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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6 Tips To Maximise Your Most Precious Resource

6 Tips To Maximise Your Most Precious Resource

When we ask business owners what their most precious resource is, they usually answer with money, employees or family. What is less stated is the one resource that can never be replenished or gained back – time.  Business owners that struggle with time usually share the same behaviours. They don’t delegate or prioritise tasks well. They tend not to be well-organized in their day-to-day lives. These issues are easy to fix as long as you make the small but significant changes to how you approach tasks.

If you aren’t sure how to go about using your time more effectively, consider applying some of the following tips and see how they work for you:

1  Plan Your Day

If you find that your day tends to be rather chaotic, consider investing in a planner and writing out how your day will progress. Don’t try to rigidly adhere to it (since unexpected events can cause your plans to change), but make an effort to stick to it as best as you can. For added effect, sort out your tasks by priority and urgency. This will help you directly visualise the relative importance and impact of each task.

2  Break Down Large Tasks Into Smaller Ones

Having a colossal task in front of you can be very overwhelming. For example if you have to clean your entire house in one day, it can be hard to know where to start. Instead of thinking about cleaning the entire house it helps to break it down by room. This way, you still get the work done while making it seem much more reasonable

3  Organise Your Life

This goes somewhat in hand with item #1, but this tip speaks in a more general sense. If you aren’t using a filing cabinet, get one. If your inventory is a mess, start tracking it. Make use of technology – computers can be your best friend! Organising your home and business life won’t just make things run more smoothly – it’ll positively affect your psyche.  It is much easier to focus when working in a neat, clutter free environment whether that be your desk, office or home

4  Delegate

This point can’t be stressed enough. If you don’t know how to tell somebody to do something, it’s time to learn. You cannot be in four places at once, so find three other employees and tell them to do three of those tasks. Micro-managing is both a morale and a productivity killer, and many bosses fall afoul of this in some way. If your employees can’t be trusted to perform a certain task, that is YOUR fault. Train them well so that they can, and your life will be made so much easier

5  Don’t Strive For Perfection

Instead, strive for excellence. Pushing your team to do better is a fantastic goal, and one that will enable your business to reach new heights. But straight perfectionism is impossible – we’re only human, after all. Demanding perfection from your team will only contribute to stress and a lack of trust in faith in you as a leader. Business owners who demand perfection are also frequently micromanagers; that is a toxic combination that will do a lot of damage to your team’s psyche over the long term

6  Just Say No

No, the most powerful word ever spoken.  You can say this at any time and without having to give a reason for it. If you don’t want to do something or don’t want something done, just say no. You are never obliged to say yes to somebody or something. Remember your business works for you not the other way around.

If you want to achieve a better return from time spent contact us to hear more on ways in which we can help:

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E=MC^2: Einstein’s Take on Time Management


Are you so drained at the end of the day after getting up early, dealing with traffic, working all day, taking care of kids, your spouse, cooking, cleaning, running errands and the million other things you do all day – with no time or energy to take care of yourself?

The perception that most people have of time management is wrong. Time is finite. No matter how much you try to change it, there are only 24 hours in the day. What you can change is how you experience time, and that is all about ENERGY. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, everything is relative, even how two people experience time differently. The more energy you have, the slower time goes, at least in theory. But think about it, can you remember the last time you had an immense amount of ENERGY, how much you got done during that day?


Rather than treating our life and businesses as a marathon, we need to treat them as sprints and recovery (so that you can recover your ENERGY!). We all know we are going to have big sprints — that’s what makes pursuing a project or business so exciting. But it’s imperative that we build in equal parts recovery.

5 Tips to Make Room for Recovery

Schedule it.

No matter whether or not you think you need a break, schedule fun or relaxation activities in advance and stick to them.

Double the break you think you need.

I know how this goes, “Sure, I’ll take a break — I’ll give myself a whole hour off!” Not good enough. Whatever the break you think you need, double it. You are most likely underestimating the toll that all of your hard work is taking on your body and mind — even if you’re having fun.

Enlist family and friends.

If you schedule a weekend get-away with family or friends, you’ll have no excuse but to unplug. Family and friends can be great accountability buddies for taking the breaks you need.

Make a list of the benefits of R&R, and brainstorm your favourite rejuvenation activities.

I know that even after reluctantly taking a break, I will come back refreshed, more cheerful and more creative — which puts me in an even better position to do my best work once I’m back at it. Making a list of the benefits will help motivate and remind you to actually take the breaks you’ve set-up. At a loss for what to do? Make a list of any/all activities that bring you joy or relaxation. For me that’s reading, yoga, a glass of wine (with chocolate) and watching a few shows on Hulu.

Break down your biggest goals into achievable, measurable chunks and reward yourself often!

For every day that you make a massive to-do list, add a “reward” item at the end that brings you joy. Maybe it’s reading a book, a gossip magazine, or going out to dinner with a friend. For many of us, we only take breaks or celebrate when we hit the BIG goals — but those can take months to achieve. Instead, break them down into smaller parts and reward yourself for all of the smaller milestones you hit along the way.

To learn how to finally implement Time Management strategies that work into your routine, join us at our upcoming Time Management Workshop , TOMORROW Friday, 21st October in in the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport. Click here for more information and to register your place or call us on 01 891 6220.

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Or  if you would like to avail of a complimentary Business Review with one of our top Coaches to uncover ways to grow and improve your business, please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to arrange your appointment:

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5 Top Time Management Tips for Business Owners

5 Top Time Management Tips for Business Owners

ActionCOACH Time Management pic

We’ll keep this short. The biggest key in time management is prioritisation. By dividing your to-do list into urgent tasks, short and long-term goals, you’ll be able to allocate your time more effectively. Here are five of our favourite time management tips for business owners. Enjoy!

