Save Time With A Default Diary

Save Time With A Default Diary

In our experience of working with hundreds of business owners every year we have observed that one of the reasons people are not able to implement their plans is that they try to climb a mountain in one leap. Not only is this impossible to accomplish but it leaves a trail of abandoned plans,  being overwhelmed as well as bringing people to the brink of burn out.

Successful planning is no different to mountain climbing. You set your goal and achieve it one step at a time.  The key to achieving your goals consistently is to break each step down to smaller, actionable tasks.

The Default Diary

A “Default Diary” is a plan of specific times in your week that are dedicated to important activities. It’s a plan of what you will do by default. You can look upon it as a plan for what you would ideally do when your week goes according to plan.

Here’s how to set up an effective Default Diary:

  1.  Make A List Of Your Priorities.
  2.  Schedule Your Next Week Every Friday.
  3.  Break Your Week Into 1 Hr Segments.
  4.  Leave enough unplanned time to allow a healthy level of flexibility.
  5.  Use a general description and try to do something new under that heading each week eg: Update Business Plan.

Click here to download default diary template

Default Diary Template

By breaking your week into one hour segments and developing a ‘Default Diary’, this forces you to spend your entire week proactively rather than reacting blindly to whatever comes along first. It automatically makes sure that the important stuff gets done, not just the urgent stuff.

Remember the only way you can conquer a mountain is one step at a time. Make sure you create your Default Diary before your next week kicks off. 

To learn more about how we can help you to exceed your goals get in touch below. 

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Stay Ahead Of The Game This Summer With Quarterly Business Planning

Stay Ahead Of The Game This Summer With Quarterly Business Planning

Don’t Lose Sight Of The Goal Posts This Summer

Stay on Target With Regular Quarterly Business Planning…

So we have reached the halfway mark of 2018 – where did that time go? And more importantly, how has business been for you so far this year?

Are your numbers where they should be? Are they where you expected them to be? With 6 months gone, are you on track to hit your sales and revenue targets for 2018?

Now that we are officially into the summer season, it can be easy to lose focus of your goals or targets with managing staff holidays and depending on the industry that you are in, perhaps dealing with the increased footfall.

However it’s important not to lose sight of your over-arching business objectives. Without regular quarterly planning (summer included), another 3 months could easily slip by and you could be slipping further away from achieving your year-end personal and business goals.

Half way through the year is the perfect time to take stock of how business is performing against what you had set out at the start of the year. There is still plenty of time to course-correct.

Here are 10 Top Tips To Keep You On Target With Your Quarterly Business Plan Goals This Summer:

  1. Review Your Numbers – compare total Income, Gross Profit, Net Profit for the quarter just passed, against the previous quarter, and against the same period last year.  What’s the change year over year? Get even more specific – break it down by product / service….
  2. Financial Targets – Based on the figures and what you wanted to achieve this year, what’s your financial targets for the quarter ahead?
  3. Stop, Start, Continue – What should you stop doing? What should you start doing? What should you do more of?
  4. Key Goals – Write down 3-5 goals that you need to accomplish in the next 13 weeks.
  5. Get specific – rewrite each of these goals into the SMART format – Specific. Measureable. Achievable. Results focused. Time based.
  6. Break it down – Write out each task that needs to be completed to accomplish each goal. Tasks should be low level, reasonable, and should be able to be achieved in a week or less.
  7. Engage Your Team – Share your plan with your team, or even better – get them involved!
  8. Deadlines – Assign a completion date to each task.
  9. Responsibility – Assign a team member to take ownership and accountability of the completion of each task.
  10. Review – Schedule regular team meetings to review progress of your goals over the next 13 weeks. With continued focus – they run a much higher  chance of being achieved!

Sounds easy doesn’t it? It can be if you take the time out of the day-to-day to do it, and are disciplined enough to see it through.

If you need a day out of your business to work on developing your plan with one of our expert Business Coaches, join us on Friday 13th July at our full day Quarterly Business Planning Workshop.

Just click here for more details, or give us a call on 01 891 6220.


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TC Matthews Carpets – Building A Retail Chain

TC Matthews Carpets – Building A Retail Chain

TC Matthews Feature in Irish Independent by Seán Gallagher.

Congratulations to Brendan Cumiskey owner of TC Matthews Carpets on being featured by Sean Gallagher in the Irish Independent.  This article by Seán Gallagher shares many valuable insights into what it takes to build a retail chain.

It is nice to have been mentioned too.

You can click here to read the online article published by Independent Business or read the print version below.





