How to free up time

How to free up your timeSometimes we just can’t put our fingers on where the time has gone today, it always seems a surprise that it’s time to clock off and do the other job you might have, for me its mummy duties!   

We all say the same thing ‘OMG where has today gone’ I am such a culprit of those sayings, you’ll find me saying it half way through the year too, and the same at Christmas time, sadly the time goes to the same place it does every day lol, it is no real surprise really ‘Time and Tide wait for no man’ and it’s true. 

But it’s a bit of a double edge saying, as yes the days do go fast but when you have that pig of a task that you are doing, time just d-r-a-g-s doesn’t it, it makes it even more painful, it’s bad enough that you have to do the damn task, but to make your day hell is just not acceptable.

So, what tasks are time-consuming?

  • Social media – oh my days what a total time zapper, you popped on to check your page, and then you find out that Karen’s daughter has a new hamster, or Darren has scrapped his car and is looking for a decent repair garage!!
  • Spreadsheets – yes they do still exist, they haven’t become extinct (yet) and yes they are still long winded and painful, whether its expenses or keeping track of work related performances to plain old data entry, it is still time-consuming. 
  • Newsletters – this is one of those ones that you know you should be doing, but finding the time to create your newsletter, create the address list for it to go to, then find the time each month to get a new one created and sent out, is frankly boring and time zapping, you haven’t got time for this! But your little fairy is telling you otherwise! Who needs sleep anyway!
  • Research – there is still no quick way of doing this, well unless you were researching in the 80s then yes Google has happened and has sped some things up, but basic researching is still the equivalent to teeth pulling in Edwardian times.
  • Late payment chasers – ah this is one of my favs! Doing a job and not being paid for it, luckily in my VA business this has only happened once, in my other joint business sadly this has happened too often, and the time it takes to get in touch with them and give them suitable warning that payment needs making, that could be 20-30 mins wasted. 

Have you got any of these tasks?

Do you have to do any of these during your time on your business? If so then of these can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.  As well as audio transcription, copy typing, diary management, travel arrangements, event management, data entry, database management, CRM set up, a blog set up or creation, website assistance. Then you can start considering those VAs that have specific Nichè, like those that can do your paperwork for your tax returns, those that have medical or law background, you will also find some that have design as their forte.

My tip to you is a simple one, if you have a task or 2 that is taking up far too much of your time it is possibly the right time to get that extra pair of hands in.  

I am happy to have a chat with you on where you need to look, or just happy to speak to you about the whole process.

Chat soon

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Surviving the school holidays!

Surviving the school holidaysIf you are a parent then you know the school holidays are coming around FAST, those that have children and run a business know that this can be one of the most stressful times of the year!

We are aware that our families are probably one of the reasons why we started our businesses, but equally, we know that if we don’t work then we don’t get paid, which that is a concept that some children just don’t understand!
They see mum or dad at home which to them equals family fun time!

So, what do you do? I hear you sigh 

Last year was probably my most successful summer holidays with my children, I removed the pressure from my shoulders and reminded myself why I am doing my business and that my children are small for such a short period of time.


I follow a lady called Claire Mitchell of The Girls Mean Business, and last year she published a book dedicated to surviving the school holiday. Not all of it was relevant to me, and necessarily be helpful to me in my business or with my children, so I had to adapt and learn as I went through the 6 weeks, and I can honestly say, that come September when my children went back to school, I didn’t feel as frazzled as previous years.

What did I do so differently?

Most of my clients are family orientated, so I could let them know that I was still available during the school holidays, but made some changes:

  • I spoke with my children and set a rota, so for an example,  Monday AM I was working, clearing any weekend enquiries, and schedule in my social media for the week. Then Monday PM I would take them out to a park or something fun, this would happen throughout the week. It gave them something to look forward to and I got to tick a few things off my list.
  • My reply time changed from within an hour to the same day response. If I had a message come in just as I went out with the children it gave me some breathing space knowing I could still have fun and reply when I got back to the office.
  • Soft Play! This was a great one for us, it gave my children that time to run off steam and have fun, and I could sit there with a coffee and laptop and work, that was a great compromise, and will be doing that again this year.
  • Park trips, this one was quite useful for me, as it meant I could get away from my laptop yet still get some work done, I found I was able to sit and write or come up with topics for my posts and blogs etc
  • Logging on when they went to bed, this one goes against most of my ethics really, I tend to have one late night a week, but I did allow myself to log on once or twice a week in the evening to clear things and get back to people should they have messaged me. But again, I was strict!

These were just a few of the slight changes I made last year, it was all about compromising with the children, and myself, I also learnt how to manage my expectations on what I can and what I wanted to get done, luckily my children are at that age now where when they see me in my office ‘mummy is working’.

I plan to do the same this year, we will sit down and work out a rota for time with the family and time for work, this will be put in place a week or so before they pack up from school, giving them time to get used to the rota.

Work-life balance is hard to achieve but you can do it, you need to compromise with yourself and cut yourself some slack too. This is your dream, you have been building your business for some time don’t let school holiday break you.

Remember, you can outsource too, there is no shame in having a VA on hand to help you out either regularly or through holidays, this option does give you that peace of mind and free up some time, it’s one less ball to have to juggle.

