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

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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Your Social Media Marketing Plan – Sorted! (with checklist)

Would you like to have an online marketing plan and know each day what you need to do to get more clients?

Do you have any kind of marketing plan or do you do random acts of marketing when the mood hits you? Let’s change that right now!

Most service professionals do a lot of their marketing online so it makes good sense to have a marketing plan that once created, becomes a set-and-forget process. The steps below will help you do that.

Any kind of marketing plan begins with an intention. What do you want to achieve from this plan? What are your main criteria? Do you want to build your list, get new clients to hire you, book strategy sessions or simply become known for what you do?

When you have the answer to those questions the next step is to decide on the Social Media platforms you want to use. This can cause some entrepreneurs to throw in the towel. So many choices aren’t there? You'll need to decide which ones will serve you and your ideal clients best, and which ones you might even enjoy using.

I suggest you pick no more than 2 or 3 platforms and start there. Be consistent with your efforts and get known for your expertise. Build your reputation, share ideas and freely share your knowledge.Then, when you've flexed your social media muscles, add more platforms. Keep it simple.

I’m including a free download to some simple tips and strategies for designing your online Social Media posting calendar. I’ve given suggestions on how often and where to post for maximum benefit.Use this as a guide and adjust to fit your specific purpose.

There are a couple of apps you can use to help with your plan, and if you want to get super organised you can pre-schedule your posts, images and tips etc. weeks in advance and free up time for doing more lucrative tasks.

Many entrepreneurs outsource social media. You can get someone on Fiverr to help, or a social media management service such as Buffer or Co-Schedule (free & fee) depending on your needs and finances. Another option is a VA (virtual assistant) Don’t let the ‘mechanics’ of it be an excuse not to do it. (These are not affiliate links)

If you’ve been putting this off I suggest you calendar in some time to make it happen. Clients rarely come knocking on your door uninvited. You need to connect, engage and make offers, and it’s hard to do that if you're sitting behind your computer procrastinating. Not that you would do that of course!

If you want to ‘market like a pro’ this blog post will help.

What you don't know you can learn. What you can't (or don't want to) learn, you can outsource...Joan Bell

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Once you have your Social Media plan sorted you can begin on your overall marketing plan, if you haven’t done that already.

This involves deciding on the Strategies, such as writing, public speaking, networking and referral building, to name a few. Then you need to look at where people are in your pipeline. Do you need to fill the pipeline, follow up, have a sales conversation or close a sale? Decide which one or two need attention and then schedule your action steps accordingly. It’s a process, that’s all.

If you have a copy of the GET CLIENTS NOW! book by C.J.Hayden, you already have a step-by-step guide to help you create this overall marketing plan. The book costs about $30 AUD and is well worth buying. It’s the book I use as a facilitator for the online programme I offer with the same name. The programme can be taken with a group or one-on-one. You can, however, do it yourself at home. So, no excuses. Remember, what you don't know you can learn. What you can't (or don't want to) learn, you can outsource.

Depending on your business needs, it’s worth taking the time to design these marketing plans and simply follow them each day by scheduling the time into your calendar. I’ve seen clients get incredible results. It’s the consistency and persistence that works. Try it.

And, just for fun, you might like the story of Jan and Jane. A blog post I wrote a while back. I wonder which one you might identify with? Here's the link.

If you have any questions, please hit reply and send me an email. I’m always happy to hear from you.


    • 1. Download your FREE Social Media Checklist below (no sign-up needed)
    • 2. Write down your intention for marketing (for each step)
    • 3. Deisgn your Plan
    • 4. Create your Schedule
    • 5. Calendar into your daily planner (or hire someone to do the next steps for you)
    • 6. Follow your Plan and the Daily Tasks (PDF)
    • 7 Check your results

    Download your Social Media Checklist below. (no sign-up needed)

    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 (and cash) doing what they love. Simply click on the bright strip at the top of the page and you're good to go. My monthly Newsletter Action Works will pop up in your email box each month.

