How to Manage Your Time as a Personal Trainer

Cesia M., July 13, 2021

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It takes lots of hard work and dedication to start a personal training business and to be successful at it. Juggling your personal life and your work life isn’t simple. You have to learn to manage your time, give yourself breaks,  make weekly goals, ask for what you’re worth, and learn to say “no”.

As a beginner, no matter if you’re looking to train in-person or wondering how to become a virtual personal trainer – you will come to find that managing your time is something that can seem impossible when you’re first starting because you want to run a successful business. It’s common for people to put in countless hours. You not only have to train clients but you will also have to train online clients, make content, the list goes on. 

Planning is caring

A great way to help manage your busy schedule is by getting a planner. Write everything down! Your planner will be your best friend. You should be writing everything down that you have going on that week and the filling weeks. Seeing everything on paper makes a huge difference. I’ve come to find that I feel a little less stressed when I can see all the tasks I have for the week. I am able to plan ahead better and if there is a problem with something I have planned. I can notice it faster than if it wasn’t written down. Trying to remember everything without writing it down, will most likely lead to you forgetting you have something to do that day or forgetting an important detail about a task or in your case a client. 

Another great option, if writing stuff down in a planner isn’t something you don’t like doing. You can write things down in the calendar on your phone. When you write things on your phone you will get notifications when you have an upcoming “event”. Or you can even set it up where it gives you reminders a few days before. Many people prefer this method because they don’t want to be carrying a planner around with them. Since everyone already carries their phones around at all times they prefer to just write everything down on their phones. While others prefer the paper method because if you were to lose your phone or break your phone. Then that calendar goes with it since it is on your phone. Whereas, if it was written down on a planner; your tasks for the week would not have been affected. I suggest you try different ways to keep organized with your busy schedule. Not everything will work the same for you as it will for somebody else. 

Take notes

When we say to write things down, we don’t just mean write things down work-related. We mean everything! Make lists of tasks. This is another fantastic tool to manage your time. Make a list from when you are going to wake up to when you’re going to sleep. This will ensure that you accomplish things because it’s on your “to-do list”. I’m aware that things happen and sometimes you need to change things on the list. But try to stay on top of the list you have made.

This is another great way to visualize your day. You can even plan ahead and make the lists for the following days. Setting alarms for the different tasks you have will help you as well. If you’re like me where you don’t really carry your phone on you and you set it near you. Sometimes it is hard to keep track of time.

By setting alarms when it is time for a new task is a great way to manage time. You can even set a few alarms. Maybe try setting an alarm thirty minutes before it’s time for a new task. That way you will know to start finishing up your current task because, in thirty minutes, you will be moving on to your next task. 

You also have to realize that work and your personal life both matter. So let’s say you have clients Monday- Friday and then weekends for recording content. You can try training clients Monday- Thursday instead. That way you can have Fridays off.

Sure you won’t be making the money you would make by training clients. But, you would be taking a break. In order for you to be at your best, you need a break. The more breaks you take the better. That way you can feel refreshed and ready to train clients. Not only that but when you are stressed at work. You will most likely be stressed at home as well.

We all have bad days from time to time

If you are having a bad week and you need a few days off, don’t hesitate! Take those few days off. Your clients will appreciate you coming in at your best then you coming in not at your best. They are paying you to be trained and you are spending your valuable time training them. When running a personal training business, it is usually just you. When you aren’t at your best, that will affect not only business but yours;f as well. It is crucial that you take those necessary breaks. 

In order to be good at managing your time – do not procrastinate. Many times you will do the easier tasks first and you will procrastinate on the harder tasks. Wanting to be in your comfort zone will lead you to not be successful in time management.

Procrastination allows you to think that you have more time for a task. When in reality you don’t! If there is one thing I have learned. It’s that if you can do it now, don’t do it later. Instead of prioritizing the easier tasks first and the harder ones last. Make it so you prioritize the harder ones first and the easier ones last. This will ensure you manage your time a lot more efficiently.

Another important thing is to set goals. Having weekly goals can help you be more determined and will help you develop your vision and purpose. Setting goals will not only help you with your business but it will also help in life as well. A good way to accomplish your goals is to write them down and make goals that are realistic. Make goals that you feel you can accomplish.

For example, let’s say you have made it a goal to have Friday off. Then you have to find a way to get the work you have to do on Friday another day. Maybe that means you take fewer clients or maybe that means you wake up an hour earlier. But remember, make goals that are doable. Being realistic is key!

No thank you!

Learning to say “no” is another skill you will learn. There will be times when clients will ask you to fit them into your schedule, ask to pay less, or even try to cancel outside of your personal trainer cancellation policy. These are times you say “no” You are valuable. They need your time and skill. You might get a client that isn’t willing to pay you what you are charging for personal training. You cant accommodate your price to suit theirs.

Time is money. You can most likely get another client willing to pay that price. It won’t be worth your time to be getting paid less than what you are worth. At the end of the day, this is how you make a living. Or you might have a client that is requesting a certain time. Say “no” You set your schedule! They need to work around your schedule. Many times a client that is willing to move their schedule around so they can get trained is a client that is willing to put in that extra work to see results because they care so much that they change their schedule just so they can fit yours.

This shows you that they are dedicated to results even if they miss out on something. Imagine you would have agreed to that person that was asking to pay less and they start to miss classes. Now you are losing money. A person not willing to pay your price is not as invested in seeing those results. There is always going to be someone out there in lower price ranges than you. Let them go to them. Your skill is valuable so don’t settle for less. 


As a successful trainer, time management is very important. You have so much on your plate with running your business and personal life. Find what works best for you and master it. You will find that this will help make life a bit easier and you will find yourself having time for things you didn’t have time to do before you started managing your time correctly.

It takes practice but you will manage to get it done. Don’t give up! Especially in the beginning when everything seems so hard. You can do it! All it takes is dedication. Sure you will sometimes think, is this all worth it? And the answer is yes! Not everyone gets the opportunity to set their own schedules – you can. Not everyone gets to make an earning from something they love – you can. If Persona can be of any assistance, we’d love to do just that. We’re definitely striving to be one of the best apps for personal trainers.

Persona is the #1 management platform for independent business owners. it's 100% free, download it now.


Persona is the #1 management platform for independent business owners. Download it now, it's 100% free.