The life of a fitness professional can be hectic and overwhelming. Long days, juggling client appointments and keeping up with all the daily “to-do’s” can leave you burning the candle at both ends and on the verge of burnout. Learning how to increase your productivity and manage the most important aspects of your business will help free you from this trap.
- Define productivity and its importance to a fitness professional.
- Identify a simple routine any fitness professional can use to increase productivity.
- Define the key components of a productivity tracking system.
As a fitness professional trying to grow your book of business or build your studio, it's critical that you learn to manage time. But even time management is a misnomer. You can manage your time by filling it with a lot of worthless tasks. The real reason to be a time management superstar is to increase your productivity.
A Google search for “how do I increase productivity” produces 210,000,000 results. “Productivity hacks” produces 16,3000,000 results. There a lot of people searching for ways to be more productive, get more done and have more time to spend on the things they really enjoy.
As a notorious procrastinator and business owner who takes on too much, I can attest that the best way to maximize your productivity isn’t with a hack or a trick. It requires a system you can fall back on when things get a little crazy in the business and that will help you stay focused on what’s important.
What is productivity?
The literal definition is “the state or quality of producing something”. Another definition is “the effectiveness of productive effort in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.”
When you get right down to it, productivity is the results you get with the activities you do in the time you do them.
Define What’s Important
Before starting your new productivity routine, it's important to know your goals. This gives you a target and focus for all your activities. Here’s a great example:
If you only had 20 minutes to train a client 2 times per week, you would only program the most important exercises for them to accomplish their goals, right?
There is no shortage of things on your to-do list or issues to deal with in your business, but you must stay focused on the priorities that will get you closer to your goals. Write down your top 1 to 3 goals and create a plan to accomplish them. This will help you stay on track and know where to put your energy towards.
Time Management Myths
You now see the importance of managing your priorities instead of managing your time. There’s a good chance you’ll never get every task that is fighting for your attention completed. As a busy fitness pro, there will always be something to do.
Attempting to complete everything on your to-do list will leave you frustrated and feeling like a failure when you can’t get it all done. Or you’ll have to sacrifice your relationships, family time, or your own sanity to get it all done.
Instead, focus on your top priorities and ensure that you have time blocked off to work on those before anything else. This will keep your business moving forward and help you keep your sanity.
Manage Your Priorities
Setting priorities is the first step. Next, you need a method for managing and tracking them so that you can stay on course to hit your goals. At Fitness Revolution, we use a resource we’ve created called a Priority Tracker. If you don’t have access to a Priority Tracker, you can use a day planner.
This is one instance where I advocate using old school pen and paper. Technology just doesn’t seem to do the trick with making your priorities stick.
Here’s a quick look at what we include in our Priority Tracker so you can replicate it:
- Weekly Highlights and Headlines
- Goal Status
- Marketing Priorities
- Daily Action Items
- Misc. Notes
Having this information ready to review daily allows you to constantly self-assess your progress and adjust as needed.
The Most Powerful 15-Minutes of Your Week
The planner of Priority Tracker won’t do much good if you don’t create time and space to plan. They will end up in the pile of other useless, unused planners you’ve accumulated over the years.
To create some space, you should block off 15 minutes at the end of your week for a “Weekly Review”. During this time, you check in with yourself to report on progress and plan your coming week. This allows you to respond instead of reacting to what is going on in the business.
You may be thinking “there’s no way I have 15 minutes for this”. And I’d tell you that I thought the exact same thing but was wrong. There’s no way you DON’T have time for this 15-minute meeting.
Before you discount it, try it for a month to see how it goes.
Make It A Habit
This entire article was about a productivity routine. A routine is something that you have to repeat. Don’t expect miracles in the first week or two of getting started.
Immediately you should have better control of your schedule. You’ll find that a lot of the ‘clutter’ in your head is starting to go away because you know what you are supposed to focus on for the coming week. After a few weeks, you’ll start to get a sense of momentum towards your goals and you will start celebrating your successes.
There are going to be times where you fall out of the routine and things get a little hectic. That’s your cue to pick it back up and start again. This takes practice and discipline to reap the rewards.