Welcome to the September edition of Team B VA’s blog, I hope August treated you well?
Summer is on the way out, and I hope you had some time to relax and even take a break. September brings a lot of new starts from school terms, new routines, and potentially autumn if the weather decides what it’s up to.
I will also be facing a new start this September with my son starting with a childminder for two days a week. I’m not sure if I’m nervous for him or if it’s more a case that he’s not with me, but I’m sure after a couple of weeks we will adjust to the new changes. Hopefully being optimistic I can spend more time on my business over the two days without a little face wanting to join in most activities, we shall see!
Being a VA I get asked a lot by clients what the best way to do something or how to do something so quickly. Mostly it comes through practice but I want to share with you my knowledge and admin tips as there is always something that could help us work faster and more efficiently. In a new series of posts on social media and in the blogs I will be going through my A-Z of tips which you may find helpful for your business admin. Of course, I am always looking to learn myself, so if you have any recommendations please do let me know.
To begin with A –
A is for automation, you can look at removing time-consuming tasks by looking at automation tools for parts of your work. Whether it’s saving documents from emails straight into your drive or contacts on your CRM. There are plenty of options to help with your work. Why waste time manually saving or inputting data when you could be doing other tasks and getting on with your day.
I recommend looking atZapier and testing a few automations out. Give it a couple of weeks to see how much time you’ll save with the automations in place. If you need help with setting up, then please get in touch.
What’s the best automation you have in use for your business?
Stay tuned for more alphabet tips in the next few months, or if you have something your stuck on why not drop me a message.
As I promised before, I wanted to highlight some of the amazing people I work with. This month, I would like to introduce you to Tony Douglass of Procla Ltd. I have been supporting Tony for over two years and I can honestly say I have learnt a lot from him and his industry. From managing various trades on-site to dealing with customer expectations for their dream projects, it’s been great to be able to support in the background and bring the projects to a successful close.
Based in Hull and working on projects around Humberside and the East Ridings of Yorkshire, the various projects have been interesting. From chasing supplies down to preparing for the building officials to visit and sign off. I have enjoyed the variety of work involved!
If you are looking for support on your building project, I would highly recommend having a chat with Tony. I know I certainly will when it comes to our house extension, in the near future!
LinkedIn has some interesting articles, and one which caught my attention was the work life balance article. It’s seen as the key thing to achieve being self-employed, but for those even in the employed world who work from home, it can be tough to achieve. For my current situation, which I know won’t last forever, I work around a toddler. Balancing work and time with my family can be tough but I have steps to help this going forward. Like most working parents, it’s hard to switch off from the list of to-dos either family or work-related. But with the constant demand and splitting your attention to so many things, it can cause burnout, which nobody wants but has become a norm for quite a few families. So how can you achieve the ‘work-life balance’ that everyone dreams of?
To start with reflect on your current situation, where are you currently and where do you want to be?
My aims are to work and support my clients but also to have time for myself and my family. I always knew I never wanted to send my son off to nursery all week whilst I worked away. Yes, I want to work but I also want to see him grow and become a cheeky little person. This was my ambition to be a parent who did both, and I will continue to do so as there is no swaying me from my goal.
Going back to the article the experts set clear areas we should look at and these include:
Focused Time – How many of us set a clock and focus solely on one piece of work without interruption? Utilising methods like Pomodoro is great for getting stuck into something you have been putting off. I like to use this technique for social media planning or blogging as I can focus entirely on my own work, and I normally do this when my son has his morning nap so there is no distraction until he wakes!
Boundaries and Non-negotiables – Rachelle Watson-Nyeko makes a great point that setting boundaries and knowing what your non-negotiables are is great way to achieve better work-life balance. Knowing you don’t want to work late evenings or weekends is a starting point and that when it’s time with your family, you will not be contactable for work is a boundary that cannot be crossed. Sometimes we have to challenge ourselves, by turning off the work phone or computer so we can’t do a cheeky email check. Once you set these boundaries, you realise that it’s absolutely fine too, your time is precious and you can pick up the work on your return.
Silence Notifications – Our phones are always with us and will notify us of the simplest things. When I’m not at work, my work phone is away in my office, but even with my personal phone, I have turned off the majority of the notifications as they are far too distracting. Since doing this, I have noticed I don’t look at my phone nearly as much and don’t spend half my time ‘doom scrolling’ on social media. I can enjoy my time and get back into my hobbies which I missed out on.
Get Help – I know this isn’t on the article, but if you are that busy and can’t commit to these at the moment, why not look to outsource. Hiring a VA or Social Media Manager is a perfect way to free up your time and hand over some of those tasks you just hate doing.
What do you do to help with your work-life balance, any tips I have missed off?
As the schools start again and the rush of getting back into routines is on the horizon I will bring this blog to a close. Good luck to all parents and children starting a new school year, I hope it goes well for you, and I’m sure in a few years I will be in the same boat with the preparation for the beginning of school. I hope your September isn’t too eventful and routines are back on track and I shall see you in October.