never perfect because unforeseen things come up, take longer or shorter than expected or your head coach calls you into a meeting right as you sit down to watch a game haha. Typically, I would try and send out texts to coaches or recruits first thing in the morning if that was on the task list before practice because I knew I wouldn't have time to get through an entire game film and didn't want to have to stop in the middle! Right after practice is when I would upload, edit and tag the practice since it was fresh in my mind. By allotting a certain block of time to each task, it created a sense of urgency to get it done that I didn't feel before. The more time you take on a task doesn't necessarily mean that the quality will be higher... in fact, I find it's often the opposite. The more breaks I take, it's harder for me to get back in the zone...

Jay Bilas said it best in his best selling book Toughness - "Focus on what you're doing, while you're doing it." That is my new mantra that I am trying to live by each and every day. Every night I write down 3 things I want to get done the following day in the order of priority. It's a mental exercise in itself thinking of all the things that you could do each day, cause like I said, the job never stops - there's always something that you could be doing.

So that's the general process of how I have become slightly more productive over the past year. I guess I could've just told you from the start that writing down your most important tasks and not ALL of the tasks would be a helpful strategy, but I think it was important to mention that I actually suck at being organized and have struggled with it my whole life. So if you're in a similar situation, start with the Daily 3 Tasks and take it from there...

This is getting lengthy per usual so I'm going to end it here but in the future I'll share with you more specifically how I organize my basketball content (which is my pride & joy) so that I am easily able to access any play, concept, workout or drill that I need at the click of a button!

Jen Fay

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