By Stefan Ianev
One of the perks of being a personal trainer, especially being an online PT, is being able to work flexible hours. However, if you don’t learn how to manage your time properly, this could actually translate to working much longer hours than a standard 9 to 5 job.
Poor time management leads to inefficiency, whether it’s wasted time or taking much longer than needed to complete a task. In this article, we’re sharing our 3 top tips to improve your time management as a personal trainer.
1. Have Fixed Working Hours
Having fixed working hours and respecting those hours is critical for ensuring that you get your work done on time, and that you still have time left for your own training, spending time with your family and loved ones, and whatever else you enjoy doing in your free time.
Most people fail to realise that having more structure gives them more freedom. That is because a task expands to fill the time allocated to it. If you do not have any cut-off times, it may take you much longer to complete a given task or you may just keep putting more work on your plate, which can eventually lead to a burnout.
Whether you work as a face-to-face PT, an online PT or both, you must set your working hours and stick to them. This includes your regular times for your own training. Once you set those times, you need to be firm with your decision.
If a client can only train outside of your normal hours or during your training slot, you must stick your ground and refuse them. You might think it is ok to do it once, but if you allow it to happen once, it will keep on happening.
2. Implement a 24-Hour Cancellation Policy
If you are working as a face-to-face PT, and you are working with multiple clients a day you need to have a cancellation policy in place. We understand that emergencies happen, but it’s a waste of time for a PT to sit around in the middle of the day, trying to reschedule a missed appointment.
Your clients will respect and value your time a lot more when they see that you have a cancellation policy in place, and they will make a much greater effort not to miss their scheduled appointments. At the end of the day it is a win-win situation for both parties.
3. Plan Your Week Out In Advance
We recommend setting aside one day a week, preferably Sunday morning or afternoon, to plan your schedule at least 1 week ahead of time. This should include the time you will be seeing your clients, but also when you will do their programs, your own training, when you will commit to deliberate learning, doing your finances, spending time with your family and loved ones, and when to enjoy some downtime.
By scheduling in all these things in advance, you are committing to everything that is important in your life and getting rid of all the noise in your head. As we mentioned previously: having structure is actually what gives you more freedom.
Ideally, you should batch all your tasks, so you would have designated times for writing programs, answering emails and taking phone calls, doing your finances and even a specific time doing your weekly planning.
We also recommend setting aside the last 15-30 mins each day before switching off for the night to review your day and prepare for the next day. By preparing for the next day in advance you can offload that from your mind, which will allow you to relax more for the evening and have a more restful sleep.