How to Cut Your “Studio Tasks” Down to 30 Minutes per Day

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Probably the biggest shock about my small studio isn’t that we do about 700 sessions or over $50,000 per month, but that I only spend 30 minutes per day on actual studio tasks. To be honest, I created this easy to follow system out of necessity since I was working way too many hours when I first opened my studio. As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention” and I’d rather be training clients or taking some time off to myself than doing paper work… Follow my Daily System and cut your non-training time down to 30 minutes:

Take it from me – in the beginning it’s going to be difficult to let go of some of your control issues (I know it wasn’t easy for me), but after about 3 weeks (21 days) of consistent practice you will gain new freedom.

Although this is optional I HIGHLY recommend you hire a personal assistant for just 1 day per week for 3 hours.

You can pay them $8-10 an hour they will do all your filing, errand running, etc., etc., etc.

It’s the best $25 you’ll ever spend it frees up your mind to concentrate on more high-worth tasks rather than thinking about the folders you need to file…

My studio assistant now works 2 days per week (3-5 hours per day) and you wouldn’t believe the amount of tasks I him do… everything from touch up painting to picking green tea up for the studio.

To learn more about outsourcing tasks and hiring a personal assistant just type in “personal assistant” in the search box at the top of the right hand column.

Now let’s get to how I was able to cut my paper work and studio “managerial” tasks down to just 30 minutes per day. (By the way, this isn’t an exaggeration – pretty much my entire day is scheduled with client training sessions and phone coaching calls, so I literally don’t have any time for more than 30 minutes of paper work.)

The SECRET to my drastic reduction in time spent on studio work is a little something you may have heard of called “BATCHING.”

I had played with the idea a little in the past, but after my boy, Tim Ferris, wrote the “4 Hour Work Week” I reexamined how and why I was doing certain repetitive tasks.

(Side note: Tim Ferris and I are not boys, but I secretly wish we were ; ) 
Is that wrong?

Okay, back on track…

Here’s how I was able to BATCH EVERYTHING to cut my work down to 30 minutes per day:

SUNDAY:
(Optional) Write (5) 250-300 word blog posts to be posted throughout the week for NutritionData (Conde Nast company I was hired by to write for). Over the past 4 years I’ve gotten pretty good at writing fast (it just takes practice) and I can now write 500 coherent words in about 10 minutes.

MONDAY:
Write out bank deposit slips and sign client checks. Input all new studio client invoices (EFT payment forms). All clients either pay in full or sign up for ongoing monthly payments which renew every 3 months. I also hold a meeting 1x per week with all my trainers Monday’s at 9:00am sharp.

TUESDAY:
Email clients whose credit card numbers have been declined or have expired. Call and email back VIPs only (My online and studio assistant sends email templates of FAQs to others). I will also order supplements or marketing materials if needed.

WEDNESDAY:
Write weekly newsletter article. Input new credit card #’s that I got responses back from.

THURSDAY:
Publish article to contracted websites and put it in autoresponder (see “autoresponders” under Resources for more details). Take out trash.

FRIDAY:
I do payroll every other Friday to pay my people. I also check and sort snail mail on this day and respond to mail senders if needed.

SATURDAY:
I don’t work on the weekends and just use Saturday and Sunday’s as free days to do as I please. I may create a post for our Smart Studio Systems community, possibly give a talk, or something like that, but I never train clients and I hardly ever schedule anything in stone. Even the blog posts I write on Sunday are sometimes bumped to a weekday if I need some mental recuperation time (“me” time). One thing I do love to do on the weekends is read – typically for a couple of hours each day.

 

You’ll notice all the filing and printing you would typically have to do has been omitted. These tasks would normally consume about 10-15 minutes 1x per week, but since I have my assistant print everything I don’t include that time.

My online assistant (hired freelancer for 20 hours per week) also posts all my craigslist ads, so that saves another 5-10 minutes per day.

You may even see a trend forming here…

If it doesn’t have to do with something like the “finances” of the studio or anything that is a “ME-ONLY” task I pass it along and pay someone else $8-10/hr so that I can either chill out for a minute or train a client where I get paid $150+/hr.

See the trade off?

I don’t even go to the bank anymore… I just write out a deposit slip and sign the checks and my studio assistant deposits them and brings back a receipt for me.

Now some of you may be thinking that you can’t only check snail mail 1x a week, but when’s the last time you got something essential in the mail? I’m not talking packages – they get delivered right to our studio by UPS, FEDEX, etc. If you don’t feel comfortable with this then try cutting a few tasks down to 2x/week to start…

If you’re currently doing 2 hours of work per day aim to cut it back to 90 minutes and if you’re doing 90 minutes shoot for 60.

You don’t need to shoot for 30 minutes right away (especially if you have stronger control issues and anxiety about leaving non-essential tasks undone for a day or two.)

Hopefully, this post gave you an inside glimpse into how I run my day-to-day studio activity and you can model some of the batching techniques for greater productivity and time-management!

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  • Gemma Magnusson

    This is a fantatic help! Thank you !!!

    • Gemma Magnusson

      fantastic

  • Keep in mind that I do talk with my CPTs throughout the day by “text” or in person “hellos.” I also always call back and email any client leads we get on a daily basis (if I don’t pass them along to one of CPTs to contact).

    This probably takes 10-15 minutes total and usually still keeps me under the 30-minute mark.

    I just didn’t want to give the impression that I blow people off… never.

    I firmly believe that coaching (which is what we do) is a people and relationship based service business, which means you have to always be fostering and building those bonds/relationships.