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4 In A Row For ActionCOACH Ireland

4 In A Row For ActionCOACH Ireland


ActionCOACH Ireland’s winning streak at the European Coach Conference continued this year in Liverpool with a double win. This marks our fourth consecutive year of taking top honours at the annual gathering of business coaches from across the EMEA region.

John O’Sullivan was presented with the prestigious EMEA Employee Coach of the Year 2018 beating off competition from over 200 business coaching practices across the EMEA region.
John  was both surprised and honoured to be recognised as the best performing employee business coach in Europe

”I’m delighted, I want to thank our MD Paul Fagan whose leadership has brought me through seven years of business coaching to winning this honour.”

As a business coach, John is more used to congratulating his clients on their achievements. Most recently Little Learners Pre-School & Montessori received double accreditation at the Business All Stars Awards for innovation and team. John was quick to pay tribute to those who he credits with helping him to win his EMEA Employee Coach of The Year Award,

“This is really an award for the team and my colleagues back in Dublin not to mention my clients without whom I wouldn’t be receiving this award.”

ActionCOACH MD Paul Fagan Team Builder Award Pic

Our Managing Director, Paul Fagan picked up the EMEA Team Builder of the Year 2018 award in recognition of the achievements and continued growth of the ActionCOACH Ireland team.  On accepting his award Paul paid tribute to the award winning team that he has built into Ireland’s #1 business coaching organisation.

“This is a team award so I couldn’t achieve any of things to earn this award without my team back home in Ireland, our coaching team, the franchisee team so thanks to all the guys and girls who have helped us get to here today. “

Paul also acknowledged how proud he is to be building better businesses in Ireland using the ActionCOACH system 18 years now.

“Thanks Brad for the system, we have been rocking and rolling in Ireland now for 18 years using the ActionCOACH system and it’s been the most fantastic and rewarding journey. To have won this award for the 4th year really means a lot.”

At ActionCOACH Ireland we can guarantee outstanding results with growth in sales, profits & overall business performance. We do this by bringing an award winning team of business coaches together with clients who want to take their businesses to the next level.  Below is a reminder of some of our other recent awards:


  • ActionCOACH EMEA Employee Coach of the Year 2018 (John O’Sullivan)
  • ActionCOACH EMEA Team Builder of the Year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • ActionCOACH Global Awards Employee Coach of the Year 2017 (Rory Smyth)
  • Irish Franchise Awards Franchisee of the Year (Service) 2017
  • ActionCOACH EMEA Coach of the Year 2016 (Rory Smyth)
  • ActionCOACH EMEA Firm of the Year 2015
Achieving Goals Requires Prioritised Planning

Achieving Goals Requires Prioritised Planning

It’ much  easier to talk about making a plan than to actually create one. One of the first issues you’ll encounter is determining how to prioritise each task. This is why it helps to divide your plan into three categories:

  1. Needs
  2. Wants
  3. Would like to’s

By categorising your priorities this way, you’ll have a better understanding of what is important, as well as the best way to approach it. Let’s look at these categories in more detail, helping you to differentiate immediate needs from short- and long-term goals.


“Needs” refer to what you’re business cannot survive without such as paying the bills, obtaining product, maintaining a monthly profit. A “need” should always be your first priority, and the goals you set for yourself should reflect these.


“Wants” represent what you want to achieve either a business or personal goal. For example, you might want to boost your annual sales by 25%, or take a holiday at the end of the quarter. “Wants” are a great way to chart your course in the short term, and can be of great use in motivating both yourself and your team to raise the bar. However, it’s important to remember that a want isn’t necessarily a priority for you, nor will it provide the kind of long-term vision that is required for you to attain true success.

Would Like To’s:

“Would like to’s” will ultimately be your guiding force in the long run, and ideally your “wants” and “needs” will align with what it is that you hope to achieve. If your “needs” are barely being met, then you won’t be able to satisfy your “wants” or achieve your “would like to’s.” Don’t just meet your needs – beat them.

Instead of breaking even, reach for a 20% profit by the end of the year. Then, use those profits to expand your business, attract more clients and perpetuate a virtuous cycle of self-propelled growth!

Each one of these three types of priorities have their own important role within your growth plan. Keeping them in harmony with each other is a crucial underpinning in successful businesses everywhere. If you understand how to balance these priorities when creating and executing your plans, you’ll be amazed at how much more smoothly everything runs.

Quarterly Planning & Goal Setting Workshop

If you have goals you want to achieve over the next quarter, our next ActionCOACH Quarterly Planning & Goal Setting Workshop takes place on July 13th.  For full details on this full day workshop and to book your ticket click here.