Time management is one of the biggest challenges coaches face. Balancing client management and business growth is not always easy, so you need to make the most out of every minute you have available.
And that means that you need to have a foolproof way to track every aspect of your days, weeks, and months. While most people can get by with a simple calendar, you need your coach calendar system to be fine-tuned to consider the various moving parts of the business, allowing you to adjust on the fly.
What’s more, you have to learn to prioritize according to the situation, which means taking a more flexible approach to leave time for unexpected challenges and essential tasks.
Because setting up and managing a coaching calendar can be tricky, let’s explore some of the most effective practices you should employ, as well as the tools that can make it easier.
Effective Ways to Manage a Coach Calendar
Finding the right method for managing your calendar can be one of the biggest assets in your coaching business. Since time is the most valuable thing you can leverage, using it effectively can become the deciding factor in the results you can achieve.
Luckily, the process of upping your coach calendar game can be broken down into actionable steps which anyone can apply. Let’s look at them below.
Write Things Down
As a coach, you probably have dozens of things you need to juggle all at once. Whether it’s appointments, coaching program development, marketing, or organizational tasks, there’s always something that you need to be doing right now or in the near future.
And if you don’t have a way to temporarily store away those things and free up your mind from the clutter, it can become overwhelming very quickly. That’s why you need to start writing down everything that you need to be done.
There’s a reason why millions of successful people around the world use the Getting Things Done method. It’s probably the most effective way to free up your mind without losing track of what needs to be done and the ideas that you come up with.
Using this method, you capture every idea, task, or note on a piece of paper, freeing up your mind from having to worry about it. Once it’s on paper, you can clarify how urgent it is, sort it accordingly, and come back to it at a designated time when you can give it the proper attention.
Create Time Blocks for Different Activities
Another powerful method for gaining control over your schedule is using a block schedule. It’s especially useful if you find yourself constantly switching between tasks or getting distracted in the middle of work.
With time blocking, you plan out your days in advance, setting up blocks of time for specific activities and nothing else. While it may seem restrictive, having time blocks can actually be liberating because you can focus all of your attention on one thing and then move on to the next without worrying about the little things.
The best thing about time blocking is that it can dramatically increase your focus, making you much more productive and allowing you to really focus on a task, getting more done in the time you have available.
Leverage Group Training Opportunities
One of the most time-consuming activities coaches face is one-on-one coaching sessions. Sure, they can be very rewarding and allow you to zero in on the client’s problems. But there’s only so much time in the day, so you can only help a handful of people if you don’t utilize alternative coaching methods.
That’s why it makes so much sense to transition towards group coaching. As you gain more experience and get in touch with the common challenges your clients face, you can systemize your methods, offering help to multiple people at once without reducing the quality of your services.
When you work with groups, you can fit a lot more people in less time, freeing up your coach calendar and allowing yourself to focus more attention on the business side of coaching.
Use Your Energy Cycles to Plan Your Schedule
Getting through your coach calendar tasks requires you to be focused and ready to tackle challenges. But for that to happen, you need to leverage the time of day when you feel your best and can move through tasks quickly.
That’s why as a coach, you should adjust your schedule to tackle different tasks according to the time when you can get them done more efficiently.
For instance, you should observe when you’re the most focused and schedule tasks that require more thinking. You could use the times when you’re the most energized to run immersive group coaching sessions. And finally, you could use the times when you’re more foggy or tired to go through more mundane tasks such as replying to emails.
Price Your Services Right
If you find that your schedule is constantly overbooked and you’re struggling to find time for clients, the best solution might be to raise your prices.
When you’re so in demand that you’re overbooked, that often means that you have undervalued your services, which can quickly make you overstretched and struggling to increase your revenue.
That’s the time when you should rethink your pricing strategy and not hesitate to increase how much you charge for your services. Sure, some clients might go away, but you can then focus more attention on those that stay while also having more free time in your coach calendar that you can use for other activities.
Don’t Cancel – Reschedule
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your life coach calendar will become overfilled, and you won’t be able to make a scheduled appointment with a client. But while the initial impulse might be to cancel the meeting altogether, you must consider the impact it might have on both the immediate and long-term success of your business.
When you cancel a meeting outright, it can be hard to reconnect with that person at a later date. They might even feel like you don’t value their time, making it less likely that you’ll ever work together again.
