Home PT Motivational Foundations How To Toughen Up Your Time Management As a Personal Trainer

How To Toughen Up Your Time Management As a Personal Trainer

Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!
– Anthony Robbins

Personal Trainer Time Management.  Perhaps the most under utilised and misunderstood concept plaguing the industry.

Just the understanding and small  application of the time management strategies you’re learning today will put instant profits into your Personal Training business – all because clients and prospects will start taking you more seriously – and start paying what you’re truly worth…

Slowly limping away after a hard sparing session with a good friend of mine, the only things on my mind was:

Go home.

Turn phone off.




And don’t bother me.

And after making that choice, I felt so damn good!

Can you imagine what it’ll be like going on vacation to your favourite island… not having to read spam emails, stupid sms’s or taking phone calls from people who just love robbing your time because they have nothing else to do…?

I mean, sometimes people are afraid in turning their phone off…even for a second!

What’s gonna happen…?

According to a poll, 83.29% of people admit in using their ipad/tablet in the toilet.  And some even say:

‘I would never go to the toilet without it’

After discovering those stats… I started taking notice of this phenomenon.

Driving home, I saw what appeared to be a father playing outdoor soccer with his son while talking on the phone!

Going clubbing Saturday night, instead of people socialising, dancing and having fun… they’re all sitting down, hunched over texting away on facebook.  (probably to some dude on the toilet )

So there I was hobbling over to get my stuff ready for home and a PT was next to me booking in his client.

“So when would you like to see me next Vicky…?”

She says “How about 8:30 Tuesday morning?”

Trainer pulls out his diary and says “Tuesday 8:30 it is”

Vicky responds “Oh, hold on… I’ve got something on Tuesday.  How about Wednesday at 10?”

Trainer eagerly responds “No problem Vicky.  Wednesday at 10 it is”

Vicky changes her mind again… “Can you make it at 10:30?”

Trainer eager to please responds with … “No Problem Vicky, 10:30 it is”

My wild guess was Vicky was just testing him.

The point: People pleasers make bad business people.

When you show clients that you’re eager and will do anything to please them… like letting them dictate their time with you – they lose interest.

I know it may seem counter intuitive… but people want to be led.  Especially your clients.  And if they find you don’t have any substance or foundation… they’ll find ANY excuse in leaving you.

Even if you have spare time and ‘just want to help them’ – it’s a bad business move.  Clients like busy trainers.  Your time is precious and you MUST treat it like that…otherwise clients walk all over you, don’t respect your time and many times cancel on ya because they “didn’t feel like coming in today” – putting you on the wrong track leading you to a place called nowhere.

Acting desperate doesn’t do you any good either.

The Lesson: Dictate your terms and stick by them.  Make clients choose between option A or B (and maybe a C…) Meaning, give them a few options and wait for a response.

Once that choice is made, it’ll be set for the life of your client.  Clients must revolve their lifestyle around YOUR time… not you around theirs.

Having an automated time slot makes it easier for you and them.

And if they cancel last minute and can’t make it… you simply charge them.  It’s that simple.

The more you take control and become the authority, the less they’ll stuff you around.

The same goes with your contact availability.

I have a “you’re allowed to contact me only on these days” policy.  All Personal Training clients can only contact me on Thursdays between 12-2pm.  Any other time I will not answer – letting voicemail take care of everything.

And when I do check my phone, I filter out the important calls and get back to them as soon as I can… and when I do, it’s short.

The same goes with email.  I allocate 1 hour everyday for email response time.  It’s 10-11am each morning.

I hardly EVER answer SMS… especially with clients.  I learnt that a long time ago when clients felt comfortable cancelling through SMS.  I then changed my policy to “I’m still charging you if you ever email or SMS your cancellations”

That simple idea GUARANTEED me weekly income – every time.  No exceptions.

And that’s one of the BIGGEST hurdles all trainers face.  Remember.  You are selling your time.  Protect it as much as you can… because that’s all you’ve got!

The biggest killer in running your own business is poor time management.  Dealing with things in random order is the WORST way to do things.  It adds stress to your life.

First comes you.  And everybody else, second.

How can you help others if YOU are not ready to?

When you know it’s time to answer calls, you are in the BEST state to do so – because you’re expecting it, prepared and ready for it.  Your focus and energy are directed to your calls.  You give your best advice – and your clients love you for it.

The same goes with reading and responding to emails.

Seeing clients at times you have specified.

When you know what’s coming next, you direct your focus and energy to that task…and you do a greater job.  It’s all because you have taken care of yourself FIRST and everyone else second.