    Joan Bell - NLP MP
    Biz, Marketing and Mindset Coach

What do you do? You have 10 seconds to get this right!

When someone asks you "So what do you do? you might have only 10 seconds to reply. The one question you need to ask yourself (I share it below) will help you to get crystal clear on how to respond to that "what do you do?" question with confidence and a dash of panache.

Typically, elevator speeches are usually around 30 seconds but what if the person is only going up a couple of floors? I like to have a few versions prepared. You might want to create a 10, 30 and 90 second option. If you nail the 10-second version, the others will be a breeze, and it's a great place to start.

Coaches and professionals around the world often break out into a sweat when someone asks "What do you do?"

Do you stammer and stutter and mumble something under your breath? Something like

“I’m a coach, and I help people have great lives.”

“I help women gain confidence” I’m a life coach

“I help business people in their business” I’m a business consultant (Ouch!)

Not very memorable are they, especially if you only have a couple of minutes to get your message across. Have you ever suffered from the cringe factor? Yeh, me too!

Even ‘Gurus’ get stuck

A colleague of mine shared a story about a coaching conference he attended. A dozen or so top-of-their-game coaches were standing around the hotel foyer when a curious hotel guest (who had read the conference banners) asked them innocently “ So what do Coaches do?

CRICKETS! They were all of a sudden speechless for a few long seconds. So yes, it even happens to the best.

That’s why it’s extremely important to know what to say so that the person you are connecting with will be interested enough to ask another question.

They may not even be suitable clients for you, but they could be a brilliant referral source. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they wouldn’t be interested and avoid sharing information with them. Everyone you meet is a potential referral source or future client.

Practice Practice Practice

When you have crafted your elevator speech using my tips below, practise using it so that it becomes second nature and play with it until you get it ‘just right'. As your business evolves so will your elevator speech.You might even have a repertoire of opening lines. Those few well-chosen words could be the start of something spectacular.

I remember how I would tell people “I’m a coach” and that was it! Most of them had no idea what a coach was and when I began to ask myself 'the question' was when I got the answers to my “what do you do?” response. It took me quite a while to figure that out.

What is that one Simple Question?

So, what do you do? 

I’m a fitness trainer - So What? - (Yes, that's the one question; short, simple, powerful)

Well, I help people get fit - So What?

So they can lose weight - and feel great - So What?

So they can wear what they want and be kick-ass confident - So what? So,...... People?

The lightbulb went on

"I help women 40+ lose the last 5 KG and get kick-ass confident, so they can wear what they like and take back control of their lives".

BOOM!  >>> Not bad

Can you see/hear how that amended description would give this fitness trainer some terrific information for her website, articles and programmes? Can you sense how much easier it would be to create packages for these ideal clients? She could get even clearer with some more questioning.

Ok Now it’s your turn.

So, tell me, what do you do?


Ask yourself,  "So, what do you do"?

Respond with your first thought, then ask

"So what"?

Do that at least 3 or 4 times until you get to a point where your answer evokes a response within you. You kind of feel it in your body. If you need to add another word/question as I did in the example, do that. If you feel odd talking to yourself, buddy up with someone. (We talk to ourselves all day long)

This breakthrough can happen very quickly or may take a few attempts. Stick with it so that you actually begin to feel very comfortable with your response. Make sure that your intro' ends with a 'so' or 'so that' which relates to the reason behind what you do, the key piece that is holding your client back. 

Do you have a favourite tip on what to say in response to the "What do you do" question? ​

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 (and cash) doing what they love. Simply click on the bright orange strip at the top of the page and you're good to go. My monthly Newsletter Action Works will pop up in your email box each month - full of strategies and tips to keep your practice full and your mindset primed for success. I love doing guest posts and if that is something that interests you please contact me and let's connect.

Joan Bell - NLP Master Practitioner
Biz, Marketing and Mindset Coach |  and Cyclist!