It’s the summer time and the weather is hot!

Happy summer everyone. Yes it’s that time of year when we need to put down the tools of our trade and take a breather.

summer-fun-list

Happy summer everyone. Yes it’s that time of year when we need to put down the tools of our trade and take a breather. As busy self-employed professionals many online assistants find it hard to find the time to take a break. There are many reasons for this lack of taking care of ourselves, the main one being that if we don’t work we don’t get paid. Though this saying is true look at it from the other side, “If you don’t take a break you can’t work when you’re burned out or sick.”

When I first started working as an online assistant a few years ago taking time off was one of the hardest things to do. You’re always looking for the next project, or lining up the next client so that you have a consistent flow of work. While it’s good to have work and clients lined up to keep you going and money coming in we also need to know that a break is a good thing. After the first 6 months of working almost non-stop I realised that taking a break was as good for me and my business as it was for my family and my clients. When you’re tired from working all the time you start to make mistakes, they maybe small but they are still mistakes. Nothing is worse than sending a client a project and it’s not exactly the way it was supposed to be.

Not being up to full strength personally or physically is the main reason why I always advocate for online assistants to take a break, and the summer is one of the best times to do this. The summer time is a natural break time in the year, it’s halfway through the year and it’s the time when many  businesses, universities and clients tend to slow down their own workflow for various reasons. Taking advantage of this natural lull in workflow is a great way to recharge yourself. I you don’t want to take a week or two off working, you can take the weekends off or have long weekends during the summer. Once you notice you’re workflow starting to slow down start organizing yourself to begin taking breaks.

As I mentioned previously taking advantage of the natural lulls in industry workflow is a great indicator for when to take a break from work. I take advantage of the slow times during the holiday seasons like Easter, Summer and Christmas as these times tend to be slow. I also take alternate weekends off work throughout the year. I like working weekends but I don’t like tying up all my weekends with work so a happy medium is to take two weekends off during the month. This can be done by alternating the weekends which works fine with me.

With that said take some time to recharge yourself and enjoy your summer with your family and friends.

Happy summer.

 

 

 

 

Spring has Sprung – Part 2: 6 Tips to help with your digital spring clean.

As you go through spring here are some tips to help with the digital clean up that we should all do.

Dust bunny

As spring rolls on here are some tips to continue to clean up our digital lives

Passwords. It’s a good idea at this time of year to look at all your accounts and change the passwords. As suggest by many digital security sites and professionals the mix of upper and lower case with numbers is one of best ways to create a secure password. So take a look at your passwords and update them. And if remembering all the passwords for your different accounts is too much then there are apps such as Lastpass or Passwordbox to help.

Get rid of files you don’t want any more. Just like clearing out our work space, desktops, and emails, you should also clear out files that you no longer need. Many of us have files on our computers that we no longer use, and that takes up valuable space and are at time home to viruses. As as you delete all these files remember to empty the recycle bin.

Security software. Your security software should be up to date and running the most recent version. It’s a good time to check your security software and make sure that it’s running at its optimum best. Some of the better security options are the ones that are paid for as they are automatically updated, the ones that are available for free generally require you to do manual updates and also come with additional software that you often times don’t need.

Social media. Social media is very popular and one of the main ways we keep up with what’s happening around us. If you’re a fan of Facebook you’ll notice that every so often their privacy policy gets updated and this will in turn change your privacy settings. Check in on your digital footprint with your social media and check that your privacy settings are intact to where you want them to be.

Subscriptions. Over time we have all subscribed to numerous newsletters on a variety of topics that at one point in time was useful to us. But as we move on in life many of these newsletter emails just add to the clutter that we all experience. Go through your subscriptions and unsubscribe to all the unwanted newsletters, email alerts, and updates you no longer need.

Smartphones and tablets. Not only do we need to clean up our computers and laptops but also we need to do the same with our smartphones and tablets. There are normally countless apps that have been downloaded that are not needed and it’s a good time to also clean up the apps on our phones and tablets to make them work much better for us.

As you go through your spring cleaning remember to always empty your bins, recycle, email and the physical ones.

Happy cleaning.

Be organised for 2010

1. Be more organised
2. Be prepared for whatever comes my way or yours

It’s already the fourth week into 2010 and this is going to be my first real post of the new year.  Where has the time gone.

2009 ended with a promise that I would be a bit more organised and schedule my life and work a lot better.  But so far things haven’t quite worked out that way so far.  I find that I am reacting to situations instead of action on them, which can be a little hectic at times.

Reacting to a situation is when something happens that was not scheduled and therefore you react by doing whatever task needs to be done in order to resolve the situation, may it be a good or a bad situation or issue.  Now if I were acting on the situation I would have been prepared to deal with this or any situation that may pop up which is a better position to be.  So for this year I am going to be more proactive and hopefully won’t have anything just popping up that I need to react to.

To end this post and start this new year a couple of business and life objectives are to:

  1. Be more organised
  2. Be prepared for whatever comes my way or yours

Have a great week and my  you grow in your personal and business lives.

Althea

VYPA