In 2010, shortly after my father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, the pain he was experiencing in his body kept him from being able to work full shifts at Goodyear.
Throughout my life, when Dad wasn’t travelling for Goodyear, he would be working, on average, 10-12 hour days in the office.
However, when the pain from the bone marrow cancer became more than he could tolerate, he had to condense the amount of time he spent at work and try to get more done in less time.
I remember him making the comment: “It’s amazing how productive you can be when you have to be.”
That sentiment has continued to resonate with me ever since.
My schedule, my own relative sense of productivity, and how I manage the 24 hours I have in my day (like you have in yours) has been the subject of more than one conversation.
When I’ve been a guest on podcasts, I’ve been asked about it and even clients of mine have asked: How do you get it all done?
I don’t claim to have all the answers when it comes to productivity and I maintain that much of what I do is due to a reaction of how business and life mold together.
I am also kind of nuts.
I would never encourage you to follow a template like this. It’s just what works for me and sometimes my own sense of habit and routine have to ebb and flow depending on how much is on my plate.
If you struggle with finding enough time to do what you need, maybe there are some hints in my day that can help you as well.
Monday through Friday, my schedule looks very similar to this:
345am: My alarm goes off. I never, ever, hit snooze. That’s non-negotiable for me. If I hit snooze, I lose time and time is not something I have the luxury of losing. I’m up to let our boxer, Dempsey, out and to get him fed. I start coffee and spend about 30-40 minutes checking email, Facebook and my messages to see if there are any scheduling changes I need to be on top of. Sometimes, I read while drinking coffee and lately, I’ve been working on my continuing education (more on that later).
430am: I get cleaned up and dressed for work. I’m typically out the door en route to work which is 20-25 minutes away depending on which roads I take.
500am: I arrive at work and get the studio in order to start seeing clients.
515-6am: Clients begin arriving for the first training block of the day. This block will go until approximately 10am.
10am-230p: I shut down the studio during this time. It’s during this block that all other business is handled for RevFit. This includes responding to emails, writing client programs, recording my podcast, working on this blog, working on my continuing education, my own training, lunch, doctor’s appointments (if necessary) and any other errands I need to run for the business.
230p-5/6p: This is our final training block of the day where we see the remainder of that day’s scheduled clients.
6-7p: I head home for dinner with my family and try to wind the day down.
8-9p: We are normally getting cleaned up, ready for bed and on most evenings, are asleep by 9p.
On Saturdays, I keep the same waking schedule but I only train for a small window of time on Saturday mornings. Anything that happens after that short training block might be another consultation or sometimes a scheduled podcast.
The rest of Saturday is spent with family.
Sunday is the only day that I turn off my alarm and just let my body wakes when it needs to.
Over the last several years, I’ve tried my best to make a point of picking up new certifications so I can continue to learn areas in this industry which interest me. Last year, I started Mac-Nutrition Uni, which is a year-long nutrition course based in the UK. It is, without question, the most I’ve spent on any one certification. It is also the one that has required the most work, between each week’s lectures, quizzes, and homework. It all comes to a close for me at the end of March when our exams are scheduled.
Since we are coming to the end of that course, I’ve been spending more time over the last several weeks re-watching lectures from the beginning of the course. This takes place during that segment of the day when the studio is closed, so each week, I’ve been watching 3 older lectures plus whatever that week’s current homework is.
I still spend a fair amount of time reading for both pleasure and work interest. Due to the Mac-Uni work, I’m not able to commit as much time to that but I’ll pick that up again when the course concludes.
For me, it helps that my wife understands all of my commitments. While she doesn’t necessarily share my enthusiasm for the blog and the podcast (they aren’t her preferred mediums), she knows what each means to me and how they have become extensions of my business.
It’s a pace and workload that, quite honestly, I’ve brought on myself so you won’t hear me complain about it often. Times like now, when the studio is very busy plus all of my extracurricular work added in to the mix can make me run at a furious pace from bell-to-bell.
My wife asked me recently what I planned to do once the course wrapped up.
My response: I’m going to relax my mind for a little while.
Of course, my idea of relax just means that I probably won’t jump into another certification with much haste.
To be frank, I still find myself wasting more time in a given day than I’d like to: Too much mindless scrolling on Facebook and Instagram, too much leisurely article reading on the internet and don’t even get me started on the YouTube holes I can vanish into if I get carried away.
Somehow, I get most everything I need to done in a day. By time I come home, my mind is spent and I’m not quite human after a day’s work.
But, it’s what I do, it’s become who I am, and I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface of who I want to be, what I want to learn and where I want the business and life to be.
Here are three quick tips I can leave you with if you’re trying to accomplish more with your 24 hours:
1-Realize that everything you do requires sacrifice: Any new area you want in your life (think meal prep, exercise, meditation, etc.) will take up time. This means that something else will temporarily or permanently take a backseat. If health is your priority, meal prep may need to take precedence over Season 8, Episode 3 of whatever show you planned to watch that day.
2-Routine/Habits matter but shit happens: All the best laid plans don’t mean a thing when you get your first curveball thrown your way. You may have had the perfectly scheduled day until you get a crisis thrown your way you hadn’t anticipated. This is normal. Look at the rest of your week and see how you can still stay relatively close to “on course” as you can.
3-As life evolves, so must your schedule: My day today is not the same as it was 6 months ago or 2 years ago. Little changes have been made along the way that required small pivots and a rearranging of priorities. Things that may have been important then may not be important now. Take a look at the things that not only provide YOU what you need but also have the least amount of detrimental effect on those in your close circle.
Much like health, fitness, and our continual search for self-improvement, there are always ways to progress, always new things to learn/teach, and I remain fascinated with all of the things available to help me get there.
If only there were more time in the day…