If you are struggling to stay on top of things, why not have a chat with me, I am happy to discuss outsourcing and how I can help you gain back sometime during your week.  And check out my latest freebie HERE

11 Things to ask your Virtual Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

Hope to chat with you soon

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5 Tips on staying Calm when you outsource your dream

Staying calm when you outsource

Recently we have spoken about outsourcing, what to expect and how to do it, but one of the biggies my clients have told me is staying calm, they know they are doing the right thing, but when the day comes to handing stuff over they get all jittery!

This is so normal, don’t feel that you are over reacting because you are not, remember this is your dream, you have been working on this for months if not years, this concept has been in the making for such a long time and now you are having someone else come in and start poking around in your systems, your templates, your work and it can be daunting and really unsettling.

Just make sure you follow these quick little tips:

  • Make sure you only delegate a few small things for the first few weeks
  • Make sure they are done to your satisfaction, don’t feel your VA will be annoyed at the amendments, they will be more annoyed that they haven’t done it to your complete satisfaction.
  • Communicate with your VA regularly, on a new contract for me it is normal to have a least one email a day for the first few weeks, then I find that they have become settled and more comfortable with my work so we tend to touch base once a week.
  • Don’t feel pressured, if you are not happy or you are not ready to hand more work over, be firm!
  • Enjoy! Don’t feel guilty that you have outsourced work, you need to do this to grow your business and free up your time, you are not lazy, you are being honest with yourself, you know that you need help! There is no shame in that!

If you are feeling swamped with work and you feel you could benefit from outsourcing then get in touch, will be happy to run through anything with you.  Grab my latest freebie HERE

11 Things to ask your Virtual Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

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5 things to expect from outsourcing

5 things to expect from outsourcing

Previously I have spoken about the things you should expect when working with a virtual assistant.

But what can you expect when you outsource? So you have spoken to a VA, you and told them what your pain points are, and the possible tasks you want to outsource.

5. Offload THOSE tasks! – we all have those tasks that take an age to do, or forever to get off your to do list, these could be the type of tasks that you can outsource to your new VA, it could be that type of task that would take them half an hour, where it would take you hours or days.

4. Reduced stress – Knowing that you could be working into the dead of night on the endless tasks you have, can be a real stress inducer, so knowing that you have that extra pair of hands at the ready will reduce the stress, knowing that those tasks that have taken you forever to get done are being done by your VA will reduce those stress levels.

3. Having an expert on hand – Now I am not saying your VA is the all seeing all singing superstar, but she/he will undoubtedly have a vast knowledge on may things that will help you move forward in business, and most VAs have a wide support network that they can call upon should the task or problem become troublesome.

2. More time in business – You will find that you will be gaining back more time to spend ‘IN’ your business not ‘ON’ your business, there is an enormous difference with this one. We all know that working ‘in’ your business you are working with clients, selling, making, planning whichever it is you do, basically making money, the ‘on’ the business is the amount of time you are having to spend doing the background work, emails, invoicing, marketing, advertising, social media, overdue payments, the list is endless, but these are the tasks your VA can do, which then turns your ‘on’ to ‘in’ time.

1. Happier you! – This one speaks for itself really, but yes after your initial settling in with your new VA, and things start to tick over and your business relationship grows, the less stress you will have and the happier you will be knowing that they are being taken care off, giving you that time you need to grow your dream.

If you are looking to outsource or you think you could benefit from this, then get in touch, will be more than happy to have a chat with you.  Check out my latest freebie HERE

11 Things to ask your Virtual Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

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Talk to your family………

talk with your family

Again, another random title lol but it is something I want to talk about, as let’s face it, your family have a massive influence in your business, at the end of the day I am pretty sure they are one of the top 5 reasons you started in the first place.

But do you talk to your partner? Do you bounce ideas off them? Do you ask for advice? And MORE importantly, do you NOT talk about business!?
Let’s face it we are all culprits of having a moan, or talking to your partners as soon as they take the key out the door, not least because it’s nice to see them, but also to the fact you have been in your home office all day, so adult company is always nice.

But we need to be mindful not to bombard them with our woes and worries, it’s nice to bounce those ideas off your loved ones, but equally, it is nice to SWITCH OFF, you’ll hear this a lot from me in the future.  I am all for working to grow my business but I am also a massive advocate of having that downtime, and more so lately with all the #headstogether campaign too.

#headstogether 

I know this is so off topic when it comes to business, whichever industry you are in, but it’s one that needs to be out there and spoken about, and being a business owner I worry about this too, when working from home we lock ourselves away in a bubble and sometimes forget to come out for air.

Your family are the ones supporting you, so make sure you are connecting with them and making sure if you have any problems they are aware of them.

Equally, you need to make sure you have plenty of down times too, this is such an important part of your business thriving, if you are not logging off and enjoying what is around you then it becomes a chore and no different to going and working for someone else.

 

Remember your reasons  

Now and then you need to put things in check and you need to remember why you are doing what you are doing, this works on other things too not just business related.  But sit and ask yourself what were the reasons you started your business.

 

  • Stick to your hours
  • Switch off
  • Play and talk with your family and friends
  • Enjoy downtime
  • Remember you need to make sure you talk to those around you, it’s so easy to lock yourself away
  • Enjoy your business, but also enjoy the reasons why you started

 

Your family and friends are there to support you, talk to them, be honest with them, and more importantly ENJOY what you have

 

If you are struggling to stay on top of things, why not have a chat with me, I am happy to discuss outsourcing and how I can help you gain back some time during your week.  And check out my latest freebie HERE

11 Things to ask your Virtual Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

Chat soon

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