Busy…? Create Systems and Drop that Nasty Word from Your Vocabulary

busy_person-300x300Have you  ever apologized for not following through on something because you were “so busy”? Be it a family member, friend, business associate or customer… it conveys to them that perhaps they aren’t that important to you… and you have other things that come first.

Yet we’re pretty sure that we’ve all been in this scenario… family time, important time-sensitive projects, and day-to-day business activities… all at once! So we’re not lying to others when we say we’ve been busy, and the stress of it can be totally overwhelming.

The cure for this situation? Systems!

While you are working to get your project completed, the other activities in your business start falling behind. But they don’t have to. If you set up systems to handle your regular business activities they can happen almost automatically.

Write down the activities you do in one day, then do it again the next day, and the next, and so on. After a few days you should be able to discover which activities you do over and over again… on a regular basis. These are the activities that you can and should systematize.

If these activities can be completed automatically for you, or if the time to do them can be cut to a fraction of the normal time, wouldn’t that be beneficial? We believe it is.

Some activities that we’ve developed systems for:

  • Blog Posts – We write a few when we have time and then have them scheduled to come up in our blog on specific dates.
  • Twitter – We schedule certain Tweets in advance to be posted at a later time or date.
  • Article Writing – Our system for writing articles at times also involves outsourcing, which is another way to get things done faster, better, and with the least amount of effort on your part.

These are some of our examples. Think about it… what can you systematize?

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

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Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

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Rockin’ Nun Shocks ‘The Voice of Italy’

Here is something very COOL.

Sister Cristina Scuccia is the Rockin ‘Nun’ on The Voice of Italy.

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

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Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

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What a Tangled Web We Weave in Our Head

Web in our BrainDo this, do that, run this errand, pick up that… damn! Forgot I needed to do that other thing!

Yes, there is a lot to do in your life, and quite often it seems like you’re out of control. The great news? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Feeling like you have life running smoothly boils down to having an organizational system and then using it! The problem is so many people keep things in their head and think they can remember it all and remind themselves at the appropriate time to do something. Wrong!

And it doesn’t have anything to do with how smart you are, humans just don’t work that way (yet).

The first step in getting your life running smoothly is getting all that stuff out of your head and into a system that you will review and take action on.

Sound simple? Yay! That’s exactly what it is. The hard part is changing your habits to use and follow that system.

Start today, and once you get going your momentum will carry you on.

Plans, Preparation, Action and Progress!

You have a goal in mind; something you want to achieve. So you do what you feel is logical:

1. Make a plan on how to get there.

Or do you? Yes, some people decide they want something yet don’t make a plan on how they’ll get there. Seems kind of strange, but it does happen.

Now, it’s a known fact that not all plans turn out as anticipated. The solution? Make a Plan A, B, C – or as many as you can come up with. After all, you won’t know how many you’ll use to get to your goal.

2. Make all the preparations to reach your target.

That one statement can cover a lot of ground. It encompasses everything from collecting and organizing the tools and resources to reach your goal to reviewing your plans and clarifying your path forward.

A great way to make sure you’ve covered all your bases is to make a “checklist” of all the things you need to do to prepare for your journey to reaching your goal. That way you can be sure you haven’t missed anything, and it may even tweak your mind on things you never thought of to start with.

3. Use your plans and preparation to take action!

You can make all the plans and prepare all you want… if you don’t take action, nothing will happen. Your goal will remain as a dream or a few words written on a page. Again, it’s a great idea to track your action steps to keep you moving in the right direction… noticing where you need to adjust to get closer to your goal (not farther away).

And of course action leads to…

4. Progress!

But does it? Sometimes yes and sometimes no… and sometimes you progress, but not in the direction you had planned.

Once again, track it. Track your progress. Find a way to determine where you are, what you have done, and where you are at on your journey.

It may seem to you that this is way too “logical” and doesn’t leave any room for creativity and “going with the flow” of things. Not so. Yes, it’s great to plan, prepare, check that you’ve thought of everything and then track how well you’re doing… but corrections and adjustments are a part of this process as well.

Keep in touch with YOU throughout this journey, make sure it feels right and is aligned with who you are. Plans can be altered, next steps can change… in fact they will! Life and our plans are not cast in stone, change is a constant.

So plan, prepare, take action and watch your progress… it’s a wonderful feeling to see how far you can go in very little time. Surprise yourself… be your own biggest inspiration and motivation to achieve your goals.

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

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Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

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No Matter How Old You Are, You’re Always Learning!

