14 Tips to Run an Efficient Online Training Business from Home

Getting Started

Jan 28, 2020

By Tim Saye

When you become an online personal trainer, working from home may seem like a fantastic way to be efficient with your time. If you've ever tried to spend a few days at home while being productive, you probably already know that it's not that easy.

Trying to work from home has many amazing benefits, but it can also come with a whole host of distractions, both self-inflicted and external. Daily chores, housemates, family, kids or even your cat if you have one can provide strong distractions.

Long story short, unless you have a good strategy for working from home, you may end up being less productive and spend more time dealing with distractions. 

Here are 14 tips to help you efficiently run an online training business from home.

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Tip #1. Have a Work Schedule

It's easy to sleep in till late morning and lose precious hours in your day when you don't have a fixed plan for your days. Just like when training clients in person, set up your schedule for a variety of tasks and include breaks.

Tip #2. Figure Out When You're Most Productive

Some trainers can get up super early and get most of their work done by midday, while others perform better later in the afternoon or night. Figure out when your peak hours are and schedule the more demanding tasks for those hours.

Tip #3. Stick to a Regular Sleep Cycle

There's a lot to say about how sleep helps personal training clients achieve their desired body composition goals more efficiently. The same applies to mental performance as well. Create your very own sleep routine and try to get to bed and wake up around the same time every day, so your circadian rhythm can do its job.

Tip #4. Eat That Frog First Thing

Brian Tracy published the book "Eat That Frog" to help professionals become better at time management. His biggest advice is to "eat that frog" aka complete the most significant, most demanding task first thing; the one that will have the biggest impact on your sense of achievement that day. The rest will seem very easy after that.

Tip #5. Keep Work and Personal Time Separate

Humans need both achievements and fun to feel fulfilled. Make sure you stick to your personal schedule commitments just as much as to your work hours to keep a balanced lifestyle. There are times when personal trainers may need to put in more effort to grow their business faster; make sure you don't lose sight of your happiness in the process. You risk burning out otherwise.

Tip #6. Work in Batches

Plan your day, so you have breaks scheduled in between work tasks. If you must do your laundry, use the time to manage your workflow, so you can get up regularly and move a little. You can also get up and make a coffee or tea, have a healthy snack, or go for a short walk to reset your mind and stay productive.

Tip #7. Have a Morning Routine

It's easy to stay in your PJs all day when you don't need to go anywhere, but it will play on your motivation. Instead, get up, take a shower, brush your teeth, make your bed and dress like you were leaving for work so you can start your day with the right mindset.

Tip #8. Create a Home-Office Area

Whether that's a separate room or a corner in your living room, separating physically where you work from where you have fun is an excellent mind-trick to set you up for work-mode.

Tip #9. Keep Human and Pet Distractions Away

If you are one of those people whom easily get dragged out of work zone by the smallest change in environment, make sure you implement a "Do Not Disturb" policy for everybody in your household. Explain to the family why that's important, introduce a traffic light system on the door for kids so they can take it as a game and shut the cat or dog out for those few hours.

Tip #10. Keep Your Home Tidy

You may have cleaners keeping your gym clean and tidy, but at home, you'll need to keep the order so your focus can stay sharp. A messy office puts extra stress on your mind without even realising. So, put dishes away, keep your papers organised and generally your environment supportive for work.

Tip #11. Listen to Appropriate Music

Some personal trainers prefer silence, others calming, instrumental music to help them focus while again others need the beat. The type of music you play can even vary depending on what task you are doing, so figure out what makes your focus stay fresh and compile a playlist that will bring the taskmaster out of you.

Tip #12. Turn Off Social Media

I appreciate some of your tasks will be about marketing your online fitness business via social media. Have a schedule for those tasks and only open social media while performing them. Otherwise, keep them off your mobile and your desktop during work hours.

Tip #13. Consider Co-working Spaces

The life of a personal trainer, mainly when s/he only works online can be quite lonely. Leaving home to go somewhere other digital nomads hang out might be a good idea at least occasionally.

Think of coffee shops, dedicated co-working spaces, libraries and anywhere they have a great Wi-Fi connection with your favorite hot drink and many other professionals just like you. We all need to socialise on a professional level sometimes for inspiration.

Tip #14. Answer all Emails in one Sitting Then Close Them

Often you'll open up your emails, read them, answer some, mark others to deal with later, then keep your emails open to see new ones come in. This strategy is common but never completes the task meaning your mind can be distracted all day by simply answering emails.

Set aside enough time to answer them all in one sitting, don't mark any to answer later. Then close down your email until the next day, or, a scheduled time to open them up again. This allows you to move on and massively increase your productivity through the day.

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Bonus tip – Make sure you're using the best personal trainer software to provide excellent coaching to your clients in the minimum amount of time for you.