I used to say, “If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.” Now I say, “I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me”.
– Jim Rohn

What You Can Take Away From This Lesson: When you’re at a club, socialise with real people.  Pee in peace.  And take care of yourself first…before taking care of others.

Set your policies up front and offer your clients the limited choices that suit you, not them…and they’ll respect you more for it and start seeing you as a REAL professional who cares about his business.

By taking care of yourself first, you can better help others.  Your focus and direction is amplified for the task at hand and you do a better job.

People respect you more and are LESS likely to suck your time away – giving you more freedom to live the life you want.

Dedicated In Accelerating Your PT Success Every Step Of The Way…
John Toumpakke

P.S. Now knowing that over 80% of people take their ipads and tablets to the toilet… would you ever want to touch anybody else’s or even buy a used one?

P.P.S There’s even an app called ipoo which connects you to others who are currently in the toilet with their ipads – giving you games to play, tasks to do – all in the name of not getting bored.

P.P.P.S And the symptoms of long toilet times…? Lack of fitness, poor dieting, low energy levels and frequent colds.  As trainers, you can simply target ipad owners… knowing you can have up to an 80% response rate! – now that’s something to think about (yes you can think about it anywhere you want… 🙂 )

Please post your comments below 🙂

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John Toumpakke for years has been helping Personal Trainers build marketing systems and business positioning strategies - turning regular PT's into gurus of their industry. His brand PT Power Club is known as the provider for advanced Niche marketing solutions for Personal Trainers and has developed new and unique systems helping trainers find and develop their own fitness niche. He coaches and trains a tightly, successful bound community of trainers teaching them how to stand out and dominate their competition through his powerful positioning strategies. PT Power Club’s goal is to teach and coach Personal Trainers across Australia on how to truly find their unique status within their community and eliminate all competition.


    • I’m sure you will. You’ve got a long wide road ahead of you.

      Thanks For Your Comment Shivali 🙂

  1. Great read and oh so true. This is exactly what I want to instil in my business (when it gets up and running). I believe people hesitate to operate like this as they feel their clients won’t book with them if they don’t give them the time they request….my belief – if you’re good at what you do and provide results, then clients will work around you.

    Oh…read and replied to this on my phone!!!

    • It’s great that you’re getting these ideas instilled in your psyche from now -even though you haven’t started your PT business yet Misty.

      You’re an inspiration to many trainers.

      You’re right. When you’re the go-to-person, clients will follow your rules. They listen better, believe your advice and achieve super-results – FAST.

      And even if you’re just starting out…you still have to give the impression you’re no push-over. It all comes down to confidence and believing in yourself.

      There are trainers who disregard these rules and now just 5 weeks in are complaining about their clients stuffing them around.

      Set your policies from the start so they know you’re serious.

      It’s WIN-WIN. You perform your job happier, clients achieve greater results and there are less cancellations. Money flows more smoothly – It’s even great for the economy.

      HaHa… As long as you weren’t in the middle of a conversation when reading and replying to my post, you’re fine Misty.

      Great Comment as always. Thanks 🙂

  2. When I first stared my business I was booking any one in at any time.
    I was taking care of every one else but no one was taking care of me. I would have people cancel 5 mins before our appointment! I had booked 30mins of my time to see them, then I would just stand around wasting time.
    Once I stared to control MY time, my clients always showed up and they even started booking 2 weeks in advance and I was not wasting my time any more!

    Thanks John I cant wait to start using those other tips!

    • I know Michael. And the truth is, nearly ALL trainers are have experienced or are STILL experiencing what you went through.

      It all comes down to pleasing yourself FIRST…then your customers.

      I’m glad you broke out of that rut and are now living a happier business life where clients respect what you do.

      Thank you for sharing your personal story with us Michael.

      Great comment as always 🙂

      • I was always taught to have at least 2 hours alone time each day. And when I started doing that, I took control of my life and my thoughts.

        My business sored and I couldn’t be happier. I still don’t get how people just can’t ‘disconnect’ for more than a second.

        Even turning my phone off for 1 hour… I mean completely off… I automatically feel my shoulders drop and are more relaxed than ever before. Not caring who’s gonna call me next or whatever.

        Alone time ROCKS!

        Great Post John!

        • Sometimes we feel like having to constantly please people – without taking time for ourselves.

          I’ve been practicing the 1 hour per day exercise also. That’s usually my creative thinking time. I don’t plan for it… it just happens.

          It’s amazing how much your mind works when you’re totally relaxed. It’s a form of meditation.

          I also dedicate each Sunday as my day. I completely turn off and do things for me – for the whole day.

          It’s very therapeutic.

          I admire your thoughtful comment. Thanks Zara

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