So, one more figures competition under my belt, this time at the National level. Yes, the competition was tougher than at the Provincial level and I had to step up my game… but that is a Cool thing. Sometimes it takes a challenge to get us to step up and make some major changes and improvements.

For this competition my amazing husband, Pat, hired a trainer for me. I sure learned a lot through my sessions with my trainer and the diets and exercise routines he had me follow. I had a great foundation already established… but yet it was that extra 20% that made up 80% of my visible progress.

A few notices I took away from my experience at the National competition:

  • Although I was told everyone was there to win and I wouldn’t find anyone to be friendly or cooperative, it was totally opposite. I met so many COOL people and had a blast back stage.
  • No matter how lean, muscular, toned, tanned, etc. you think you are, there is always at least one other person who is just a bit more.
  • Being a judged sport… you can’t control the judges thoughts and opinions. And they’re all looking at you a little differently.
  • Coming in last place isn’t degrading or defeating unless you make it that way.

Yes, I did come in last place in my categories. And yes, I could have quit after that… but I’m thinking… why would I? I’ve dieted for over three months, tanned myself silly, lifted what seems like millions of pounds of weights… just to quit? Nope.

This applies so well to the rest of our lives… in business, on a personal level, in sports, whatever… one “kick in the butt” and we may feel like we want to quit. Instead, perhaps look at it this way… take a step back, look at where you really are, and where you started from. You may (in fact, you probably will) surprise yourself.

Are you willing to give up on all that you’ve done, everything you’ve accomplished to that point, just to pack it in? That can be a tough question, and we’re thinking the answer for the most part would be a resounding NO. Of course there are the few times when the writing is on the wall, and a different path would be the best choice.

My trainer did have a few of his students quit just before the competition. That boggled my mind. I couldn’t understand investing in that much time, energy, pain and money just to drop out. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? You could come in last place 😉

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

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Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

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Your Core Values – Are You With Them or Against Them?

You, like all of us, have core values. Intangible things that you feel are so very important; those things you see as the foundation, or “building blocks”, of your life.

So we ask… do your actions reflect those values?

Take for instance, health. If health is a person’s core value, and their life includes a high-fat, low-nutrient diet, with a sedentary lifestyle, then they are not living in congruency with that core value.

Determining your true core values is not something to be taken lightly. Be honest with yourself… what is TRULY important to you? What are those things that you really want to put first and foremost in your life, and design your life around?

Then, when you decide to do something, follow some teachings, or incorporate some information into your life or business… take a look at how they align with your core values. Basically, it comes down to trusting your intuition (your gut). When you are deciding on something, determine if it “feels” right first. If something is in alignment with your core values, it will give you a sense of strength, flow and joy.

At times, you may do things because of a short-term benefit. You see it as a way to get something or somewhere quickly. However, if it doesn’t resonate with your core values, you won’t be putting your heart and soul into it.

Don’t sell out! Be true to your heart and core values. Discover what you hold as valuable and be sure to make those things the front and center of how you live your life. The benefits? Joy, passion, and success!

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed.

Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

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IQMatrix Free Visual Maps Within “The Brain”

We’ve always loved Mind Maps! It’s totally amazing how they allow us to recap a whole lot of information and knowledge all in one place. Honestly, if you wrote out all the information contained in just one mind map, like the ones to the left, it would be like writing a small novel.

The question then becomes… “What happens when you have a lot of Mind Maps?” For example, Adam Sicinski over at IQMatrix.com currently has over 150 Mind Maps in his IQMatrix Lifetime Membership .

We purchased the Lifetime Membership a while back and yet he still keeps adding more and more maps almost monthly. We’re guessing it helps him get his ideas out of his head… and keep his clients up to date. So how do we manage and keep track of these 150+ maps, so that when we need them we can find them quickly?

We could tell you, but that wouldn’t do it justice. So we’ll show you what we do to manage the 25+ Visual Maps from IQMatrix that Adam is currently giving away (for free!), and how we connect these maps to the blog posts that have been created for them. It’s all very COOL!!!

Downloading IQMatrix Free Visual Maps with “TheBrain”

So here they are (drum roll please)…
The steps to download the IQMatrix Free Visual Maps within “The Brain”:

Step #1 – Download the PersonalBrain desktop software and install it. Don’t worry, it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.
=> ToTheBrain.com

That gives you 30 days of access to all the features of the software. But don’t fret… after the 30 days the IQMatrix Visual Maps will still work.

