My first job ever was doing maintenance and janitorial at the local YMCA. I was only 15 so that’s my excuse for not having the ability to correctly align the Y’s priorities with my own task selection. Several of the jobs on my list were less than appealing and somedays I never got to them. Oh, did I mention that my dad was the director of the YMCA and my boss. He was a fare boss with a great temperament for managing a young employee. When he asked if I had cleaned the toilet stalls, I guess I said (once too often) that I would clean them as soon as I got around to it. Well it wasn’t long before I got this round button that I was told I had to wear every day.
I’ve had dozens of jobs over my career, but it didn’t take me long to realize the time management is the most important key to all of them. Gym ownership and management is a difficult proposition requiring many hours of hard, fun but hard, work. A close friend recently had a water pipe break in their gym and had to shift all classes for the next two weeks to the local rec center. It meant moving a lot of their equipment and mats about 5 miles away, notifying all the families and staff and setting up equipment daily for 2 weeks while the cleanup was done back at the gym. She calculated the it took her an extra 15 hours but she could continue without missing any classes.
If I had asked her prior to the pipe breaking if she had 15 hours to work on another project, business, or hobby, I’m sure her answer would have been the same as most of us, “Of course not!” Can’t you see how busy I am?” The point is that time is incredibly elastic and that’s how we make time for emergencies.
Everything time related is a choice. And, once you choose to have daily equipment inspections, monthly maintenance, and daily equipment logs, you will find time to get them done. “I don’t have time” equals “It’s not a priority.” Once you accept that equipment maintenance is a priority and you treat it like an emergency, you will get it done.
I firmly believe in the time management concept of subtraction by addition. Yes, I meant to say it that way. The opposite of the worn-out phrase addition by subtraction which means you improve by taking something away. Mmm? Another good topic for a future Gym Care article, but for now we’ll stick with subtraction by addition. By adding priorities to your schedule, you will force out the place holders and time wasters. Check out http://www.cookendeavour.com/?s=subtraction
We all have 168 hours in a week (24 X 7 = 168) If we work 60 (assuming the average of a gymnastic club owner) and sleep for 56 (8 X 7=56) That leaves us 52 hours to choose time from to inspect our equipment for safety and make needed maintenance repairs. My suggestion is to dedicate 30 minutes a day to inspection and maintenance 5 days a week (5 X.5=2.5) If you take 2 ½ hours out of your free time, you still have 49 ½ hours left for anything you want. If you take the 2 ½ out of your 60 work hours (Smarter!) you still have 52 personal hours which won’t be spent worrying about the safety of your equipment.
Time management has always been a hot topic for successful people because they are always looking for more output, growth, and leisure. All three come from successful time management. Consider Steven Covey’s time management matrix. Unfortunately, we normally prioritize tasks in the order of 1 – 3 – 2 – 4.
Gym Care and maintenance is usually found in quadrant 2 and can be easily ignored. But when the pipe breaks it moves into Q1. I’m just suggesting that you treat Gym Care like an emergency and get it done when it only takes 30 minutes a day. You will quickly find that something falls out of Q4 to make room.
Just as a reminder:
- Daily visual inspection of moving parts
- Weekly hands on adjustments and realignment
- Monthly maintenance and repair
- Annual third party inspection
Steve Cook – AAI National Sales Director