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How Well Do You Manage Your Time?

How well do you manage your time

Do You Manage Your Time..Or Does It Manage You?

Do you ever wonder how some people get so much accomplished while others get stuck in a rut and never seem to get the important things done that are integral to managing their business?

Here’s a secret. We all have the same amount of time given to us in every day — 24 hours. How can you maximize your productivity so that the important tasks get done while still leaving you time for family and fun?

Track your activities for a week

To begin, you’ll want to get the actual picture of how you spend your time. Write down and track everything you do for one week. Use an app timer to record when you start and stop any task, and note the time. You can also use an old-fashioned paper planner or even just a notepad. Don’t try to change anything yet, just go about your regular routine.

How well do you manage your time?

Evaluate your week

Now, take a good look at how you spent your time during the week. Categorize your activities into urgent, important, family and fun. Notice the time suckers. Some things that are fun might fall into the category of time suckers. That’s okay, because you can still allocate some time for those things without going overboard.

Create a “To-Do” list

Everything should be scheduled. Some of those urgent and important things will also be family things. Put everything into schedule. Give it the approximate time that you think it needs, adding a few minutes for margin to avoid missed deadlines and stress.

Schedule some time for you

It’s okay to plan time for fun. Fun usually goes with family and friends and it is a very necessary part of your life. However, you’ll want to schedule the right amount of time and the right amount of fun so that they don’t intrude on those important tasks and activities that are an essential part of running your business.

Take some time to plan

Take the time each evening to evaluate how your day has gone. What could have been done better?  What tasks need time adjustment? If you do this consistently you will get better at creating a realistic and workable plan. Each morning take the time to look over your schedule to remind yourself what is coming up that day so you don’t forget anything. Never rely on just memory, it will fail you more often than not!

Teach Others to Respect Your Time

If you’re a home based business owner, you’ll find that other people seem to think you’re available to chat at any time and don’t understand your need to focus on your work.  The real issue may be that you haven’t taught people to respect your time. It’s been said that you teach people how to treat you. If you’re not teaching people to respect your time and boundaries, then it’s time to start doing so.

Delegate

No entrepreneur can keep all the plates spinning by themselves. It’s important to delegate some of your repetitive, time consuming tasks to a good virtual assistant. You may find that it can almost double your time.

In conclusion, while you can’t create more than 24 hours in a day, you can create an environment where you duplicate yourself as much as possible by hiring a virtual assistant or outsourcing other mundane tasks such as housework or lawn care. There is no such thing as a successful entrepreneur who doesn’t delegate.

Suncoast VA can help you add hours to your day. Check out my services page to see how we can work together.

What Kind of Virtual Assistant Do You Need?

general virtual assistant

As a busy online business owner, you more than likely find yourself spinning too many plates. In addition to your prime income producing activities, you are probably trying to stay on top of your inbox, respond to customer service inquiries and a host of other administrative details. These administrative tasks are big time suckers and will distract you from your primary income producing activities.

A Virtual Assistant (VA) can help you manage your time but before you hire one, you’ll need to know what areas you most need assistance with and hire accordingly. There is no “one size fits all” VA.

A general VA is most similar to the traditional administrative assistant. S/he will handle administrative tasks including (but not limited to) email management, answering support ticket, booking appointments with clients, calendar management, travel arrangements, and can help you manage your blog, social media accounts and online community.

With most businesses having an online presence and so many new programs to keep up with, there is a strong need for technical virtual assistants. They enjoy doing technical tasks and can help you with shopping cart programs, aMember, Infusionsoft, and WordPress maintenance.

Some VAs niche down even further – there are some who specialize in niches such as Social Media Management, Blogging Assistance, and Multimedia.

Don’t be put off if someone doesn’t have the exact skill set that you’re looking for. A dependable self starter who communicates well will be of great value to you and can easily be trained for any additional tasks that you need help with.

Suncoast VA offers general VA Services. Check out my service page to see how I can help you!

Bootstrap VA Final Edition Bundle Sale

Bootstrap VA Final Edition Bundle Sale

Working from home as a Virtual Assistant (VA) has been a great way for me to earn income from home while working around my family’s needs and my physical disability. A VA is simply an administrative professional who provides professional support services virtually. Services offered can include general administrative duties, social media marketing, writing, email management, graphic design, event management and much more. Don’t get overwhelmed reading this…just pick the areas that you want to specialize in and focus on learning those!

When I first started researching the business, I get a little overwhelmed reading the “big” VA websites and started to feel like I wasn’t really good enough and that I couldn’t afford needed trainings. Then I stumbled across The BootStrap VA about a year ago. It was just what I needed, an affordable and simple way to get started and I began to feel like I could actually do this.

