November 30, 2008

How I get the most out of my coaching calls

Coaching in a coffee shop

Being a time management coach, I obviously believe in the process of being coached. So I also have a coach.

I’ve found that I get the most value out of my own coaching sessions by doing these 3 things:

Schedule time to prepare for my coaching call
As part of my weekly planning time, I take a few minutes to decide what I want to discuss during the session. Of course, I make some notes too.

Set the agenda at the start of the call
At the start of the call, I say something like “today, I’d like to focus on these three areas. 1, 2, and 3” just to keep us on track. I have a tendency to sometimes get distracted so this is my way of getting accountability.

Ask myself, “what’s bugging me the most right now?”
Sometimes when I do the weekly planning, I tend to want to do too much work on too many projects. Asking myself this question forces me to get real and focus on priorities instead of nice-to-haves.

That's what works for me.

Do you have a coach? If yes, how do you get the most out of your coaching calls?

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November 28, 2008

How do you listen to your iPod?

A question for you: do you listen to your iPod on continuous play or random play?

And why?

Quite honestly I never even thought about it until I had a discussion with a friend of mine who was horrified that anyone would use the random play feature?

She said, "but how will I know which song's coming next?"


I do both - when I'm at the computer, I like to listen to one artist at a time (because I get in the mood for a certain type of music) but when I'm using the iPod in the normal fashion, I always set it on random play.

What about you?

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November 27, 2008

Break out of overwhelm & BSO syndrome

Why this teleclass?

If you're a small business owner, you're probably inundated with messages from all over the internet.

And all the social media's not helping either - should you facebook, should you twitter, what should you do?

You're overwhelmed with everybody telling you what to do and and which system is the Next Best Thing to follow to make a gazillion dollars in a month :)

Instead of moving forward though, you feel so overwhelmed that you become totally paralysed with indecision.

On this teleclass you'll learn...

  • how to recognise the symptoms of overwhelm

  • what type of organising personality you are...and how to work with your style to get your focus back

  • some of my favourite tools (practically free) that help me focus

  • how to break out of overwhelm (when all the noise in your head gets too loud) by doing the absolute minimum you need to do to get you moving forward again

  • how to eliminate info product overwhelm... so you know which ones to follow to get the results you want

  • how to get your mojo back (in other words, get the confidence to quickly get you back on track)

  • how to go from just a lovely idea to a project actually done and off that eternal to-do list

“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 sons 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!”
Jennifer Haubein

The nitty gritty details

Saturday 29 November

Time: 3pm South African Time (GMT+2)

Your time: click here for your time zone

What do you need: Pen and the handout I'll be sending you

Format: Simulcast - both by webcast and telephone - so if you have a computer and internet, you can participate.

Investment: $37

I loved the clarity of your teaching and you have given me confidence that I can do more. You helped me realise my potential and the timing and ease of use worked very well.

The info you suggested was new to me as before, I’d only picked things up from others as I needed.

Tina Hodges
Sheffield, England

So how does this work?

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

  • On the day, either call in on the phone (it's a US number) or listen in through the webcast.

  • How does a webcast work? You click the link I send you, a webpage opens and you simply click the 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 very easy - isn't technology wonderful?!

  • If the time doesn't suit you, register anyway because I'll send you the recording within an hour or you can listen in via the replay link.

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

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

  • LIVE group coaching

  • Handout

  • MP3 audio download after the live call

  • this is part of your Gold VIP Inner Circle membership. Try it for a month and if you don't like it, you can always cancel

All this for only $37

Here's what people (just like you) are saying ...

Your system helped me realize those places where I could streamline my processes even further to help increase my productivity and give me more time.

Thanks, Marcia!
Teresa Morrow
Online Promoter for Authors, Speakers & Writers

November 26, 2008

This is what Johannesburg looks like these days...

I love this one - the wide open sky talks to me of possibilities and yet there's a red traffic light saying no :)

November 24, 2008

Over 50 people are already signed up. Are you?

Manage your time and get the right things done

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Time: 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time/ 6:30 PM South African Time (GMT +2)

Duration: 45 mins plus 15 mins Q & A

How: via teleseminar/ webcast - it's your choice

The nitty gritty

  • I'll send you all the details by email in just a moment so check your Inbox.

  • When you get my email, drag it to your Calendar, and then let go.

  • When the window opens, change the details to the date and time of the call, set a reminder and Save.

  • There - you're all set (and if you weren't already using it, you just learnt a cool time-saving tip).

Sign up here

How to manage your time and get the right things done
First name:
Primary email:
Your email address will NEVER be sold - that's my promise!

