How Do You Find Time for Everything?

About the Author: Eric Cressey

It’s a question I get asked quite a bit.  In fact, I was asked this very question three times this past weekend at the Perform Better Summit in Chicago.  As a little background, here’s a glimpse into the different things my work entails:

1. Cressey Performance responsibilities – Generally, this is 5-8 hours of coaching per day (six days a week), plus another hour of programming.  There is also a lot of time on the phone and answering emails in there, as I am the president.  The days would be a lot shorter and simpler if I was just coaching and programming.


2. Online Consulting – I have a small group of online consulting clients on completely individualized programs all around the world.

3. Writing – This might include blogs, newsletters, or new projects (and some website work, although I outsource more of this).

4. Tech Support for Products – I don’t have to worry about much of this, but it’s an email or two a day.


5. Seminars – I travel 1-2 weekends per month to give seminars.  Between creating the content, traveling to the seminar location, and actually delivering the talk, they are a big time investment.

6. Continuing Education – While this is listed as the sixth role, it’s actually something that belongs at the top of the priorities list.  I spend a lot of time reading, watching DVDs/webinars, and just talking to coaches, therapists, and doctors to get better at what I do.

For most fitness professionals, life is really as simple at #1 and #6.  Things change if you decide that you want to be someone whose goal is to be an industry leader and add to the body of knowledge, and develop additional revenue streams.

What is noticeably absent from this list, but a new challenge I face, is the fact that I become a homeowner this spring.  With everything that needs to be done when you buy a house, it would have been very easy to get sidetracked mowing lawns, painting walls/ceilings, etc. – but I didn’t miss a beat.  Why not?

First, we bought a house that was built in 2009 – so there wasn’t a whole lot of fixing-up that needed to be done.  Still, though, it was still pretty “bare bones.”


Second, and more importantly, I outsourced as much as I possibly could.  I was joking with my dad last weekend that he taught me everything I need to know about tools: “Hand them to someone else.”  I don’t have a carpenter’s mindset, a green thumb, or whatever else one needs to have a pristine lawn and flawless house.

We hired a landscaper.  We hired an irrigation company to set up automatic sprinklers.  We hired painters for several rooms on the interior.  And, we hired a window treatments company to get our blinds up.  Honestly, the primary thing that my fiancee and I did was the furniture shopping – and we only did that in person because we thought it would be something fun we could do together.  We’ve also been planning a wedding, so home-owner issues are definitely the first to get outsourced!

The point is that I outsourced the stuff that was not in line with my expertise so that I could use that time to leverage my strengths.  At one of my old apartments, I remember trying to put up vertical blinds.  It took me four hours to do one window, it came out uneven, and I wound up damaging the wall so badly that it knocked a few hundred bucks off my security deposit when I moved out a year later.  How’s that for a productive use of time?

This time around, we paid a small fortune to have it done professionally, and the two guys installed blinds in eleven rooms in all in under 90 minutes this morning.  They came out looking great – and the best part was that I wrote two programs and a blog and answered several emails during that time period.

So, my new answer to the “How do you find time for everything?” question is going to be: “I only find time for things at which I’m good. Someone else does the other stuff.”

Think Bill Gates mows his own lawn?

Will Lebron James use TurboTax next April 15?

Does Donald Trump mop the floors at any of the 500 or so buildings he owns?

While I only borrowed bits and pieces from The 4-Hour Workweek, this was the most valuable takeaway for me: leveraging your strengths is a lot more important than bringing up your weaknesses.  And, as I look back at my most productive periods in this industry, they have all come when I had no distractions and was just in “tunnel vision” mode on something that allowed me to leverage my strengths.


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