The author, Lisa Morosky is moving on to another chapter in her life and she’s going out with a bang by offering this terrific bundle sale! At $29.95, it’s a terrific value to help you get your business off the ground. If you’re already a seasoned VA, you know that we can never really stop learning and there are a lot of business helps to help you stay on top of your game.

Click here to visit The Bootstrap VA Final Edition Bundle Sale.

The Bootstrap VA Final Edition Bundle Sale is all about celebrating the final edition of Lisa Morosky’s popular eBook,The Bootstrap VA: The Go-Getter’s Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant, Getting and Keeping Clients, and More! and her time as a virtual assistant, as well as sharing excellent resources (at a great price) to bless and encourage you on your virtual assistant and work-at-home journey going forward.Lisa is also donating 10% of her personal earnings from this special sale to Compassion International.

This sale is only live from Tuesday, April 7, 2015 – Thursday, April 9, 2015 so if you’re thinking about it, don’t hesitate!

Click here to visit The Bootstrap VA Final Edition Bundle Sale.

For just $29.95, you can  purchase an awesome bundle of virtual assistant and work-at-home resources. The bundle includes all three versions (PDF, Kindle, and Nook) of The Bootstrap VA, plus $218.95 of additional resources to help you start and grow your virtual assistant and work-at-home business. You’ll also get another $173 of discounted resources that you’ll only pay $33 for (if you choose to purchase them separately).

Here are all of the resources you’ll receive as a part of the bundle:

And here are all of the resources with discounts you can redeem:

If starting or building your virtual assistant and work-at-home business is on your to-do list for this year, don’t miss out on this special sale. You’ll definitely be kicking yourself if you do.

Click here to visit The Bootstrap VA Final Edition Bundle Sale and grab your bundle!

 

How to Create a Positive Business Mindset

positive business mindset

How to Create a Positive Business Mindset

What do successful business owners have in common? Keeping a positive mindset. If you dwell on negativity, you’ll just discourage yourself and give up too soon. Staying positive will encourage you to keep going,  and eventually succeed. Here are  a few ways to turn from negative to positive and jump-start your success.

Positive affirmations. This idea operates under the concept that if you repeat something enough times, you’re eventually going to start believing that it’s true. While it can seem silly when you get started, it’s a proven method of changing your thought processes and giving you a better attitude.

There are a lot of different methods you can use for positive affirmations. A good one is to take time out of each day with a pencil and a piece of paper. Start by writing something positive about yourself. Be sure that what you write is about you, is good and affirming, and is in the present tense. You can continue by coming up with other phrases to say about yourself or by writing the same statement over and over. If you need some help in this area, there is a wealth of inspirational material on Pinterest.

To take this one step further, try writing your reactions to your statements next to them on the page. It doesn’t matter if your reactions are positive or negative. They just has to genuine. Eventually, you’ll see your reactions becoming more positive (or at least less negative). That helps you know that you exercises are working and changing your attitude about yourself.

Surround yourself with positive people. Did you know that you tend to resemble the people you spend the most time with? If you are constantly surrounded by negative people who only focus on the bad things, sooner or later so will you. In your personal and professional life, try to maintain relationships with positive, affirming people. Maybe they aren’t successful, but they look on the bright side and make themselves feel successful. Eventually, their good attitude will rub off on you.

Prayer and Meditation. If things aren’t going well for you, or you’re constantly surrounded by negative people and ideas, your mind is probably full negative thoughts. Clearing your mind of all the hassles can help you improve your mood. Prayer and meditation are a great way to accomplish this. This activity also can help you sleep better, feel better physically, relieve pain, and improve concentration.

Think about the big picture. Take a moment to think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Is it to make money to buy your dream car, or is it to make enough to send your children to college? Are you concerned about retirement? Whatever it is, keeping your goals in mind will help motivate you to work harder and keep going. It will keep you thinking about the good things that will happen from your work instead of your current setbacks.

So how do you keep these goals in your mind? Visualize them. If you can picture them, they’ll be more real and tangible to you. To help you visualize, you may want to put visual aides in your work space. Find a free piece of wall space and put pictures of your goals in that space – whether it’s a picture of the car you want, the house you want, or even just a picture of your children.

Staying positive may be hard work but the payoff will come when you start to experience success.

Outsourcing your administrative tasks can help you feel less overwhelmed and help contribute to a positive mindset. I’d love to help you make a positive difference in your business! Check out my services page to see how we can work together.

