How to Not Work ALL The Time

Everyone wants to work for themselves. The idea of being your own boss has a lot of unicorns, rainbows, and freedom around it. But, if you’re not careful, when you work for yourself it’s easy to make your own business, your dream business, be just as much a slog as working for someone else. So, my Studio Owners, Independent Contractors, Home studio owners here are my best tips to not make your dream job just like every other job.

  1. Create your ideal schedule: Grab a blank calendar and put your personal life in it first. Then your personal practice and anything else that you want to make time for before you put work in. Then your teaching hours go in. This part of the calendar is key, the tasks that propel your business forward AKA marketing, networking goes in next. Last is the admin, the daily tasks that have to be done every day but don’t bring in the money. For more help on this catch my course on it or contact me for a one-on-one call.
  2. Set a timer: I use the cube timer but you can use your phone. Set a time for how long you’ll be in your inbox, on Instagram or work on any project. When the timer goes off move on to the next task. I know that means sometimes I didn’t finish a project but it does mean I can move on to the next and keep all the plates spinning. If you work on your email until the emails are all read you will never get to your blogs, contacting businesses to collaborate etc.
  3. Say no: to anything that isn’t an F yass! Seriously, say no to more things than you think. If “no” is too much for you then say “let me get back to you later.” Take some time to filter the opportunity through your goals. It’s easy to say “yes” to clients who want extra times. But, that could mean working at times you don’t enjoy and then you will feel like you’re working all the time.
  4. Have an accountability partner: I have 2 and I love them! We have weekly check in’s and set a timer for each person to share what they are working on, what went well, what didn’t go well and what we need support on. You never want to be the person who didn’t get their sh*t done. I recommend people who have businesses that are different than your own. And, try to keep it less 2-4 people but people who will not cancel on you last minute. So, maybe not your close friends. Those who are in my coaching group get me checking on them and their goals each week!
  5. Have your own goals: Be super clear on your own goals, share them with your accountability partners, me, and anyone else who you feel will help you get your goals accomplished. If you don’t have your own goals it’ll be super easy for someone else’s goals to become yours.
  6. Make dates: seriously, make a date with your person, make it a standing date if you can. Dates with friends, put vacations in the books even if you do a staycation. If you don’t then work will just take over and a year will go by and you’ll feel bummed that you “work too much” or that “time flies” but it’s because you didn’t put breaks in your calendar.
  7. Routines: I have a morning routine and a sleep routine. These are not only vital to me sandwiching life between moments of self-care it also helps me feel grounded and in control of my day and how I feel no matter what timezone I find myself in or what is happening. Everyone has to start their day in their own way but find a routine that works for you. I prefer to create before I consume so I try not to read emails or read notifications until I have written down what my goals are for the day. I also get my workout in before I teach others. You might prefer the reverse of all of this. Especially if you are not a morning person.

I could go on and on with more tips on how to not work all the time so if you need more ask in the comments below or set up a call with me. But, please don’t work all the time. I know that there are times in your business that require more of your hours but set a date for how long that excessive work time will last.

Working for yourself is pretty freaking cool but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, I find it’s harder. I have to hold myself accountable to arbitrary deadlines and since I won’t fire myself if I miss a deadline then what’s the problem right? Well, the problem is our businesses get more stressful when we are not achieving the goals we have when we want/need them. And then we think we have to say “yes” all the time, work more, do less Pilates, fewer trips, fewer days off. And then all of a sudden you’re working ALL the time!

My weeks look different every month so I have to be really clear about my time off and then I have to put more goals/deadlines in my calendar before my clients get options. That means I have to have clarity around my schedule at least a month in advance. If I don’t I’m racing to get work done, working on my days off, skipping yoga and my own Pilates practice.

You are too good at what you do. You are the only person who can do what you do and your clients and future clients need you to be clear on your goals, firm about your schedule and taking care of you so that you can teach them.

This week, what tips will you try and implement?

xx~LL 

 

How Often Do You Think about Pebbles in your Pilates Business?

“Who could love a pebble in their shoe?” One of the harshest lines ever said in a movie from the movie Ever After is what comes to my mind when I think about pebbles. But, what if Pebbles were what we should be thinking about in our Pilates business? What if theoretical pebbles were what would propel your business forward? Well, my Pilates instructors and Pilates studio owners I am here to share that you should be more concerned about making room for pebbles than you have been.

One of the questions I am often asked is “How do you do it all?” And, to be perfectly frank I don’t exactly know what “do it all” means. I do happen to do a lot of things. And, to the outsider, it may seem like I am some sort of magician or more special or lucky because I can “do it all.” But, while I would say I am quite unique as a human my ability to do it all has nothing to do with my uniqueness. It has everything to do with my time management.

There are many ways to manage your time. A lot are obvious and some are not so obvious. I’ll be going over a lot of those not so talked about ways specifically for Pilates and fitness pros in my next webinar. But, just in case you’re not ready to completely bite the bullet and tackle your time management techniques here is one tried and true way that will help you create more time growing your business and less time keeping your business and life status quo. If you’re ready to talk about growth aka pebbles read on!

Picture a mason jar. It’s empty and its lid is laying next to it. Also, next to the jar is three piles, rocks, sand, and pebbles. They will all fit in the jar if they go in the correct order. Put them in the wrong order and the lid won’t fit. So, what goes in first? Well, you need to know what they represent to figure it out.

The Rocks symbolize appointments. These are your sessions, your client’s sessions, meetings etc. These are the things that can only happen when they happen. I do excellent thinking at 4:30 am but not many clients want 4:30 am sessions. So, my rocks go in the schedule where only rocks can go- When I am teaching or taking sessions

The sand represents admin. You know the stuff you don’t want to do but you have to do. There is nothing creative or exciting about admin. This is the bills, the emails, the mail, the blah blah blah.

