Work at Home Life

Virtual Assistants, Joining Forces, and Reinventing Work At Home

Taking a break – Getting Away in any Small Way March 12, 2010

           Work and play are words used to describe the same thing  under differing conditions. – Mark Twain        

      

  Mark Twain’s words are truer today than ever. The native of our home state knew that to be effective in your work life, you also need to know how to play. As you dive into social media marketing you are often mixing work with play. Personal relationships cross over into your work world. It may mean you forget the fun.

             You started this venture to be in control of your own destiny. You might have wanted to earn a little bit of extra money. You might have wanted to grow an existing business, or start fresh on your own. Now, don’t forget the fun that’s in the adventure.

            If you’re struggling with which move to make next, try getting away to figure it out. Everyone needs a break. When you get consumed in work, a step back may be the best thing for your growing business.

            You could take a virtual vacation (http://www.link4u.com/vacation.htm), but maybe you need a little more than that. Remember the world is a real place. Remember how to play. Put your actual feet in actual sand, or if you’re not able to do that, just find the best that your area has to offer and go do it. Stepping away for a few minutes, or a few days is a great way to unwind and think about what’s next.

            Play may be the best way to improve your work, and remember the enjoyment in it.

            So, our advice for this week is to check out the local “What to do” section of your newspaper. Get your family or friends together and put some extra “life” into your life. You might not be able to completely log off, but you should take time to enjoy the reward for your efforts and step back for a few days before diving into the grind again.

            Have fun.

Taking a break – Getting Away in any Small Way
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This is who I am. This is what I do. February 19, 2010

Filed under: Learning By Example,Work at Home — kena-virtuallyassistingyou @ 10:00 am
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While attending the funeral of a very close friend’s Dad, something was brought to my attention.  After the service was over we had the opportunity to visit with friends and relatives we hadn’t seen in a while.  A friend’s Dad was chatting with my husband, small talk, you know.  Asking if we were still farming?  If my husband still worked at Dairy Farmers of America (local plant)?  Then he moved on to say,  “Is your wife working anywhere?”  After stumbling over his words for a bit, in a hesitant tone, my husband replied, “Yes.  From Home.”  My mind went crazy.  “Yes.  From Home.”  That’s all he could say?  Seeing how it wasn’t the appropriate time, I didn’t address the answer he had given nor did I smack him square in the forehead.  However, the latter of the two weighed the heaviest.

The more I thought about it, I’d never really explained it “thoroughly” to him.  I had never set him down and taken the time to tell him just exactly what it is I do.  Yes, he knows I’m a Virtual Assistant.  Yes, he knows I work from home (obviously).  Yes, he knows I have clients.  And yes, he knows I bring in an income.  But, what does all this mean?  All he knew was when he got home the house was clean, the kids were fed and in between all that, I stared at the computer screen.  If you think about it, his not knowing was my fault.  I can’t expect him or anyone else to just know what I do.  There’s even been times when I beat around the bush to answer the question of “Now what do you do?” 

After a discussion and a few clicks of the mouse, he now knows and somewhat understands what I do.  He knows I’m on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for a reason.  He understands that Excel spreadsheets don’t have information on them unless someone puts it there.  Google AdWords, keywords & key phrases, tag words, categories & such did not interest him what-so-ever.  But, he now knows and his own terms were this – “So basically you help set-up and establish online presences. You’re the one in the background making it happen.”  YES!! You got it, babe.  So, the next time someone asks him what his wife is doing now or what his wife does, he has a great answer; one that could also bring in business.

As an entrepreneur, always thinking of ways to get more business or bring in new clients comes naturally.  Letting people know, “This is who I am. This is what I do”, simply by using the good old fashion word of mouth advertising, will make a difference.  I’ve learned to speak with confidence and self-assurance that I am an independent entrepreneur who works remotely, using technology to deliver services to clients globally.

Now for the why:  This was given to me on Valentine’s Day from my 10 year old son.  It’s the little things like this that makes me realize, “Who I am, What I do, and Why I do it”, is for all the right reasons.

I LOVE YOU

How do I love you? Let me count the ways.                                    
I love you when – you help me                                                                                        

I love you when – you play with me

I love you when – you are funny

I love you when – your gone

I love you when – your here

I love you when – you love me

How do I love you?

It’s impossible to say.

For if I had a million days, and time enough for all the praise, I could never tell you all the ways…

I LOVE YOU! Happy Valentine’s Day 2010

Tucker

Thank You for letting me share with you!                                         

 

8 Organizational Tips For Your Home Office February 3, 2010

Filed under: Organization Tips,Work at Home — Jennifer Gallaher - VAbyJen @ 5:24 pm
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I am always on the quest for finding ways, whether they be new ways or old standby ways, of working smarter, not harder for my home business.  In doing some research, I came across a goldmine of information that not only seemed simple enough to put into motion for myself, but also worth sharing.  I have outlined ten (10) organizational tips below that I think are not only important, but easy enough to incorporate into your daily routine. 

  1. Don’t mix business and pleasure.  Don’t keep household paperwork other personal items where they can distract you. Blending business and personal work at your desk is usually distracting rather than efficient.  This is one that I personally have to contend with on a daily basis because my office is on the main floor of my house.  I have to constantly remind not only my husband, but myself, that to-do’s for work do not go in the same area as to-do’s for the household.
  2. Determine your goals.  Before you start anything, determine your goal or goals for the day and remember to set mini-goals and reward yourself for your successes.  This is a tough one for me, however, the more I get into the habit of opening up my calendar each morning to see what appointments have already been set, the easier it gets for me to plan out my day or set goals for the day.
  3. Determine your best time for tasks.  Use your most productive time to do your most productive work. Tackle your most difficult, important work during the time of day when you’re at your best and you’re most likely to complete it.  I tackle any large or in-depth projects after my son goes down for a nap.  This way it’s quiet and there are no distractions.
  4. Open your planner or turn on your PDA and place it on your desk. Use it to keep track of to-dos, follow-ups and ideas.  I utilize Gmail for both my calendar as well as any tasks.  It’s always open for me to reference back to throughout the day and I put keep both personal as well as professional all on one (1) calendar.  This helps eliminate double-booking.
  5. Keep a spiral notebook by the phone for messages and notes. Write your voicemail messages in it as well as any reference notes for your upcoming call.  I have at least one on my desk at all times and a spare close by if needed.  I also make sure to have a notebook handy if I know I will be working away from my desk for a period of time.
  6. Create forms for everyday tasks.  For example, type up your own Fax Transmittal Form that includes your name, company name and other pertinent information. Make copies and leave them by your fax machine for efficient and effective communication.  Better yet, create a template instead and print out only when needed.  Why waste paper and additional space?
  7. Develop false deadlines.  Record your deadline (due-date) at least four days earlier. This should give you enough of a window to avoid last-minute completions as well as any unexpected happenings that may occur.  This is where planning and task management come into play.  Get out your planners, calendars, or PDA’s and start scheduling those due dates pronto!
  8. Take ten minutes at the end of each day to keep your desk organized. Place tomorrow’s top priority project in the center of your desk. You’re ready for anything!  Since I work primarily off of a laptop, I place my most important “must-do” projects on top of it, once I am done for the day.  It’s a constant reminder for me of what is due the next day.

If you would like to further your own research on organizing your home office, check these sites out.  They were most helpful!

http://www.lifeorganizers.com/

http://www.homedecorresource.com/html/tips/officeorganization.htm

http://www.getorganizednow.com/

 

 
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