 

10 Things I Learned at Beachpreneurs

beachpreneurs
This past weekend I had the awesome experience of networking with about 30 savvy and successful online business owners. (There were a few other newbies like me in attendance.) It was a mind numbing amount of information. Admittedly, some of it went over my head. But some seeds were planted and ideas for steps to take materialized.

What were my big takeaways from Beachpreneurs?

1. People are just people. Some of the attendees are very successful and well known. But far from being intimidating, I found them all to be approachable and authentic.

2. If they can do it, I can do it. We may all have different talents and business models but everyone had to start at the beginning. Anyone can be successful if they maintain a positive mindset, resolve to keep learning, form a plan, work their butt off and track the results.

3. Everyone screws up. And that’s okay. Successful people keep trying. There is power in persistance.

4. It’s easier to create content than I thought. I just need to develop the mindset of mentally curating what’s going on around me.

5. Write like a fiend and write daily. (This was the answer in response to my question of how to become a better writer.)

6. Don’t view the competition as enemies. Collaborate with them and learn from them.

beachpreneurs

7. A positive mindset is everything.

8. Own it. Know it. Believe it. Profess it.

9. I am enough. (This is a huge paradigm shift for someone who has spent most of her life thinking she was never good enough.)

10. I have some challenges. But they’re not excuses.

11. (I know I said 10. Here’s one more.) It’s never to late to try to learn something new. Sometimes I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking I was getting too old and not having the right background to be successful at this. There were several attendees who were quite a bit older than me and they were still putting themselves out there, learning new things and putting it into action.

A Beachpreneur lifestyle can happen for anyone. Maybe you hate the beach but want the freedom and flexibility of an online business to free up your life to live it the way that you want it.

If you’d like to learn what I did this weekend in the comfort of your home or wherever you’d like to listen, you can buy the audio recordings of Beachpreneurs here.

Learn from successful online marketers including Kelly McCausey, Nicole Dean, Tracy Roberts, Rachel Martin, Bob Jenkins, Debbie O’Grady, Leslie Truex and Tony Laidig.

You can start turning things around today! (For right now you can buy the set for 50% off. Use coupon code EARLYACCESS.)

beachpreneurs

3 Simple Social Media Communication Strategies

 

3 simple social media communication strategiesWhen you’re speaking with someone face to face, it’s easy to understand what they’re saying. After all, we don’t only speak with our mouths; we actually communicate using our bodies too. When communicating in person, you can read someone’s hand gestures, body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. All of this makes it very easy to understand what the person is saying.

But in social media it’s a whole different ballgame. When you’re communicating with someone via email, forums or even webcasts it’s not always so easy to understand what the other person means, as body language and expressions aren’t available to help you understand the other person.

However, by following a few simple rules you can make communicating on social media a whole lot easier.

Write clearly. It’s often difficult to write down what is actually quite easy to say. But writing in a long-winded way can be confusing to the reader. Instead, think about what you mean to say and write in short, clear sentences. Sentences dotted with punctuation can be read in a variety of ways and may confuse the reader. Again, it’s best to stick to short, clear sentences.

It also helps to close your message with a little humor or other nicety. This will help stop your overall message from appearing dry. It’s very easy for people to confuse direct and to the point with brashness when reading.

Learn netiquette. Online there are different rules of politeness. Did you know that writing in all capitals means that you’re shouting? This is an easy mistake for a novice to make and one you’ll want to avoid. Additionally, using too many exclamation marks can make your message appear irrational or a bit over the top, too. And on the other hand, very overly direct sentences without the use of humor may appear harsh or unemotional. Try to strike the balance between using expressive punctuation like exclamation marks and not using them at all.

You can also use emoticons online to express how you’re feeling. A happy face at the end of a direct message can make a big difference to the overall impression of the reader. However, if you’re writing in a more professional manner or would like your message to be taken seriously, too many emoticons, such as happy faces, may make you appear unprofessional or someone not to be taken seriously. Again, it’s all about striking the right balance.

Explain yourself. Particularly when dealing with colleagues and subcontractors, it’s important for them to know right from the start that when you’re writing a business message you may do so in a very direct way. Ask them not to take it to mean anything other than what is written on the message.

This is a particularly effective strategy when dealing with virtual helpers such as writers or VAs. You simply may not have time to include a chatty message with each and every email. Explain that your direct messages donít mean that you’re upset or anything – you’re just communicating about the job at hand.

These three rules will hopefully help you avoid many pitfalls of online communication. It also helps to keep in mind that sometimes you may read a message differently to what the writer intended. It’s always best to approach these situations with caution by simply asking the writer to please explain what they meant. The worst thing to do would be to go with guns blazing and then realizing that you actually misunderstood their message!