Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Sarah’s Task-Management Strategy Pt. I-


A blank slate...

A blank slate...

Tuesday, I got a dry erase board with the aim of using it for Baton Rouge Bootcamp.  You know, to list exercises and/or diagram how a certain workout would be set up.


Then it occurred to me…

I should use the dry erase board to increase my productivity and streamline my task-tackling strategy!

I am a fan of “to do” lists.  I keep them in my day planner, on various sheets of paper, and on the notepad app on my iPhone.



The beginnings of just writing out all my categories...

The beginnings of just writing out all my categories...

Lists.  They are great IF you refer back to them and check the tasks off as you complete them.  Unfortunately, this seemingly simple process just doesn’t cut the mustard for me.  What do I have to do?  What I usually do.  In true Sarah fashion, I make things more complicated…thus process of systematizing the “to do” list becomes yet another task!



once it’s all worked out, I will be able to plug in each day or week’s tasks and goals.

So, right now i’m in the “what will work best?” stage.

Earlier today, I ran to Office Depot (which I adore, lol) and bought dry erase markers…a pack of 18 different colors.

I came home & only had a half hour before I left for a networking lunch.  I just started listing all the different categories for my work-related tasks.  


Of course, the more I thought about it, each category can have numerous sub-categories, but haven’t gotten that far yet!


This is where i'm at now...

This is where i'm at now...

As I was about to leave for the meeting, I thought of a few more categories…as well as the fact that it would be really cool to have THREE dry erase boards…one for “me” stuff, one for “work” stuff, and one for “fun” stuff!  Theoretically, I could hang the three boards on a wall, with the “me” board first.  Why?  Because the most important tasks and goals have to do with ME…NOT work, and NOT play.  You see, if you take care of yourself, and not just in the physical sense, the rest is “like butta’!”


The next step will be defining which categories are most important, and putting them in order.  Then i’ll figure out the sub-categories for each (if need be), and then create “boxes” on the board (using a different color for each category).  Within these boxes, i’ll write daily/weekly/monthly tasks, and check them off as I complete them.



Waste of time?

Hell no.

Right now this may seem like a big project, but I truly believe it’s gonna help me be more productive and successful! 🙂

One of my clients got tickled at all of this and said something like “gosh, Sarah…you’re completely different from me!”  My response was that my mom’s an artist! lol  I owe my right-brained thinking to her!

I also want to comment on the fact that personal training is a business.  Yes, you can be passionate about it and have a great heart, but you gotta make money.  All the passion and caring about people ain’t gonna get you anywhere if you don’t work on your business.  I had to learn this the hard way, through lots and lots of lessons…thanks to lots and lots of mistakes.  I continued to put myself in this little box that defined me as a Personal Trainer and that’s it.  I put limits on myself and my abilities, and by doing so, I put limits on my success.  I also held on to a lot of old “beliefs” about myself which weren’t positive.  By doing this, I held myself back.  

My attitude is COMPLETELY different than it was even a year ago.  Craziness!  Things just keep getting better and better, and now it’s like anything is possible.  I started putting myself out there (via this blog) and meeting people (fitness fanatics as well as other fitness pro’s), and it’s just snowballed from there.  I had always said I wanted to write a book, and I always had the problem of starting with an idea and never following through.  Know what?  I decided to write MTM 1.0 to be part of Rick Karboviak’s “The Big One” virtual race “prize package,” and by making this offer, I was forced to follow through with it.  Now, the fact that I emailed out well over 100 copies of it for FREE…we won’t go into that, because I realize now (especially after talking with my business partner, who laughed at me when I told him) that wasn’t the smartest move, business-wise.  Oh well!  

Hey, if you want to click here and order the book, by all means be my guest!  Heck, if you received it for free and feel I deserve something for my generosity, buy a copy!  Consider it a donation to the “yes, Sarah has a life” fund!  I’m going to Vegas on the 23rd and plan on doing some shopping in addition to seeing Zumanity (and going out, of course)! 

Did that work?  Do you feel guilty enough now?

Just kidding…about the guilt part…you really can buy a copy…that would rock!

Okay, more soon…gotta finish writing up tonite’s torture for Baton Rouge Bootcamp!

Yours in Health,


PS – What do you do to stay organized?  Do you have a strategy of your own?  Are you interested in learning more about mine as I go along?  Leave your comments! 🙂

8 responses

  1. You are one crazy chick–but I guess that’s why I like you. Plus, I know the pain of OCD! =)

    May 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    • Hey Bill!
      Muchas gracias!
      Yeah…i’m a bit of a nut…but i’m sure you’ll agree with me that boring people don’t do great things! 😀
      Also, most successful people have neuroses and are extremely quirky!
      Congrats, btw, on hitting the 1,000 members mark!
      Everyone should go check out Coachbook!!!! Lots of great stuff goin’ on there!

      Yours in Health,

      May 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm

  2. Tonya

    You rock Sarah! I totally think the key to success starts with believing you can. Then you start acting as if you are. And pretty soon you are.

    May 15, 2009 at 5:04 am

    • Hey Tonya!

      Amen to that! It’s all in the mind! 🙂
      If you convince yourself that you just aren’t good enough, you’ll just be mediocre and remain in the “pack.”
      If you convince yourself that you are damn good enough, then it becomes easy to follow through, and you’re able to break away from the pack and stand on your own.
      Yay for this! 🙂

      Keep up the good work! You rock!

      May 15, 2009 at 7:26 am

  3. Kay

    I work off lists every day. That is the only way. Such a feeling of accomplishment to see how many items get marked off the list each day. OCD? nah. Just well organized!

    May 15, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    • Kay!

      Hey! You are a role model!
      Btw I’m gonna feature your newfangled warm-up sequence soon!
      Gotta get caught up! 🙂 I have yet to blog about Monday’s workout and last night’s bootcamp!
      Can ya find me a spare set of arms? lol!
      Have a great weekend!

      May 15, 2009 at 10:09 pm

  4. You need a BIGGER white board, Sarah.

    No…you don’t….

    You need a FEW BIGGER white boards!

    Gotta love your energy!!! You rrrrrrrrrrrrrock in my book!


    May 15, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    • Hola Fred!

      I am seriously gonna spring for a few bigger ones…I am way too anal about this stuff! One of my friends suggested that I paint a wall with blackboard paint and use chalk. Could work IF I owned a house…working on that right now! 🙂 The house i’m interested in has an office off the back and I could go to town with that idea…along with the fact that I could turn the huge separate shop building into a mini-gym! Good stuff!
      More to come on this project. My dad and stepmom are in town this weekend, along with my dad’s brother and his wife…staying at my aunt and uncles…so i’m hanging with 6 family members tomorrow. Going to get up and go help my stepmom and dad work out, then probably do lunch, then go shopping with my stepmom, and then we have dinner reservations. My dad suggested it would be nice if I didn’t text the entire time…lol…i’m 32! Anyhow, not a lot of work planned for the weekend…but that’s what weekends are for, right?!

      Have a great one!

      May 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm

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