Organisation is an Entrepreneurial Fit Pro’s Superpower
Fitness Professionals have to wear a lot of hats.
Over the space of a day they, may have to be an Owner, an Entrepreneur, a Personal Trainer, a Group Fitness Instructor, an Exercise Programmer, a Nutritional Specialist, a Sales Manager, a Customer Care Manger, Admin, an Accountant, a Content Creator, a Content Scheduler, a Graphic Designer, a Cleaner… the list goes on.
And all these different hats can cause a disorganised mind. And a disorganised mind can not only negatively impact the service you’re able to provide (and therefore the long-term bottom line of your business), but also your mental health.
I honestly believe that organisation can be a superpower for the Fitness Professional. It’s one of the first things we help our Range of Motion Business Mentoring clients to develop.
You see, we only have so much mental bandwidth. We can only store so many things in our minds at any one time.
All too often, we find that people use their brain as a storage device. As a filing cabinet. A memory tool.
The problem with that, is that if we’re spending our time trying to remember our schedule, or what we have to do the next day, we don’t have room for our mind to wonder. There’s no white space for creativity, and ideas, and imagination and growth.
There are a few keystone habits and practices that we can undertake to unlock this superpower:
- Store your tasks in a to do list: I like ‘Todoist’, but any similar piece of software will do. A task management app will allow you to transfer the random swirling of tasks in your mind onto you phone, tablet or computer. Every time you think of a task to do, it goes on your list. Every recurring task (like writing a blog every two weeks, or following up on all clients on a Friday) can be scheduled to repeat. Every time you tell someone, ‘Ok, I’ll touch base in four weeks to see if you’re ready to get back into some exercise’, you actually will!
- Move your work to the cloud: The days of using Microsoft Office for all your writing and publishing needs are quickly coming to an end. Google Drive offers heaps of storage, and the ability to create documents, slideshows, spreadsheets and much more. And because they’re in the cloud, you can access them from anywhere, on any device. And Google Photos allows unlimited storage of photos and videos (at a slightly compressed resolution).
- Store your life in Evernote: Evernote is a note taking app on steroids. There are plenty of other similar pieces of software, but this is my preference. This is where I store everything. Notes I’m taking, research I’ve done, client notes, ideas, marketing plans, account details… everything. Think of it like a digital filing cabinet. And again – it’s cloud based.
- Manage appointments with a calendar: I like Google Calendar (because it integrates well into Gmail and Google Drive). Colour code your days, so you know when you’re working, when you have appointments, when you’re exercising. It’s enormously calming to be able to see your day laid out in front of you at one easy glance. And recurring bookings make repeat clients a breeze. I’ve had clients for 10+ years, who’ve had the same appointment slot that whole time, and I couldn’t tell you what time that appointment is. I don’t need to, I’ve outsourced it to let me mind focus on more valuable things.
- Track email ‘non replies’: Grab the ‘Boomerang’ add-on for Gmail. It allows you to tick a box when you send an email, which will alert you in a few days, weeks or months (your choice) that you haven’t had a reply to that email. I use this maybe 30 times a day. Replying to a new client enquiry? Tick the box to make sure no potential leads fall through the cracks.
- Set goals and targets for the year: At the end of every year (and at the end of the financial year), set you goals and targets for the next 12 months. As part of this, identify the key pillars that support your business. That way, when things get messy (and they will), you can come back to these pillars and make sure you’re giving each of them the attention your business deserves.
- Have a big whiteboard: Don’t underestimate the power of going ‘low tech’. A big whiteboard allows you to quickly get ideas out, draw charts, draw ‘tick boxes’ to gamify your work, and much more. If you want to go a bit more fancy, get a glassboard. I love mine.
- Track KPIs: If you don’t know your numbers, you can’t grow them. Tracking your Key Performance Indicators allow you to spot trends in your business before they start impacting the bottom line.
- Focus for the week: Every Sunday, summarise your key focuses for the week down to three points. Set these as the lock screen on your phone, so whenever you’re overwhelmed, you can come back to three very simple focuses.
- Systemise and Automate: Anything in your business that you have to do more than once should have a checklist. And every checklist should be automated wherever possible.
- Batch similar tasks: Multi-tasking isn’t a thing. The human mind cannot do two things simultaneously that both require mental focus. So don’t try. Batch similar tasks together to save the time it takes to switch tasks. Maybe Friday morning is your ‘content creation’ time. You reply to all emails and messages after lunch. Sunday is a planning day.
We need to outsource the jumble that fills our minds. By doing so, we can provide the space for our minds to do what they’re best at, wondering, imagining, creating, solving and building.
Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology. He has worked with many thousands of individuals along the full spectrum of health, and has coached at The CrossFit Games. He regularly presents to corporate and fitness industry groups and mentors Fitness Professionals.