Joan Bell ~ Biz Coach 101

Decision + Action = Results

16 Super-simple tips to save time and get a life!

"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week's value out of a year while another man gets a full year's value out of a week." Charles Richards

I doubt that there's a miracle step-by-step plan associated with improving time/ life management to suit each and every one of us.  I do know what works for me, my friends and colleagues, which led to me creating this list. Pick those that resonate and activate them as you begin to lay down your goals and plans for 2018.

Some of these tips won't be new to you, but if you aren't doing them, then maybe it’s time to take action. It’s the doing that gets results. Don't let the simplicity of these steps fool you. It's the simple steps we take consistently that lead to the biggest results in the long term.

Even two or three small changes to the way you plan and use your time could free up enough hours to enable you to reach your goals and still have time for fun. When you plan, simplify, get organized and set boundaries to protect your time and space, life as you know it can improve dramatically.

Here are my top 16 strategies. I've broken them down into 4 categories for at-a-glance reading. Enjoy!


1) •Buy a monthly plannerBeing able to view a complete month on one page or screen can give you a better perspective of how to allocate your time most effectively. Decide how much time you're going to give this month for the important activities that are moving you towards your goals and a lifestyle you love. Block out chunks of time for those items first.  Only then, slot everything else into the time remaining. And remember to block time for interruptions or you'll be chasing your tail.

2) •Take 10 minutes at the end of each working day to write an Action List for the following day.  I think an 'action list' sounds much more energising than a 'to-do list', don't you?   Put your 3 most important projects or tasks on there  (I use a tiny whiteboard) When they’re done you can add more. Do NOT write a long list that won’t be completed. Hopefully you've planned out your month and know what needs to be done first. Trello works beautifuly with a monthly planner or simply use the Trello calendar.

3) •Time for YOU. Schedule time for yourself, your goals, passions and important relationships. If it's written down you're much more likely to honour the commitment and it makes it harder for others to sidetrack you or hijack your time. If you're a 'visual' person, think about colour coding different areas eg green for personal time, blue for work, red for fun. If you haven't used a Bullet Journal yet, check them out here. Don't get carried away, this has become a THING! and can end up wasting a lot of time if you’re creative. 

4) •Learn to focus on one specific task before moving on to another. Jumping from one activity to another means no noticeable progress is made in any area. One strategy is to have a different focus area for each week - completing your website, painting a bedroom, reviving old friendships etc. Wouldn't it feel great at the end of the year to see 52 secondary (but significant) goals achieved? Alternatively, you could have a monthly focus and a dozen achievements to celebrate at year end. Let's face it, half of that would be brilliant!

5) •Remember the need for balance in your life. All work and no play as the saying goes.. Set aside time to go walking, listen to some great music, contact a friend, laugh out loud, relax. You'll be healthier, happier and more effective if your day includes a mixture of work and relaxation. Great ideas often come when we've switched off from the noise and problems.


6) •Simplify your wardrobe - let go of all the clothes, shoes and make-up you haven't worn in the last two years. Be honest - are you likely to wear them in the future? Or are you relying on losing 15 pounds or polyester coming back into fashion?  The more clothes you have packed into your wardrobes, the more choices you have to make, the more time you will spend getting ready. Think about your personal 'brand' and choose pieces accordingly. Need help? Go here

7) •Simplify your relationships - let go of the people you don't even like or friendships you've outgrown, the people who drain your energy and waste your time. Why are you more worried about their feelings than your own? Nurture relationships with energetic positive people who will encourage and support you in your personal and professional development. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. How does that land?

8) •Implement simple systems. It's estimated that the average American wastes approximately two and a half days each year looking for things. Where do you keep phone numbers? On your phone or on the back of yesterday's newspaper? How easily can you put your hand on your passport, driving licence or last month's phone bill?  How about resources you use in your business. Do you know exactly where everything is? Get on it! Your time is precious.

9) -Simplify your paperwork. How much paperwork do you have lying around, and how much are you holding onto "just in case"?  Do you have to punch holes, or fiddle with ring binders before things can be put away? Chances are you put off filing until you have a spare hour - and how is that working?  How about a simple concertina file you can drop papers into quickly or coloured plastic wallets for different bills, policies, investments and the like? Simplify and save time.

Get organized

10) •What tasks are worthwhile sub-contracting out? Does it make sense to spend half your weekend tackling housework - feeling exhausted and stressed out - if you can pay a professional a reasonable sum and have the chance to recharge your batteries? How much are you paid ? Would it be a better use of your time and money to employ an assistant or a VA (virtual assistant) a few hours per week while you concentrated on what you did best? 

11) •Even though it's 'always' quicker' to do it yourself, stifle the urge.  The only reason it's quicker is because you've had more practice! Delegate tasks at home to others, even a small child can do simple things to help. Thank and give praise as appropriate but don't imply they're helping you with your tasks unless you really are being paid a living wage to look after the house full-time.

12) •Say "no" to requests that cater to other people's needs rather than your own. Having planned your diary at the beginning of the week, it's much easier now to deflect requests. Don't waffle. Suggest a compromise if it suits you to do so. Feeling unable to say "no" is one of a big time-waster. Saying no is a gift to yourself, learn to accept it and be gracious.