November 23, 2008

This just tickles me pink

Our new cleaning lady has been working for us every Saturday for the last 5 weeks and she’s working out great. My (Zimbabwean) husband says it’s because all Zimbabwean people have a great work ethic and attitude.

Okay then!

Seriously, she is a wonderful worker, has great attention to detail and doesn’t sass me (as the last one did).

She’s so creative – she found a way to store more shoes in the same place (I’ll have to blog that sometime) but this is what we’re really loving about her.

Our bed has a new, funky look every week!

Since I’m not creative, this absolutely tickles me :)

What's tickling you PINK these days?

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November 21, 2008

7 tips for time-strapped business owners

I'll show you exactly how to:

  • Do the one thing that will instantly get you more time

  • Focus your time and get the right things done

  • Design your business around what you're good at

  • Stop feeling overwhelmed

  • Say no to what's not good for your business

  • Focus on your high-payoff activities

  • Know when it's actually good to procrastinate

  • Stop time-wasters from getting the best of you

Plus you’ll also get regular weekly tips and information to make your business more organised and highly productive so you can bring in more money.

  1. Please enter your first name and primary email address below, and click submit.

  2. Check your inbox for a special link to confirm your subscription.

  3. As soon as you're confirmed, you'll get a second email from me with the download link to your first tip. You'll receive one tip every two days.

Get your FREE audio time tips now
*Your email address will NEVER be sold - that's my promise!

Love and time success

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November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - no-spill teapot

I'm very fussy about my coffee so I'll only have Wimpy/ Milky Lane coffee. Which means I mainly have tea when I'm out and the one thing that drives me BATTY is a teapot that spills.

It's so easy to fix - see that little lip on the end of the spout? That's all it takes.

So when I finally saw a decent teapot at Mugg and Bean, I had to take a pic.

Just another glimpse into the life of crazy :)

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November 17, 2008

How I cut down my time on the computer

I’m very good about setting good work/ life boundaries but still, now and again, my computer time gets out of hand.

No excuses – I admit that I find it relaxing to be on the computer and of course, there’s no end to all the blogging going on – I could literally read blogs the entire day. If I let myself.

Anywayyy, I introduced a two-step process – 15-minute blocks together with my trusty old kitchen timer.

15-minute blocks
In my desk notebook (you do have a desk notebook, don’t you?), I draw little square blocks. If I’m going to work on my newsletter, I know it should take me about an hour to put it together so I write “newsletter” and draw 4 squares on the same line.

Kitchen timer
I then set the timer for 15 minutes and start working. Somehow that ticking keeps me focused and on track. When the timer pings, I mark off a cross through the first block, set the timer and start working again.

Why this works
It helps to first decide what you want to get through in each 15-minute block of time. If I want to read blogs, I know that I can do so but when that timer pings, it’s time to get back to work again.

I also like to batch some tasks (typically things like web maintenance) so I may have 4 pages to update. I know exactly what I want to do on those pages so I literally go in, do my thing and save. With my timer ticking along!

You all know I spend 15 minutes a day on email. Besides email time, my goal is to only spend an average of 60 minutes on the computer a day – that’s 7 hours a week maximum. That’s besides client work because I do need the computer for my coaching calls and to do client action plans.

Do you have a computer time goal? How do you reduce your time on the computer?

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November 14, 2008

How I do the weekly planning in my home

Read part 1 of weekly planning.

So how do I do weekly planning?
  1. Check client appointments, work commitments, teleseminars, coaching calls, when I have a dance class, etc.
  2. Add those appointments to the calendar to see where I have time and where I don't.
  3. Menu plan quick meals and meals that take slightly longer.
  4. Make grocery list to supplement my freezer and pantry.
  5. Pre-cook things like rice, kidney beans and lentils and freeze in the correct portion sizes.
  6. Every evening while I wait for the kettle to boil for my last cup of tea/ coffee, check menu for tomorrow's meal and move food around in my freezer so it's easy to grab and go, or bring food from pantry to my counter top next to the stove. E.g. if I'm doing pasta with a tomato-based sauce, I'll grab the pasta and a can of tomato and place these next to the stove.

My tips

  • Have a set time to do this every week. I usually do the grocery list on Friday evenings because Dion shops the minute he gets home from work while I attack the laundry (attack is so much more proactive, isn't it?)
  • First check your freezer and pantry before you compile your grocery list. And of course, always shop with a grocery list.
  • Commit to eat from your freezer regularly so that you finish food and save some money.
  • Be flexible - move your meals around. If it's a hot day, you don't want an oven-baked casserole so switch to a "cooler" meal instead. Also, if you get invited out, go! People first, and then schedules :)

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November 12, 2008

Why I use weekly planning to run my life

This is my weekly planning form.

