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How to Make the Most of Downtime

Has your schedule suddenly opened up? If you are a Pilates or yoga instructor, perhaps the number of classes you teach has been reduced; or, as a life coach or personal trainer, maybe you have lost a couple of clients who have moved away, gone on vacation or simply decided to exercise on their own. Now you find the hours of your day, once jam-packed with work, stretching endlessly before you. Most of us are stressed when we are too busy and fret when we are not busy enough! But is it possible to bask in the pleasure of a reduced schedule, viewing it as a gift versus a curse? Absolutely! It is during slow times that you define the success and sustainability of your busy days. A reduced schedule offers you the opportunity to work on your business rather than in it. Take advantage of those empty hours to get your systems in order, reevaluate your goals and improve your attractiveness. Disorganization is a symptom of the too-busy, unfocused life. People are much more productive when they are prepared, have a place for everything and put everything in its place. Evaluate your paperwork, documents and office/training equipment. Use some of your newly available hours to get organized so you can respond to a new or existing client’s needs at a moment’s notice.

Paperwork and Documents

  • Start by making a list of all the paper items and computer files you want to tackle.
  • Organize client files, updating information and identifying upcoming assessments and program changes. Make sure clients’ addresses and phone numbers are current.
  • Create a logical, easily accessible filing system.
  • Identify and create forms that will make it easier to manage your business.
  • Prepare at least 10 new-client packets.
  • Take a fresh look at your promotional and marketing materials. Are any changes needed to bring them up-to-date or simply add some spark?
  • Create your own website or improve the one you have. I created my site with WebSite Complete 5.0, which I purchased for just $14.95 from www.godaddy.com.
  • Transform all your forms into documents that can be e-mailed. Dispose of any forms and documents you no longer use.

Office/Training Equipment

  • Evaluate your equipment needs. What do you need to make your daily life easier (e.g., fax machine, cell phone, laptop computer, new desk, training equipment)? Would you benefit from any new software or computer training?
  • Do you have equipment that needs to be upgraded or disposed of? Make sure everything is in perfect working order.
  • Look around you. What do you need to change to make your office and training facility an inspiring space?
  • Once you have identified the equipment you need, create a budget plan and set a timeline for acquiring it.

You will quickly discover that taking advantage of a reduced schedule can become a full-time job! Instead of wasting precious time fretting about your empty hours, fill them with productive activities that will provide the organization, readiness, attractiveness and restoration you need to continue life’s unpredictable journey. Treasure every moment you have as both an opportunity and a gift. In perfecting the present, you attract a promising future.

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