Set Boundaries

13) •Say "yes" to offers of help, whether at home or at work. Do you really need to prove you can do it all yourself or make others feel guilty about how hard you work?  Allow other people to experience the pleasure of being of service and let them know you appreciate them. 

14) •Examine your personal rules/standards. Do you need to cook a gourmet dinner every night? Do you really need to work late to show you're committed? Do you have to iron T-shirts that will stay hidden under sweaters? Let go of perfectionism wherever possible, it can be soul destroying. And it might be the symptom of something deeper. ‘Settle’ for excellence.

15) •Set boundaries and deadlines for work, rest and play. You’ll probably achieve much the same result whether you allocate 1 hour for an action or whether you let it drag on over 2 hours. If you have a competitive streak, challenge yourself to come in under time. Make it a game. Plan some rewards or prizes for motivation. Here is a great article on setting boundaries from Psych Central

16) •Live fully in the moment rather than dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about the future. So many of us waste precious time thinking about something we can no longer change or something in the future that we have absolutely no control over. Begin by noticing where your thoughts  are and how to bring them back to the present. The more you do this, the easier it gets. 

Ok, now all you need to do is choose a handful of these tips, get into action and begin to save time, be more productive and have a lot more fun in your life as you create a better lifestyle-business.  I'd love to know which of these tips resonated the most for you. Please share in the comments box. And if you have your own special tricks or tips to stay on top of your game share them too.

If you'd like to get more posts like this directly into your mailbox I invite you to sign up and join a group of like-minded professionals who are learning to get more clients doing what they love as they build their lifestyle-business. My monthly Newsletter 'Action Works' will pop up in your email box each month full of doable tips and strategies to help you build and grow your practice, raise your self worth and tap into your inner winner. ♡

Joan Bell - NLP MP
Biz, Marketing and Mindset Coach

How to attract clients by being yourself

My writing mentor Henneke of Enchanting Marketing has drawn this gorgeous and valuable infographic which describes the right and wrong way to get clients. I absolutely love it and hope it gives you some ideas. If you'd like to read her complete article, visit her Blog by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. Henneke will teach you how to write like a pro and make it fun. She also offers writing courses.

How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page: A Beginner's Guide

How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page, courtesy of Henneke at Enchanting Marketing

Coaches! – Super-simple tips to make writing a breeze (with examples)

When even coffee doesn't help

Anna opens up her laptop, settles into her chair and stares at the blank screen for a few long minutes. She gets up, goes to the kitchen  and makes a coffee. Coffee always helps.....

except for this time.

She decides to check her FaceBook page for inspiration. Thirty minutes goes by before Anna opens up another tab and checks her mail.

A friend is having a mini-crisis so she calls her up and by the time she gets back to her writing it's late afternoon. By then Anna's energy has hit rock bottom and she decides to write the article tomorrow when she’s feeling fresher.

The above scenario is being played out in homes and offices across the globe every single day by  lifestyle-business owners.

By creating structure around your writing habits you tend to avoid situations like the one above. If you’re a lifestyle-business owner and whether you like writing or not, you still need to create some kind of content to share with your ideal clients and prospective clients.

Don't be like Anna.

Let me help you get a handle on how you might do this in a simple, easy to follow and structured fashion. Being organised wasn't something I was familiar with until I became a coach and lifestyle-business owner. If writing is something you personally struggle with then please, use these steps with my blessing. Having systems and structures in place was the catalyst for me when it came to attracting and nurturing clients and living a life I love. I wonder why we make things so difficult for ourselves?

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A Lifestyle-Business (for Coaches and Solopreneurs)


Have you ever sat down and thought about how your life could be different? If there was some way that you could do what you love, earn a good living doing it and have a Lifestyle Business that reflected everything that’s important to you?

How good would that be?

Well, that's what I’ve been doing for around 25 years now. And even though friends, colleagues and even clients have urged me to coach around this I’ve hesitated.

When you're in the middle of something it’s pretty hard to see it as an observer. Recently I had a light bulb moment (and a great coach) and realised that I don’t need to teach lifestyle-business ‘secrets' but rather be a catalyst for change for those who are thinking along those lines. BOOM!


And that's what I decided to do. Yes, I'll still be coaching around mindset, marketing and money and whatever else comes up in the coaching conversations but the overall focus of my coaching now will be around helping you create a lifestyle-business that you love and affords you the time, energy, money and personal satisfaction that lights you up.

I know that the people in my community are like-minded and have even (albeit gingerly) toyed with the idea of backing their business into their lifestyle and experiencing more of the good stuff that life has to offer. It isn’t about money so much as personal wealth. The wealth that comes from a life well lived.

A life where you design the days, hours and ways you will earn a living and live a good life and make a difference. It’s about creating a lifestyle that isn’t necessarily 9 to 5 (and then some). A lifestyle that isn’t about getting into debt or selling your soul to put food on the table. A different kind of lifestyle that you get to create.

What decisions are you making (and sticking with) that are holding you captive? And what decisions are you willing to make now that will move you closer to living your life with purpose, passion and a knowing that what you truly want is available to you, if only you have the willingness (and desire) to stand up and ask for it. A lifestyle business can be anything you want it to be. 

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