How I evolved my schedule over the past year
As an online coach, my hours can be whatever I set them. That isn’t entirely different than when I was working in the gym. I set my own hours then too.
But I didn’t have a choice when I worked. See as a personal trainer, the industry loves to advertise that you can work whenever you want to.
It’s quite appealing. But also incredibly misleading.
Trainers work when others don’t. So early mornings and late nights are a constant. Most in-person trainers work six days a week and at least 10-12 hour days. It is not for the faint of heart.
A year ago, I was waking most days between 4:30-5:30 am. At work by 6:20 am and worked until 7 pm most nights.
Yes, there may have been 2-hour breaks in the middle of a few of those days. But when you’re getting home by 730/8 pm and needing to wake up at 430am...it doesn’t make for a healthy work-life balance. Plus, I was still running Healthy Living by Margreta.
I love my industry. I love helping people make sustainable healthy life choices. But my career wasn’t focused on the same thing for me.
Then the gyms shut down. I got to stay up to a normal time for an adult, and sleep in til 6:30-7 am most days. I was able to shift my focus to my online coaching business which was barely functioning.
My old scheduling tactics went out the window. I didn’t have to calculate driving times, equipment, or room checks. My commute went from 10 miles to 12 stairs.
I had all this extra time on my hands...and you think I put them to good use!
I couldn’t figure out how to get everything done in the day I needed to.
I tried my standby system of time blocking, which to sorta helped. When you work for yourself, it’s twice as easy to justify skipping tasks to go tackle yard work instead.
Soon the things I used to like became daunting. I found creating content was challenging. Writer’s block is real! Creating Facebook and Instagram posts also became difficult.
But like all things change-related, it was a combination of resistance and lack of planning.
As a coach, I like to plan to fail. If you have a plan to fail, when that failure happens, you know what to do to pull yourself out of it. Know how to deal with stress, anxiety, or situation.
I realized I needed to focus on my own failures and start planning for them. And to start recognizing the resistance and create the pathways through it.
I love list building. I love learning. I am one of those really annoying people that can pretty much teach themselves how to do anything. I also love procrastinating.
I like to hoard information, it’s a problem. I can be full of the most random and useless facts because I get easily distracted by a rabbit hole.
I end up distracting myself because I want to do it all. I have a to-do list that too long and overwhelming.
Overwhelm creates resistance.
Resistance allows justifications for why I can put it off till tomorrow.
At first, it doesn’t seem like it does much damage right? But, all it does is ADD to the list.
And the cycle continues. Eventually, it impacts a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and eating healthy meals get replaced by something that won't contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Because now you’re scrambling to get it all done.
Enter the RULE OF 3x.
It’s a simple process:
Three projects/tasks that must be completed this week (for me that move my business forward)
Three projects/tasks that must be completed TODAY
Three things that went well last week.
Focusing on a combination of tasks that move my business forward, celebrate my successes along the way, and just three tasks to do in a day removes the resistance. The overwhelm. The procrastination.
I don’t just use this for my workdays either. I use this on the weekends to motivate myself to do the things I hate doing around the house... Here’s to the annoying spider who *HAD* to put a web in my basement stairwell that’s a good 20’ high and nothing I have is long enough to reach it…
I still time block my schedule but incorporate my Rule of 3x.
I block off at least an hour a day for a walk outside and another hour for Pilates.
I block off my client prep times, usually, 10-40 minutes depending on if it’s a 1:1 30 minute session or my 90-minute Vitalates group sessions.
I block off “content creation” time where I write emails, social media posts/stories, and the weekly content for the Vitalates coaching program.
I block off time for my meals.
Then I block off time for the 3 projects or tasks that must be completed today. Whichever one of these three that feel the most resistance to, I do first.
I block off time to review my coaching client food journals and other logs.
I block off time to respond to client emails, texts, or comments.
Did you notice that the first thing I block off on my day is my exercise? I don’t work out first thing in the morning, but it’s a priority and gets scheduled first thing.
Exercise is the most important task I do for myself all day. It keeps me healthy and focused. Walking around the neighborhood clears my mind and helps me solve things subconsciously.
Will this be my system forever? Unlikely. But it’s working for me now and I intend to keep using it until I notice resistance again.
What system do you use to stay on top of your day? Comment below! 👇👇👇