People often ask me, "why weekly planning?"

Well, there are three reasons:
  1. I like to have my monthly goals broken down weekly so I can feel like I'm accomplishing BIG projects continually, and
  2. I don't like the pressure of daily planning and I don't think most of you like it either.
  3. I like to measure my results on a weekly basis too so I can correct course quickly. If my subscribers drop in a particular week, I can quickly see if I'm not blogging enough or linking to my website enough or posting meaningful contributions in forums.

With daily planning, if you don't get to all the stuff you wanted to do, you start feeling like a failure and then you do actually do less.

With weekly planning, you can spread out your stuff so that you only do one or two key tasks every day. Even if you don't get to them, there's always tomorrow :)

I could see how this might not work for you, especially if you're a chronic procrastinator, because you might put off things continually and not actually get to anything. If that's you, hire me to keep you accountable. I will kick your butt (in a loving way)!

For the rest, this should work fine.

So once you've identified the tasks you want to accomplish for that week, ask yourself this question:

Will these things actually move me towards my goals, or are they just "busy work" tasks?

(you want to make sure you have proper things on your list)

I could faff around for an hour trying to install Wordpress for my new site or I could design the content for my next teleseminar.

The first one is busy work (that I'm not good at anyway) while the second will actually bring me money.

Do you see the difference?

Make sure your tasks move you towards your goals.

One last point - don't EVER ever ever put more than 6 things on your daily to-do list. If that was good enough for Mary Kay, it's good enough for you and me.

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So, what do you think? Do you agree? Not? Share (I'm a big girl - I can take it!)

November 10, 2008

Text/ SMS or phone?

image from

I looked at my phone earlier today and noticed that I had...wait for this...34 text messages.

Since my comfort level's about 8 maximum, I almost started twitching.

I have 34 messages for a number of reasons:

  1. I haven't updated my budget yet (I get a text message every time a transaction goes through on the credit card).
  2. I'm getting sentimental in my old age (I've been going through something and I've kept all the lovely messages from my friends because they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and some even make me cry)
  3. I hate sending text messages! This is largely due to the fact that I'm slow. In fact, this may be one of the few places in life where I'm v-e-r-y slow. I think other (normal) people could send about 8 - 10 messages in the same time it takes me to compose one. I do use predictive text but I spell properly. U for you, and r for are won't do for me.

So that's why I only text back if it's urgent. And by urgent, I mean it has a deadline attached to it. I'm on my way somewhere and realise I'm going to be late. Or I'm there and want to find out where the other person is. Or my friends need an encouraging message NOW because I sense desperation :)

For non-urgent text messages, I prefer waiting and returning the call when I have time to chat.

What do you prefer? Texting or phoning? And how fast do you text?

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November 07, 2008

Guess what I did?


I finally booked and paid for our tickets for the Rod Stewart concert.

I CAN'T wait :)

Of course I'll be listening to him non-stop until then so I'm TOTALLY familiar with all the songs LOL

And I'll be able to cross another thing off my life list - woohoo!

Edited to add:
Yesterday, I bought a double CD to prepare myself for the concert!

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November 05, 2008

What you don't need first thing on a Monday morning

On the bright side, I had a time-sensitive medical appointment the previous day and the car worked perfectly then!

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November 03, 2008

Sweetcorn and potato bake

  • About 4 - 6 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • Mushrooms (I use about 4 - 6 button mushrooms - use more or less, as you like)
  • 1 can creamed sweetcorn
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Any spices that take your fancy (I like some dried chili)
(Can you see I'm very free and easy in the kitchen? It's the only place where I'm totally flexible :))

  • Wash the potatoes and dice into smallish pieces.
  • Add cut onion (have I told you before how I LOVE cutting onion? There's nothing like a nice sharp knife slicing an onion!) and mix it all up.
  • Add sliced mushrooms and mix.
  • Add spices, salt and pepper
  • Add about 1/4 cup of water
  • Microwave for about 8 - 10 mins (that's in my 1000 watt microwave) until potatoes are almost soft
  • Add the can of sweetcorn and mix it all up (I like to add more pepper at this point)
  • Microwave for a further 2 - 3 mins until all the flavours mix

If you want to be really decadent, grate some cheese on the top!

Yummy :)

Serve with chicken and a salad

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