Personal Trainer, Why You Have No Time: Productivity Killers

Having to get things done can either be the best or worst thing for productivity. Some perform well under the gun with increased focus… others, not so much. So what are some productivity killers, and what can you do about them? 

If you’re in the habit of waiting until the last minute or getting too caught up in the details (procrastination and perfectionism are big productivity killers for sure!) here are 3 tips to help you get things done easier without the cortisol-escalating adrenaline rush that may not produce your best work.

You’ve got programs to write and workouts to plan. You have blogs, articles, and videos to create. Then there are follow up emails and canceled appointments to reschedule. When do you get it all done? Well, some things have to happen at the optimal times. Others can wait or happen whenever. Once you figure out when you’re most creative, you can nip these productivity killers in the bud by scheduling the things that require the most brain power ahead of time. Here are some tips that may come in handy.

I’m sharing how I learned to cope when my attention span wanes. You can’t go from 0 to six-figure months by getting things done randomly. Here’s how I did it.

One of the biggest productivity killers is opening another word document or browser tab.

I catch myself about to do this all the time. It’s usually an equally important or urgent task, so I can justify it. But I need to stay on track! So, if I don’t keep a list of what needs to be done when and then translate that into time blocks on my calendar, I end up with too many things on my plate. Then the important stuff doesn’t get done. Even though I know I do this, it still happens.

Instead, here’s how I handle it. The publishing calendar I create for myself has a block of time every week to work on something due at the end of the month. When I get started on it weeks before I’m the most creative.

Prepare yourself for resistance. It’s coming.

If you’re a creative like me, you may also resist doing work you’ve planned on your calendar ahead of time. Sometimes it feels like I’m backed into a corner. I have to remind myself that I can still have latitude with the treatment of the topic, and what I use to engage my audience.

A creative mind (like so many of us entrepreneurs have) hates to be put in a box and told to do certain things! I never work well like this. You know when you go to meetings and people are assigned to groups to come up with ideas on the spot? I don’t perform well during these! I need to go away, get quiet, play with the ideas and then come back to it. My best ideas come to me when I’m on my own…Then I love to share them. 

We can’t see past our own noses.

That’s why hot seats work so well for me and others! It’s why we do 12 of them in the accelerated 12-week Build Your Business mastermind course. You and I can see someone else’s problem so much more clearly than we can see our own. So, instead of saying, here – work on this and then share your answer during sessions, you just present your problem/challenge/question and other’s brains can go to work on it. That ends up freeing your ideas too. It’s a win-win-win. Everyone involved gets something from hearing the problem, hearing answers from others who aren’t emotionally attached to them, and you get to put them all in your pot and let them marinade for you.

The second worst of the productivity killers is making yourself work longer than your brain is able to focus.

Your brain will wander at about 90 minutes and your productivity takes a nose-dive if you don’t take a break. A productive break is an exercise break. Clear your head to increase circulation to your brain.

The Western world has done this forever. Those 8-9 hour days and 10 and 12 hour shifts, really do not lead to more productivity. You know how we know most recently? The pandemic proved to companies that when people are allowed to work at home (most likely with more breaks) they got more done! People were happier. Many companies considered switching to remote or hybrid work for the long term! 

Sprints vs Marathons

While working from home doesn’t work for everyone, jobs that require creativity and problem-solving are most likely to work in short spurts of focus – Then leaving a project and coming back to it.

Here’s how I avoid #1 Worst Productivity Killers of All Time – I take myself out of my environment. I do it in two ways:

  • I work in the dark. Not joking. I can get more done working 4am-6am than 9am to 11am.
  • I literally leave and go somewhere else. I’ve not done a lot of this but plan to keep it in my arsenal. Pre-covid, I went to Maui to watch my son golf, and had extra days to work and relax. The two for me shouldn’t be isolated but instead exist together. Last year, I went to Sedona for two nights and got filled with hikes and inspirational views and then worked early mornings, mid-day after I’d come back. This last week I did the same in Colorado. I hiked every day – after and before I spent blocks of time creating the content for the new accelerator mastermind for next year and touching base with our Flipping50 community.

You can’t force productivity! 

This kind of “white space” is missing from trainer’s days sometimes. It’s an old cliché that you have got work on your business, not just in your business. Meaning you can’t just schedule training sessions all day without leaving time to develop business plans and systems.

You’ll sink fast. Don’t paint yourself into a corner, so busy with clients that you can’t find time to focus on scaling. You can’t scale one-on-one sessions. Unless you can keep raising rates to $100 and $150 and $200 per session (and get clients to pay it), you’ll soon find yourself aiming at a pool that’s too small to make it work.

When do you do your best work? When are you at your most creative? What time of day do you think and focus the best?

Work at your peak times for your best work

For me, thanks to cortisol, it’s the mornings.

Because of this, I’ve made two changes in my business life over time:

  1. I don’t work out right away. I work for 3-4 hours first. Because I will workout, but I can’t force that creative time. And building and growing my business was the way I discovered the foundation behind menopause fitness science. So, never forget, you should walk the walk your clients walk. The more like them I am (with jobs and families and a desire to be fit), the easier it is to relate. They imagine fitness professionals just workout all day. Couldn’t be further from the truth if you truly run a business. You would never suggest a customer exercise 4-6 hours a day… you can’t do it either.
  2. I don’t book calendar appointments until Noon. So, I am working, I’m working out depending on the day, and responding to emails after 9 or so when I first open a browser.

Is Productivity an Issue for YOU?

Is it that you don’t know which tasks are the highest priority?

Or do you find it difficult to focus due to too many distractions?


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