Pebbles are anything that propels your business forward. This can be the marketing, promotions or advertising you keep saying you’re going to do but then get too busy doing other stuff (ahem SAND) to get to it. It’s also the scary stuff. You don’t know the answer to kind of stuff. But, the stuff that gets you excited about what could be if it worked out!

So, what order should these piles go in the jar?

Grab a blank calendar.

Write in your rocks first. Then your Pebbles!!!!! Finally the Sand.

Yep, that is the order! You should be focusing on what propels your business forward before you deal with the humdrum of the admin.

Be honest, you can deal with bill pay while binging out on Netflix.

You can clean the studio while listening to your favorite podcast.

But, you can’t be creative on a newsletter while you’re watching your favorite TV show.

You can’t research ways to market your business while listening to a mystery thriller.

When you are working on the stuff that will uplevel you and your business it needs to be scheduled and that time should be protected.

When will you work on your pebbles this week?

xx~LL

PS if you need more help managing your time you’re not alone. This webinar is selling out! You can join me live or enjoy the replay for up to a week. Click here to join.

My Secrets for Having More Hours in the Day

People often comment on how I have more hours in the day. I take this as a compliment! If people think I have more hours in a day, then that means I’m getting my work done and making work look easy. Ok, maybe now I’m gloating a bit too much.

But, as a Pilates instructor, like you, my days are super packed. I have clients to teach, bill, research, and plan sessions for. I have my Pilates practice, hobbies, life, dogs, etc. all to fit into the same amount of time in a day.

As Pilates instructors, we have to promote our businesses and work in our businesses, and you know, have a freaking life! So, how do you do it?

The simple answer is time management. (Insert eye roll here) But, what does that mean anyway?

If you were on my “Teaching your Schedule” webinar, then you already know my best tips for creating a plan that works for you. If you missed it then check out this course “Never a Dull Moment” to get those tips and then add these-

1) Write out your goals for the week and then spread them over each day of the week. Each day you can review the intentions of the day, but if you don’t look ahead, it’s easy to miss out on important projects or feel behind. Waking up and writing down what you need to do that day is awesome. But, if you are not aware of how today effects tomorrow and next month and next year then you will burn out so quick. It will feel like all your efforts don’t amount to anything. But, planning ahead allows you to make each day important because it’s part of a whole plan.

2) Get an assistant!! Before you roll your eyes at me via my blog (again), hear me out. I know they cost money! But, having someone do the things that you hate doing will give you more time than they take up. Now, if you can’t afford a whole person then get creative. What can you delegate off or schedule out in advance? If your clients do their scheduling online, that eliminates your need to text and remind them of sessions. Again, notes from my webinar or course will help out with this part. But, having set teaching hours your clients can commit to will help you know when you are working and having a system that reminds them will allow you more time to do all the other things. Bonus, you’ll know in advance when you work in person with clients and when you will have time for other things…like life!

3) Auto send your social media! Alright, my friends, this is my biggest key to having a life and getting your social stuff done! If you follow my social media, it’s no secret. I don’t hide it all most all my posts say “published by Coschedule.” I use Coschedule to post all of my weekly posts on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I can write one post and choose all my handles or I can pick and choose which handles will get what post.

Sure, I do live messaging, especially on my personal pages. But, my business profiles I know in advance all the messages I need to send. Think about it…you probably know yours too.

I sit down at the beginning of every month and write out all the projects I have. I organize all my thoughts and then which social channels have to promote it. I then schedule out my posts on each of my handles using CoSchedule. Every week I review and add anything that is missing.

If you are not tech savvy, you can check out this handy video here that tells you all about how CoSchedule works.

CoSchedule is an editorial calendar for your blog and content marketing that keeps you insanely organized while saving you tons of time.

Trust me I am not tech savvy. You know that part where I said: “hire an assistant?” Well, I hired a whole tech team! But, my social posts are all me my Pilates pros! I even write my blog posts like this one in CoSchedule, and underneath the post, I can schedule the social that goes along with it in the post! Then I just hit the check mark and done. A whole blog post and all it’s social are ready to go for the week.

Online schedule calendar

My schedule looks like this for next week!

The best part is …drum roll please….just recently they launched an app which allowed me to do tons of scheduling while in traffic coming home from a weekend away. Yep, I taught a whole week, took a trip and still got my social marketing done and never had to open my computer!

Teachers, one of the biggest reasons we feel like we don’t have enough time is that to do all the things that go along with having a Pilates business means being online as much as we are in person teaching. And, I get it, I got into teaching Pilates, so I didn’t have to be at a computer gig.

 

 

 

 

I love that I can schedule on the go!

I can schedule on my computer or on my phone!

And it shows me my stats too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, ever since I started using CoSchedule (over a year now) I have had more time and more energy. Plus, I actually can use it (HootSuite and some other scheduling systems were too big and too techy for me). Every week I get an email telling me how my blogs did. Which is an added bonus? My tech team is always aware, but a user-friendly email designed just for me (ok maybe not just for me) is a huge bonus to letting me know what’s working and what’s not.

Lastly, CoSchedule will help you learn how to schedule and what to schedule. Yep, they’ve got a blog and tutorials too!

So, that’s my big secret for having more hours in my day. I have my business stuff auto post so that I can spend my time in real life talking to you, walking my dogs, doing my Pilates and you know, all the things!

Check out the tutorial video on their awesomeness here and get a discount on using my name here!!

Ready to have more of a life?

Not sure, if this will work for you? I can totally help you figure out what to schedule and Coschedules “Best time” will help you determine when to schedule!

xx~LL 

 

Ps…all the links to CoSchedule are unique promo codes so you and I benefit from using them. Or you can simply go to Coschedule.com and do your thing!