Step #2 – Download the BrianZip of the IQ Matrix Free Visual Maps that we created.
=> Download the IQMatrix Free Visual Maps BrainZip

Once that is downloaded, all you need to do is double click on the BrainZip and TheBrain will unpack and install the IQMatrix Visual Maps on your local machine. It’s as simple as that!

And trust us, once you start using ‘The Brain’ you might just happen to fall in love with it :)

We have also posted a web version (called WebBrain) of the IQMatrix Visual Maps.
To access that version ==> Go Here!
Before you go there… we’d just like to point out that WebBrain is still under development and doesn’t work as well as it does when running on your local machine. Basically, it’s slower and doesn’t have as many features as the computer-based version… but it does work!

And one last thing… if you decide to purchase IQMatrix Lifetime Membership through our affiliate link, send us a copy of your invoice and we’ll send you a BrainZip of the 150+ Mind Maps contained in the IQMatrix Membership.

Now this last point is a very limited-time offer. We could pull this offer at any time because of the time required for us to create the BrainZips.

We would love to hear your feedback and comments below (really, we would!)… Thanks!

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

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Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

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Expectations, Disappointment and Remembering Why You Did It in the First Place

You’re so pumped… so sure that you’ll achieve a certain level of success, you can almost taste it. Then, whoa… what the heck? You fall short of where you expected to be, the level of success or the award you felt you would achieve.

Here’s my (Lorna’s) experience on this very subject:

I was so excited. I had worked my butt off in the gym, ate more chicken than seemed humanly possible, and noticed way more improvements in my body’s physique than a mere 4 months earlier in my last Figures Competition.

I was confident I`d place in the top 5… perhaps very near the top. In fact, I was almost positive this would happen.

Not so.

I couldn`t understand why (at first). I pretty much knew after the morning show that I would not be in the top 5… I almost felt like just skipping the evening show. After all, what was the point? That`s when Pat stepped in with some very empowering questions (he`s an excellent coach :)), which reminded me… it’s about the journey, not the destination; and it’s about improving myself, not the competition with the other girls. And darn it all, I met a lot of wonderful people… and had a blast.

Basically that was it… the reasons why I worked so hard in the gym, and followed such a stringent diet. (Not to mention how much I enjoy my workouts.) Basically, why I did it in the first place.

I was shocked to see how carried away I was by my lack of “awards”. Perhaps there is the underlying answer to it all… I “expected” awards, and in the end received much more in the way of life lessons and huge reminders about the real rewards; the sense of accomplishment, the enjoyment of doing what I love, and meeting some extraordinary people.

My expectations at the next competition will be much different. Will I have some? Oh yes, I expect to show some physical improvements, meet some wonderful people, and have a whole lot of fun along the way!

P.S. After looking at my professional photos, I could see where I fell short… giving me more incentive to turn it up a notch or two at the gym, and a better idea of what I need to work on.

Lorna`s Trailer Of The Competition

Pat Interviews Lorna On Her Experience

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

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Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

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A Marketing Funnel Mastery live event recommendation with Karen Dunham

We were extremely honoured to be able to catch Karen Dunham for a COOL interview during the Marketing Funnel Mastery event held in Las Vegas.

In this video Karen shares her experience of the Marketing Funnel Mastery live event… and why she feels it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Don’t take our word for it; listen to the interview with Karen!!!

Karen comes from the heart when she makes her recommendation. She is always open and honest… and that is so cool.

If you got any value from this interview, please comment and share.

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed.

Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

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We all have the desire to provide value to others… with Shelley Glass

We were extremely honoured to be able to catch Shelley Glass for a COOL interview during the Marketing Funnel Mastery event held in Las Vegas.

In this video Shelley shares how we all have a lot in common… it’s all about adding value to people’s lives, and finding meaning and fulfilment in our own life. Don’t take our word for it; listen to the interview with Shelley!!!

It’s so cool how Shelley can see that we all want to share our passion with the world so we can make a difference. Very inspiring!

If you got any value from this interview, please comment and share.

To find out more about Shelley visit her at: http://ShellyGlass.com

Pat and Lorna About the Authors

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed.

Pat and Lorna Shanks deliver the "COOL" Goods and connections to "COOL" People. They provide tips, tools, education and informative sessions with knowledgeable people that enable entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners to attract more clients and make more money. For more "COOL" tips, tools, knowledge and people, go to www.TheCoolestCouple.com or follow us on Twitter.

BTW - Check out the new Facebook Like Button just below. Click on it to share with your friends.