1. Prioritise communication

Email is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s a great time management tool to avoid the need for meetings, but can also be one of the biggest time sucks if you’re checking it every 10 minutes. Set aside a specific time to review emails. Not only will this keep you in the know, but allow you to knock out the tasks you need to throughout the day.

2. Block off focused time

One of the aspects of managerial roles involves being pulled in all sorts of directions. You’ll find yourself spending so much time on everyone else’s projects, with none left to complete your own. Block off portions of your daily or weekly schedule and dedicate it solely to your work. Make sure you don’t get booked for other engagements during this time and fully concentrate on the tasks at hand.

3. Put a value on your time

We’ve all heard that time is money, but have you really thought about it? How much money can you make in a month? What then is the value of each day in a month? How much is an hour of your time worth? What about a minute? How many tasks to do you have which are actually quite low value but where only you know how to do them, or jealously guard them for a variety of reasons – confidentiality perhaps, or because they are enjoyable, or because you’ve always done it and you haven’t gotten around to training someone else how to do it? Make sure that every single task you are doing yourself is worth your valuable time.

4. Re-prioritize on demand

When you’re a business owner or manager, you need to be flexible. Each day presents a different challenge and prioritization is key if you want to keep your ship afloat. To organize yourself, determine which tasks are urgent and others that can remain on the back burner. From there, build your list based on importance, time involved, or resources needed. You may have one project you can knock out in 15 minutes and another that will involve several days. For the projects that are drawn out, create checkpoints to keep yourself on track.

5. Use your focus effectively

Don’t waste time reading, watching or focusing on what doesn’t help you reach your goals. Modern technology and media is designed to get your attention, so it’s easy to get distracted by things that other people want to show you. Humans are attracted to novelty, and we are all looking for the newest, best knowledge out there, often without taking the time out to implement what we know needs to be done. Knowledge is useless without implementation.

To learn how to implement these and other valuable techniques into your day call us on 01 891 6220.

Or if you would like to avail of a complimentary Business Review with one of our top Coaches to uncover ways to grow and improve your business, please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to arrange your appointment:

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How to Manage What You Do With Your Time

ActionCOACH Ireland how to manage your time better blog post

As we all know time does not stand still for anybody. Unfortunately we can’t create more time and once it’s gone it’s gone forever. So, if we can’t manage time, what can we manage? The simple answer is that we can only manage what we do with it. This means being more disciplined about how we spend our precious time.

Here are some of our top tips to help you manage your time better:

Focus - How to manage your time better

  • Focus

It’s important to focus your efforts on the tasks that will help you achieve the success you want. Learn not to get side tracked with all those less important tasks.


  • Choose To Be A Victor not a Victim

It’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming the outside world (staff, suppliers, banks, customers etc.) for why we are too busy to achieve the success we feel we deserve. From here on in, make sure  you choose to be a victor, rather than a victim – take ownership of your time and what you want to achieve with it.

Goal - How to manage your time better

  • Set Goals

Set clear goals which you are emotionally linked to and create a plan of action to help you achieve your goals. This will help you focus during the time available and you will be less likely to become distracted.


  • Prioritise

Learn to priorities different tasks. In the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” by Stephen Convey the 4 main types of tasks identified were:

– Not Urgent, Not Important- things that distract us from our goals.
– Urgent, Not Important – things that we are deluded by.
– Urgent and Important – things that put demands on us.
– Not Urgent and Important – things we do that lead to our goals.

Going forward, ask yourself which category a task falls into and say NO to the distractions.

So to summarise, if you want to find time to achieve your goals, all you need to do is identify what is it exactly that you want to achieve, ensure this is something you are passionate about and then work out a plan of action with dedicated time to help you achieve it.

If you would like some help managing your time join us at our Time Management Workshop Friday 16th October. Click Here for more information and to register your place.

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Why Time Management Is So Important

The bad news is-3

Have you heard of the saying, ‘Time is Money’? When it comes to running a business, this phrase is invariably true. In today’s fast paced world, time is considered as important as money, but in the end, both aren’t equal.

Even though time is continually rushing past, this doesn’t mean you’re making money just as fast. Money making largely depends on how well you manage and utilise the time that is given. Here’s why time management is important and why you should think about this more seriously.

Effective Time Management Helps Accomplish More with Less Effort

The number one advantage of time management is that you have better control over your time, which means that staying focused on finishing a task becomes easy. This in turn, leads to a much higher efficiency and productivity, achieved in only half the effort.

Effective Time Management Helps You Make Better Decisions

When it comes to running a successful business, you will have to make decisions that help you do so effectively. The choices you make, either good or bad, will shape the future of your business. This is why time management is essential, as then you will be able to give more time to thinking about each and every choice carefully, as you can afford to do so.

Effective Time Management Helps Reduce Stress

The main reason why people feel stressed is solely because of having to complete a task in a certain time and not having enough time to do it in. When you apply effective time management to your work schedule, completing a task within a deadline will become very easy, which will enable you to accomplish more. In the end, you will have more time to review the entire project or task and eliminate the mistakes.

The reason why time management is so important is because with it you will be able to check every project or task that you attend to as you have plenty of time on your hands.

If you would like some help managing your time join us at our Time Management Workshop Friday 16th October. Click Here for more information and to register your place.

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