The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced countless people from around the world to work from home. This can be especially challenging for football coaches. Here are 10 tips that will hopefully help you be more productive while working from home.
1. MAINTAIN YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
Even though you are not leaving your home to go to work, it is important to maintain your morning routine. Do the same things you would normally do before leaving home to go to work – shower, get dressed, make a cup of coffee, eat breakfast, go for a run. By following a routine, it helps to put you in the proper frame of mind to work, be productive, and achieve your daily goals.
2. KEEP A REGULAR SCHEDULE
If you stick to a regular schedule, it will help you maintain your balance between work and life. Structure your day much like you would if you were going to work. It is easy to get wrapped up in your work and lose track of time. Having a set time to stop working will also help make sure you have enough personal and family time at the end of the day. Of course, one of the greatest benefits of working from home is the flexibility it provides. Don’t let that flexibility become chaotic.
3. FOLLOW A PLAN
It is important to set daily goals to make sure your day was successful. Schedule your day accordingly. Tackle more difficult tasks during the time of day you are most productive. A structured schedule will help keep you on task. It is also helpful to plan in advance so you can manage your time effectively. You can use an online calendar, such as Google Calendar, to schedule important events and reminders.
4. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
To maintain productivity and creativity, it is important to take regular breaks. Be sure to leave your work space when taking a break. It is not good to be stuck in one place. It is beneficial to step away from your work if only to clear your head.
It is extremely important to communicate while working from home. Make sure your supervisors and colleagues know your schedule and when you are available. The social interaction at work is obviously lacking with the isolation of working at home, so be sure to maintain regular communication with your coworkers to maintain positive relationships. It is important to keep messages positive because it is often difficult to interpret a person’s tone in writing.
6. EMBRACE COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
If you are not actively utilizing communications technology, this is the perfect time to learn how to implement these important tools in your program. Remind is a great app to communicate with other coaches and your student-athletes. It’s a great way to share important announcements with your team. Whether you’re sheltering in place or under strict quarantine, you can send out at-home workouts to your players. Zoom is a great tool to use for conducting staff meetings while working at home. There are other apps as well, including Skype, Facetime, and Google Hangouts. Technology is a great way to stay connected with your staff and student-athletes.
7. NETWORK AND EDUCATION
While being forced to work at home, it is a great time to network with other coaches and to look for continuing education opportunities. There are a variety of online opportunities for continuing education. Many organizations and websites are offering free opportunities to increase your sport-specific knowledge during the current quarantine. AFCA.com and AFCAinsider.com provide exactly this sort of information.
8. CREATE A WORK SPACE
It is hard to separate home from work when you are working from home, but creating a work space can help. Even if you don’t have a room that can serve as an office at home, you can dedicate space to work from. This will help to stay on task and avoid interruptions. Make sure it is comfortable.
9. AVOID DISTRACTIONS
It is easy to get distracted when working at home, so do your best to avoid any distractions. Stay away from social media unless it is work related. Music can create a relaxing work environment, but television and other digital media can cause too many distractions and will limit your focus.
10. STAY ACTIVE
While we are encouraged to practice social distancing, it is perfectly fine to go outside and get some fresh air during the pandemic. You can go for a run or even a quick walk around the block. You need to be careful to follow all recommendations, but it is important to stay active. Getting active typically provides that extra boost to get us through these unusual days.
This article was written by J.J. Guidry, Offensive Coordinator, Brackett (Texas) High School.
For more information about the AFCA, visit www.AFCA.com.