Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's it Like Being Married to a Fitness Professional?

The northeast has been walloped with snow over the last 30 days and for the last 2 straight days, my wife and I have been holed up in our house. The weather is certainly expected living in Connecticut; but the snow storms have been falling in enormous clumps across the area that we have been literally digging ourselves out! The road conditions have made it difficult for clients to visit me to train--so it has been multiple cancellations. Not great for business. Lately, my job has been clearing snow with my snow blower.

So this extra time staying in has given my wife and I alot of time to reflect and talk about things that we usually don't talk about. For instance, I told her that I was contemplating attending a conference in 2 weeks. She wondered about all the things I keep busy with--including the house responsibilities, and I asked her to describe to me what it feels like to be married to me. Here are some note from that conversation:

My typical day begins at 6:40am. During breakfast I check my emails. My wife leaves for work at 7:15am. We spend roughly 20 minutes together (while we are both getting ready) and then its texting  the rest of the day.
Next my commute is around 40 minutes (depending on traffic) to the fitness center where I train clients for the first half of the day. At the private club, I train anywhere between 4-6 clients and in between clients I catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs including Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore, Dean Somerset, Ben Bruno, and Mike Robertson. Trust me,  there are many others but these are what I dive into as I am in between clients.

After my last client of the day, I review my programs for the next day and make any adjustments, updates, and make any notes. I do some filing and paperwork. At this time, I will also return some phone calls and jot some ideas in my head on paper. I also manage a few staff so I also catch up with them.

Around 2pm, I come home and I hit the home office. Here is where I spend time putting my ideas for my next blog post to action. I like to multi-task. So, as I am typing a new blog post, I probably have 3 other tabs open on my browser searching for ad companies, a new dentist, or a weekend getaway. 

After a small snack, I hit my facility to train some clients. My clients travel from afar, so I get to the gym early and review their program. Again, I like to make adjustments based on how the week has progressed. 

About 6pm, after my last client leaves my gym, I hit the weights for myself. My workout is probably about 45 minutes in length. My facility is 5 minutes away from my home, so when I return home I make myself a quick protein shake and take the dog for a quick walk.

By 7pm, I am preparing supper. My wife usually walks in the door around 7:30pm. She hits the gym--either takes a yoga class or spinning class--after a long day at the office. When she arrives, we sit and eat dinner. By 8:30pm, we both relax in the living room and talk about each of our days. 

By 9 or 9:30pm, I return to the home office and write about some programs for clients. At this time, I also brainstorm ideas for marketing my training, future blog posts topics, and future products.

I don't think my days are any busier than the next guy. However, I do believe I manage time well. In 1999, I wrote a paper for my stress management class during my undergraduate studies. The professor loved the emphasis on time management and used the paper during a lecture she gave for a group of fellow colleagues. Eleven years later, I believe I manage my time efficiently--not only because I am my own boss--but because I follow these basic rules that you can follow too:

1.) Defense is the best offense. Do things that are time sensitive first or when not expected. My wife often asks me why I am doing things that are not "due" for weeks or even months. Simple: I get it out of the way. 

2.) Write stuff down. My brain runs at 90 miles per hour. I've developed a habit of writing notes to myself and reminders. 

3.) I walk the dog before the dog asks me too. This is a metaphor. To me, the dog represents my time. I manage my time by telling the dog when its time to walk--not the other way around.

4.) Plan. I have a budget spreadsheet for my home expenses, my business, and my client income. I plan accordingly. I'm not the best at setting goals and hitting them, because I simply get side-tracked by things like gutters, ...or making a mad wife happy :)

5.) Music. I like to play music that keeps me focused. During my workouts, during my daily commutes, and during my home office time; I am playing my favorite songs that keep me motivated and focused on the task at hand.

6.) Waiting is for the dead. I don't like to wait for anything. If you walk slow in front me without an aim of destination, I'm going to walk past you. If there is a problem eating away at your time; find a solution quick.

7.) Shop online. I rarely go to store (except for groceries). I purchase things through Amazon, eBay, or elsewhere and I have it shipped to me. So I pay some extra dollars for shipping? That is the convenience of having something I need/want come to me. It saves plenty of time.

8.) If I can't do it, I hire someone. I am a control freak. I like to MANAGE. I like to be the captain of the ship. I like to manage the conversation. But there are times, I can't do something like grind a tree stump. Trust me, I've tried. If you let others do the things that you need, it saves you time to produce and do positive things that move YOUR life forward.

9.) Nourish networks and relationships. The power of email is great. Everyday, I make a note to send out emails to colleagues or friends thanking them. Same with Facebook....I think it is very important to express kindness and common courtesy--even electronically.

10.) I am not afraid to say NO. Trust me, if I am unable to take on a task or a responsibility or a new client because it will impede or hurt my ability to create a quality of life for me or my family--I have no problem refusing it. There have been many business ventures I have turned down since 2005 simply because it spread me too thin. And that is have to always remain in control of the your ship.

1 comment:

  1. John..

    Great article. Thanks for sharing your views on time management.Its something most of us are really bad at.


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