Meanwhile, if you reschedule immediately after having to cancel, you are simply pushing the date a bit further, preserving the relationship, and making sure the client has time on your calendar in the future.
Schedule in White Space
If you’re going to succeed as a coach, you will need to become a master at balancing reactive tasks such as responding to client and proactive jobs related to the long-term growth of your business.
But if you leave your work schedule to develop naturally, you will most likely end up with most days being completely taken over by reactive tasks, with the less urgent (but even more critical) strategic activities ending up uncompleted.
Luckily, there’s a simple yet incredibly effective way to combat this. It’s called the whitespace technique.
By scheduling blocks of white space into your weekly calendar and leaving them reserved for creative, proactive tasks that you know you should be doing, you can ensure that no matter what happens, you will move forward with your big picture goals. And that can help you avoid being taken over by your day-to-day business operations.
Block Out Personal Time
Another crucial aspect to remember as a coach is that your business should not become your sole focus. Otherwise, all that work you put in will be for nothing because you won’t be able to enjoy the life that you create for yourself and your family.
To avoid that, make sure that you block out personal time in your coach calendar and allow yourself to enjoy it. Whether it’s spending time with family, reading a book, or going for a walk, spending time outside of work will enable you to unwind and recharge your batteries for the next big challenge you’ll need to conquer.
Automate Your Calendar
Manually inserting information into your calendar can be a time-consuming task on its own. Therefore, you should explore the options for automating at least parts of the process so that you can spend less time on creating the calendar and more time working through it.
One of the easiest things to automate is to create templates for different types of tasks or events in your schedule. That way, instead of having to create each task from scratch, you can quickly modify the template and be done much faster.
You can also integrate Google Calendar with the software solution you are using for your business. For instance, if you’re using an online group coaching platform, you can customize meeting agendas and have all of your important tasks in one convenient place.
Create an Admin and Personal Day
We have already discussed the importance of using time blocking and focusing on the long-term strategic goals of running a group coaching business. But when you’re doing that, how can you also manage all of the tasks that pile up during the day?
Well, the easiest solution is to have a dedicated admin day that you spend replying to emails or messages, solving technical issues, and doing everything else that you deem not significant enough on your busy days.
You should also make sure that you have at least one personal day to spend time on yourself. As a coach, you’re only productive when you are rested and sane, so having some time for yourself is essential if you don’t want to burn yourself out.
Scheduling Apps/Tools for Coaches
Implementing the right scheduling practices is essential, but that will only take you so far. You also need to have the right tools if you want your coach schedule to work well and make your life easier.
Let’s look at a few tools you should consider below.
upcoach is a comprehensive group coaching platform with a range of features such as a drag & drop program builder, robust course creating options, client success management, and countless other convenient tools for making your life as a coach much easier.
Recently, it also introduced the ability to integrate with Google Calendar. You can now connect your meetings from upcoach to your Google Calendar, staying on top of the meeting agenda and the people attending, making it easier to track what each session is about and preventing things from slipping through.
Calendly has been an essential tool for consultants and coaches for a while now. The ability to share a link and allow the clients to select an available time is a huge time-saver, giving you more freedom and preventing endless back and forth when trying to find the right time.
While you may not need all of the features it offers, this alone makes it a worthwhile addition that will help you better plan your time and ensure that meetings only happen during times when you’re actually available for them.
SkedPal is an interesting option for those that want to make the most out of time blocking and integrate it into their current calendar scheduling process.
It seamlessly integrates with Google Calendar and many other popular solutions, acting as a way to enhance your current scheduling and make it more intuitive and logical.
The tool uses AI technology to basically schedule your calendar for you. Once you input the things you need to get done, set estimates for how long a task might take, and establish deadlines, the app will use the availability to fill the slots in your calendar in the most logical way.
It even allows you to set various rules, such as times when you only want to work on specific tasks (which is helpful for the white space technique), adjusting the plan accordingly, and providing you with the most efficient way to go through your day.
Finding the best method for managing your coach calendar can be difficult. But it’s definitely worth the effort because, as a busy coach, you need to make the most out of every minute you have.
But while there isn’t a single way to reshape your scheduling practices, you can use multiple steps to make gradual improvements and take back the time you have each day. And if you add in a few useful tools, there’s no limit to how much important work you can get done.