September 24, 2008

And THIS is why you need to pose for speaking pictures

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P.S. I'm currently booking speaking engagements for the rest of 2008 and 2009. If your business, group or organisation would like to be more productive, organised or inspired, please visit the Speaking and Workshops page on my website and let me know which topic you'd like me to talk on.
P.P.S. I also love doing talks via teleseminar :)

September 22, 2008

Pineapple chicken

Pineapple chicken

  • a tray of chicken thighs, skinless but with the bones (I think mine was about 800g - 1 kg)
  • 1 packet brown onion soup
  • 1 tin pineapple pieces
  • 3/4 can water

My "lazy cooking" tip

  • Whenever you use a casserole dish, spray with some non-stick spray (Spray and Cook, or similar) first
  • It will be SOOOOO easy to clean afterwards.

  • Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees Celsius
  • Wash and rinse the chicken pieces and place in a casserole dish
  • Sprinkle the entire packet of brown onion soup liberally over the chicken pieces (it looks like there's too much but it will all make a yummy sauce later)
  • Empty the can of pineapple and then add 3/4 of the can of water to the mix
  • Cook for about 30 - 40 minutes (my oven is hot so 30 minutes is plenty)
  • Serve with some vegetables and rice

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September 19, 2008

Top 3 time tips to manage your small business

Small business owners have so much to do every day - the business of your business (or what you're actually paid to do), marketing, administration (emails, voicemails, etc.), bookkeeping.

The list goes on and on...

And that's only one part of your life!

In order to have a balanced life, you need to manage your time correctly otherwise you'll be stressed out, burnt out and frazzled!

Here are the top 3 things I do to make sure my small business runs smoothly:


Every day decide on a maximum of 6 things to do. Before you even put them on your list, ask yourself if they bring you closer to your business goals or not.

Then do the most important task first. It often seems like that one is also the most difficult task. Once that is out of the way, your day gets better and the rest is a breeze.

This way, even if you don't finish your 6 items, the most important tasks will always be done. I use this method for responding to emails too.


Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

Many times we don't know how long something will take so we allow hours and hours for simple tasks. If you genuinely don't know, then start keeping a time log for tasks you do routinely, like writing a weekly Ezine, daily blogging or posting to forums.

Once you have an idea of how long regular tasks take, set a timer when you do them in the future and aim to complete in that set time, every time.


For anything you do more than once (or plan to delegate to a virtual assistant), make a list as you go along.

My monthly checklists have accounting and computer back-up, my weekly checklists have article submission and blog planning, and my daily checklists have checking web stats.

This is so that you don't waste time having to rethink your steps of action every day, week or month, or worse still, you forget to do something important. I have a whole system for automating your business (Business Control Journal) as part of my Organise your Business system that is definitely part of my arsenal for business success.

I suggest that you also have some self-care items on your lists. I read every day for pleasure and aside from a 20-minute planning session for the week ahead, I take the weekends off.

If you start implementing these 3 tips on a consistent basis, I guarantee that you'll free up at least two hours a day.

I'd rather spend an extra two hours with my family; wouldn't you?

Marcia Francois is a time management and organising coach who empowers small business owners and other busy professionals who want to make the most of their time. You’ll get simple, practical organising and time management secrets to help you work less and enjoy life more! Get your free Organising Success Pack.

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September 18, 2008

Do you want to get your computer organised?


  • Do you find yourself wasting time looking for files on your computer?
  • Do you get frustrated because you just don't know where to start?
  • Do you know when and how often to do a back up?
  • Has your computer ever crashed and you lost everything?
  • Do you know how to organise and contain all those free things you keep downloading off the internet?
  • Do you know how to name and store files so they're easy to find?

We can help you!

Join me as I host the Everything you EVER wanted to know about organising your computer teleclass with Computer Whiz Janet Barclay.

Janet and I have a combined total of over 30 years’ experience, organising individuals, groups and organisations.

Our systems, tips and tricks will help you have an organised computer in no time at all.

On this 75-minute teleclass, you’ll learn:

  • Where to start organising your computer
  • My DREAM method of organising your computer
  • How to keep control of all the audios, PDFs and ebooks you get for free off the internet and how NOT to let it clutter up your hard drive
  • Exactly how to label and store your documents and files so you can find them
  • 3 little-known filing tricks
  • How to organise your contacts and all those business cards
  • How to cut your computer time in half
  • How to organise tasks and projects
  • How and when to do a proper, thorough back up of your files and how to know when to do it so you don’t lose your work
  • And much, much more

Join us on…

Date: Tuesday 23 September
Time: 12 – 1:15 EST
How: Simulcast! (Attend via Phone or Webcast — it’s your choice)
Cost: F-r-e-e for all Gold VIP Inner Circle members. Not a member? Join here

If you’re not a member, your investment for this valuable teleclass is only $37

You’ll receive:

  1. The live call - training and live coaching in the question and answer section
  2. Recording as an MP3 audio download
  3. Comprehensive handout
  4. Janet’s “Maximising your time with Outlook” ebook (sells for $9,99)
  5. Marcia’s DREAM method of organising your computer report (worth $9,99)

If you can’t make the call “live”, you can catch up by listening to the recording within 24 hours.

Decide today to make your computer work for you!

September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Professional Organiser's Conference 2008


Elaine and Marcia

Karen, Kim, Penny and ?

Marcia and Colette

Penny and her gorgeous red, suede bag
(that bag had to get a special mention!)

September 15, 2008

It happens tomorrow!

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Listen to all the FAQ here (it's just 4 minutes long)

Get your home office organised by spending a half-day with Marcia, the Organising Queen, learning all the tips and tools of the trade

At the end of the seminar you will have...

