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7 tips for working from home (especially with kids!)

WORKING FROM HOME

If you’re new to working from home, but are struggling on how to cope, here’s a few tips I have that may help you get through:

  1. Get started early. Typically I get up around 6am and this is the time for me to get a head start on the day. Whether this is getting a wash load on, cleaning up or just making a start on emails, having that time where I have no kids around is priceless.
  2. Time block. It is so important to stay focused, and it is hard to do when starting out. Make sure you set specific time slots for work, and solely focus on that. For me, I will spend a certain amount of allocated time on a client and try to time it with my washing machine (sad I know) but I know that when I’ve finished on that client I can have a break and hang my washing out. It gives me a break from the laptop, and it helps me keep on top of household jobs.
  3. Rules. If you have your kids at home with you while you have to work, make sure they know what your boundaries are. Mine know that if I need to make a phone call, or have a video call, that they cannot disturb me during that time (unless it’s an emergency) Make sure your workspace, wherever that may be in your home, is a kid-free space. The last thing you need is one of them sending the CEO of your company an email!
  4. Don’t feel isolated, even if you’re self-isolating. There are so many online groups out there, working from home can feel incredibly lonely but it doesn’t have to. Set up Skype on your laptop and call up your co-workers who are in the same situation as you, you don’t have to have the video on if you don’t want to but you will have someone you can talk to as you would in an office.
  5. Dress for work. I don’t mean to wear a suit and tie, just make sure you get changed out of your pyjamas. Making an effort with how you dress when working from home can have a huge effect on your mood and your productivity.
  6. Ignore Social Media. Kind of impossible right now, I know, but allowing yourself certain times for social media will help you to stay focused on work, and can be a little self-reward for working hard.
  7. Timing. Make sure you have set break times, and a set time to finish your working day. Having breaks throughout the day helps to keep you alert, and knowing what time you’re finishing the day at will hopefully help you to push through the last hurdle. Make sure you use all the allotted break time too, if you’ve given yourself an hour for lunch – use that whole hour!

I hope these have helped in some way, or given you something to think about if you have to work from home.

It can be a juggle to start with, but you will find your own balance in time.

If you have any questions, need advice, or want someone to sound off to – I’m always around

No longer an employee

After years and years of being employed by someone else I’m now no longer an employee. I’m now a freelancer full time and I’m realising it does come with its own pressures.

I have to make sure that there is money coming in every month to provide for my family, to keep the house, to run a car. Whereas before, being an employee, you always have that security of knowing every month you will get a pay packet and it will be on the same time same day every month. Whereas now being a freelancer, you invoice your clients and hope they pay you on time.

It’s a weird feeling. I’m now in complete control over how much I earn, when I earn it, but at the same time it’s out of my hands. Obviously, you work hard to gain clients and to build relationships and reputation, however in a blink of an eye it can also be taken away from you.

It’s something that you need to nurture and grow.

I started my business around 6 years ago now and it was accidental. I was helping my friend with her wedding hair and makeup business, and she was just getting too busy to do the admin side of things – to do the paperwork or the emails or making sure that bookings are up to date in the calendar.

Fortunately we’ve stayed together over the years and I’ve seen her business just grow into this phenomenal agency! It’s amazing to see the hard work that she’s putting in, the blood, sweat, and tears, the nights that she’s put in to make this business grow and I’ve been alongside her through that.

It’s quite funny because at the beginning of your virtual assistant career you want to just do everything. I’ve gone from being a virtual assistant for small business owners to a virtual assistant helping wedding suppliers to a virtual assistant for businesswomen!

Over the years you realise you must hone your niche; you have to realise what it is that you want to offer and what it is that makes you happy and to work every day. You need to really understand what it is that you want to do and what it is you want to offer. You become a virtual assistant because you want that freedom of having no restraints of working 9:00 to 5:00 Monday to Friday, you want that freedom of being to say “OK well Monday I’m going to work 10 til 2, on Tuesday I’m going to work 10 till 3” you know you make the choices when you want to work who you want to work for what you want to offer.

In the beginning I thought I needed to be a person who wears a lot of hats, I thought I needed to be able to offer every single service that was out there – but I can’t. I can’t do that.

Over the years I’ve realised what my skills are, and I’ve realised what I do like to do. For example, typing up transcripts. This is a very labour-intensive task, but it’s not something that I would turn down because I find it quite interesting. I like to learn about other people and typing up transcripts is interesting to find out the topics they are talking about and you realise that maybe you’ve got an interest in the topics that they covered.

Another thing that I realised I like doing is online research. I find this interesting because there’s so much information on the worldwide web, you must be really be careful about how you search for things what words you use and what is what is a fact. It opens my eyes to new topics and new subjects that I didn’t necessarily know very much about before, or something I just I didn’t have a clue existed.

There is always that uncertainty in the back of your mind. Am I doing the right thing? Is this all a little bit too risk? I’ve managed to keep this going for over 5 years now, starting this year with one client and 9 months later building that up to 3, so I’m hoping I’m doing something right here!

That gave me the ability to be able to quit my job to become my own boss.

Hard work really does pay off.

Why is hiring a Virtual Assistant good for my business….?

Outsourcing is a great way to benefit from other peoples skills. You are able to free up time and allow yourself to work on more important aspects of your business. Here are some important points I think are necessary when looking for extra help;

  • Your business is limited by the amount of hours you put in. If you are one person in your business then your workload is potentially high and stressful. Outsourcing means double the amount of hours available for work, freeing up hours for you to expand. Relieving stress for you as your business grows and time becomes restricted.

 

  • It is not as expensive as you may think. There are numerous websites out there where people can bid for the job you are offering. But how do you know what quality of work you are getting before you commit to them working for you? It is incredibly hard to trust someone with your business that you have built up. However finding that one who fits perfectly, who just gets you and your business, can be the best feeling in the world. I like to make sure I understand the ‘feel’ of my clients and how they respond to their clients. Corporate responses do not work for everyone – sometimes the more personal touch is needed.

 

  • Outsourcing is a great way to bring new skills to your business. Sometimes all you need are some fresh eyes, another persons perspective, or someone to simply free up time so you can work on bigger projects. Most business transactions take place by email nowadays. Location doesn’t matter anymore as long as a professional manner is upheld. A VA is cheaper than trying to recruit and employ workers for your growing business.

All that is left now is for you to get in touch and see how our professional partnership can grow, and how I can assist you in freeing up more time.

Tweetdeck Vs HootSuite for Social Media


Tweetdeck Vs Hootsuite?


Everyone uses Social Media to grab your attention and promote their business. A website attracts views, but post on Social Media and the potential is endless once it’s re-tweeted, shared or liked. You may have wondered what social media management platform might be best for you. Two of the most popular options are TweetDeck and HootSuite.

But which one is best? I’ve used both, and they both offer a variety of different options. Here’s a quick comparison of the two platforms.


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