If your January to March schedule is anything like ours, there’s a lot of gaps as clients travel either for short or extended periods of time.  Layer into that an ease of pandemic travel restrictions we’re now seeing many more clients head to the sun and surf which leaves some large gaps in instructors schedules. 

When I see wide swathes of time between clients in instructor shifts during our slower winter months I think of 2 things: 

  1. It’s an opportunity to explore an ‘optimized time/energy’ approach which just means let’s figure out how to optimize instructors time which will in turn, optimize their energy (very rarely achieved with a 2 client work day that has a 3 hours gap in it)

  2. If the above can be achieved successfully, then it becomes the perfect opportunity to physically and mentally rejuvenate as teachers, leaders and instructors.

    Whether this means continuing education, more sleep, focused self care, holidays, stay-cations or a combo of all, Canadian winters can be tough – so flipping the mindset to one of abundance and restoration benefits our clients, our co-workers and ourselves.

Proactively addressing winter schedules provides a renewed energy and passion for teaching. And this prepares us to jump into our spring season with a strong focus and enthusiasm. Which is great, because it’s almost always our busiest quarter as clients return home and into their routines. 

Here are some things to consider if you’re working in a studio space with others and finding the winter schedule a little sluggish: 

  1. Temporarily condense the hours: if you have enough clients from any given day leaving for holidays, get in touch with those who are sticking around and let them know that your schedule is being temporarily condense for a specific period of time.

    Offer them spots that allow your weekday to be shorter, more condensed and energy efficient. There’s nothing more fatiguing than spending 3 hours waiting around for one more client.

  2. Condense your work week: if you know that for a certain period of time (let’s say February/March), the majority of your clients are on holidays, let those who stay in town know that you’re switching to a ‘winter’ schedule for those 2 months.

    Give them enough advance notice (I would say the latest would be December   before the holidays) and see if you can take your usual work week to a reduced schedule so that you’re able to fit the majority of your clients into fewer days.

    For example: if you work a 25 hours, 5 days work week that reduces to less than 60% in the winter months, chat with your clients and see if they can move into 2 days which will allow you to come into the studio for a longer, more dynamic and energetic shift.

  3. Co-teach with a co-worker: This is one that I haven’t taken advantage of too often. But it’s actually a great, collaborative option that can be a positive experience for you, your colleague and your clients if planned in advance, communicated clearly and organized well.

    If both you and a colleague have strong clientele that are impacted by frequent winter client holidays, consider temporarily pushing your shifts together to an alternating day teaching schedule (ie: one instructor on a Tuesday, second instructor on a Thursday) or an alternating week schedule. It’s such a great, collaborative way to keep clients happy, your hours consistent and freeing up time to continue your education or your own practice. 

Before we wrap up the month, here are a few things that we’re trying and loving: 

Exercise progressions we’re trying 

Nutrition Tips we’re loving