  • a well-ordered, organised desk and office plan with clear zones

  • a system to reduce your email overload

  • an easy, step-by-step plan to prioritise your work

  • at least 3 clear ways to make your computer do your common business tasks, automatically

  • a clear, simple way to deal with all the paper

  • ideas on how to maximise your office and storage space

  • and much, much more

and of course, you have 60 days' unlimited email support while you take action on your plan (this alone is worth $97)

“I used to spend my days always working on email and never getting anything done. Thanks to Marcia's suggestions, I now can’t believe everything I get done in one day!

It’s allowed me to have a very successful business while working only 15-20 hours per week. I love that her techniques have given me the freedom to spend time with my son and husband.

Thanks to her business organizing strategies I have doubled my productivity which has in turn doubled my business income. Thanks Marcia for all that you do!” jenniferhaubein_new.jpgJennifer Haubein

The nitty gritty details

Date: Tuesday 16 September

Time: 12 - 4pm Eastern Standard Time/ 6 -10 pm South African Time (GMT+2)

What do you need: Telephone, pen and handbook

Format: Simulcast - both by webcast and telephone - so if you have a computer and internet, you can participate. This is GREAT news for all readers outside the US who don't want to pay long-distance charges :)

So how does this work?

Once you register and pay, I'll send you the access information and the 27-page handbook for the day.

On the day, at the top of every hour, I'll teach for 15 - 20 minutes and the rest of the hour, we (the entire class) will all action that section of our offices.

You can call the phone number, listen to me speak and chat back with questions or comments.


You click the link I'll send you, and a webpage will open where you simply click a play button to listen in. You can even type questions and comments to me on your screen which I'll see after a few seconds. It's as easy as that!

Your choice!

What are the sections we'll tackle?

12pm How to organise your desk for maximum functionality and efficiency

1pm Clear the paper clutter and create a system for the flow of paper in your office

2pm Conquer your email, set up folders and organise your inbox

3pm Prioritise all your projects and develop a system for planning your month, week and day.

3:50 - 4pm Wrap-up and how to maintain your organised office

The best thing about this seminar is that you're learning and doing so at the end of the session, you have a beautifully organised and functional office!

Your investment: only $77 (actual value $267)

Let's recap. What do you get ...

  • LIVE teaching from Marcia Francois, time management and organising expert

  • LIVE group coaching

  • 60 days' unlimited email support

  • 27-page handbook

  • MP3 audio downloads of all the teaching

  • 7 easy steps to organise your office e-book*

* This will be emailed to you straight after the seminar because I don't want you to get overwhelmed before the time!

September 14, 2008

Pastrami, tomato and potato salad rolls

The mayonnaise post inspired me so much that I got the ingredients to make these delicious rolls.

  • Portuguese rolls
  • Tomatoes
  • Pastrami/ roast beef
  • Potato salad
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the roll open and spread with low-fat margerine

Add a slice of pastrami

and some sliced tomato.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper (my pic with the seasoning was too blurry to post)

Place a dollop of potato salad.
Don't put more than this because when you take a bite, it will all fall out :)

And there you have it - delicious!


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September 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Doors in Ireland


I read a post on another Marcia's blog about mayonnaise, and realised that either we're crazy or we're really passionate about mayonnaise.

My vote is for really passionate :)

I love mayonnaise, but only the really tangy one. Keep creamy mayonnaise away from me because that's not real.

We have a brand here called Crosse and Blackwell Tangy Mayonnaise. It is the most expensive one, but I don't care because NOTHING else will do LOL

However, mayonnaise is loaded in fat and you know I'm health-conscious so imagine my DELIGHT when they brought out a "light" version (50% less fat). That particular one is even MORE expensive than the regular one but it's worth it to have a good quality mayonnaise with half the calories. I also tell myself, "life's too short to scrimp on the good stuff"

To redeem this post somewhat, let me share with you some of my favourite things to have with mayonnaise!

I like nice grainy wholewheat bread so imagine the first 2 sandwiches on lovely low-GI seed loaf.

1. Boiled eggs, sliced tomato and a generous dollop of tangy mayonnaise - yum!
2. Tuna, onion finely diced and mixed with mayonnaise...
3. Roast beef, tomato and potato salad - this one works best on a nice seeded roll
4. Pasta salad

The strange thing is the one combination I really don't like is chicken and mayonnaise, which is the most common mayo combo! I never order a chicken mayo ANYthing; instead, I always get a grilled chicken and tomato sandwich if that's the best thing on offer :)

(My husband's favourite sandwich is cheese, lettuce and mayo - ugh! there's something about that cheese and mayo combo that turns me off!)

So how do you feel about mayonnaise? If you like it, which is better? Creamy or tangy?

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September 04, 2008

Gee, but it's been a long week

I moved to a new mailing list service two weeks ago and have been on a STEEP learning curve ever since. Thank goodness instant chat exists in the world because MANY, many nice people have helped over the last two weeks, and even before that while I was still deciding.

I also finally got all my to-dos done! Moved all my ecourses over, set up a separate list for my Gold VIP Inner Circle, set up some autoresponders for when I do talks (specific forms, etc, that I mention), etc, etc.

Don't you love delegating?

I really do because while I was busy with that, my VA did an email marketing campaign for me (which I've been procrastinating on, not because it's not important, but because I hate doing research) and I had the lovely Jo-Lynne redesign the Organising Queen blog. Let me know what you think!

Now I can relax and not a moment too soon!

So what have you done this week?

I'd love to celebrate with you!

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