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How to Avoid Losing Time for Years

Wasted time concept: A skeleton wearing a tie is slumped over a laptop.

“It will take too long to explain. I’ll just do it myself.”

This mentality is common in entrepreneurs.

We’re impatient, Type A people who push hard and want to cross things off our lists. So the thought of slowing down and teaching someone is painful.

If a task takes us 10 minutes to do personally but 30 to delegate, we usually handle the task fast and move on. 

But you can see where this is going: If you do the task more than three times, you should have invested time to offload it in the first place.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

Here’s a CEO experiment for you:

Think of a longer word you type regularly—at least several times a day.

It could be the name of your business, or maybe it’s “barbell back squat” or something similar. For me, it’s “Two-Brain Business.” I probably use that name 20 times a day.

Now set up a macro or keyboard shortcut for that word. This is just a simple abbreviation that triggers your computer to make a replacement. On laptop, I’ve used a program called TextExpander for years.

You can also set up replacements through MacOS, Android, Word, Excel and so on.

For example, if I type “Tbb”—a combination you’d never hit in any word—I automatically get the words “Two-Brain Business.’” That saves me 14 keystrokes and a hyphen.

That might seem silly, but the keystrokes add up—especially if you add in a typo and backspace. And it’s not always about the time; it’s the speed. Instead of having to slow my brain down to type a long proper noun, I hammer three keys and push ahead with the thought.

I’ve made longer replacements, too. I have a two-keystroke combo that spits out an entire rejection letter for submitted articles at a previous job.

This stuff has saved me a ton of time over the years.

But get this: Every time I consider setting up a replacement, I think, “Nah. I’ll just type it out this time. It’ll be faster.”

But it’s not faster. I know this. I’m just being impatient and refusing to invest.

So do the experiment. And if you find that “Bfn” is a pleasing workaround for “Bob’s World-Class Fitness and Nutrition Services Inc.,” start creating macros in your gym, too.


“Gym Macros”


In a gym business, macros and text replacements are SOPs—checklists, pre-made decisions and if/then executions.  

These documents, collected in a staff playbook, are actually “you” in written form. They are the owner’s instructions presented in the clearest possible way so any staff member—long term or brand new—can figure out exactly how to do something to an A+ standard.

If you’ve ever used a thumbs-up emoji, you know that shortcuts save time. That’s true even if it takes you a few minutes to set up the shortcut the first time.

So start systemizing your business today to reclaim time every day for the next decade.

What are the exact steps to systemizing a gym?

Chris Cooper’s written about this in detail. Check it out here.

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One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.