National Encouragement Day

It is National Encouragement Day in the US today. Take a moment to encourage those around you as you never know when your words may provide a much needed boost.


https://buffer.com/resources/why-positive-encouragement-works-better-than-criticism-according-to-science

Organization !!

Are you spending time searching for files on your computer, files on your desk, papers, stationary … everything?

 

Some say that the state of your desk, home or car is a reflection of your state of mind as each can be seen as an extension of you. I’m not sure of any exact science behind this but I wholeheartedly agree that if my desk is cluttered my mind will be cluttered too. If your work environment is untidy your productivity can suffer and overall performance can be impacted. It is for this reason that some employers operate a clean desk policy   - it is a good habit to adopt - organization is key to productivity, so follow these tips to success.

  

CLEAR YOUR CLUTTER

Go through all of the papers on your desk. Do they need to be there? Are they duplicates? Get rid of anything that is unnecessary. Clean out your drawers and throw out or give away things that you don’t need / use. Get rid of old notebooks, papers, anything that isn’t used needs to go. 

 

If you need to file papers, make a pile for filing (we will come back to this later) 

 

ORGANISE YOUR DESK

One you have moved the unnecessary clutter from your desk you can organise the essential items so that everything is in easy reach. Make sure that there is allocated space for everything. You don’t need piles of stationary or overflowing pots of pens. Keep only what you need. Put everything in it’s own space and make sure you return it there after use.

 

Make a place for those papers that need to be filed. Do you need an in tray and an out tray? 

 

ORGANISE YOUR FILES

Files and filing – a necessary evil. It is so easy to neglect this however organisation here is key to organisation in the rest of the office. If filing is difficult there will be overflow onto the desk, the floor or elsewhere and chaos will ensue. Make it easy for yourself.  Make sure you have space to store your files? Is the space adequate? Can you easily reach the files? Make sure that the answer to these questions is a resounding yes!! 

 

Are you files logically ordered? Go through them and establish a system – Tidy your paperwork, get rid of duplicates, label your folders, use an index so that you can easily access and find documents. Whether it is ordered alphabetically, by client or by matter make sure that you and anyone else accessing the files understands and sticks to the system. This goes not only for traditional paper filing systems but online files or those on your hard drive or computer storage. 

 

Once the filing systems are established, regularly sort and maintain them.

 

WORK SMART

When working focus on one task at a time. See each task through to conclusion before moving onto the next task. Remove distractions, put your phone on aeroplane mode and don’t check emails. Patty Kreamer, (a certified organizer coach, certified professional organizer, author, speaker and president of www.byebyeclutter.com) says that we should not pick up a document, look at it and place it back on the desk. Decide on an action for that paper and follow it through, if not possible to see through to conclusion immediately place it where it is needed for the next step in the process.

 

SCHEDULE YOUR TIME 

Each week and day allocate time in your diary to fulfil tasks. Recurring tasks can be allocated in advance at the same time each week and allocate time each day for tasks specific to that day. Work on each task during the allocated time without distraction. Also allow some time at the end of each day to file any completed items, update your to do list and clear your emails. This ensures that you will start the following day organized and primed for productivity.

 

 

 How to get the best from your Virtual Assistant.

If you have chosen to outsource to a Virtual Assistant they are there to lighten the load. If you have hired a VA you will have some idea of the tasks that you would like them to do for you. Whatever the tasks are here are some pointers to help you build the relationship.

 

Set Clear Goals

 

How often do you want updates? Are the tasks rolling– would you like an update each time a particular task is completed or for a longer task would you like to have updates when each stage is completed. Make sure you know how you would like to proceed and let your VA know – they are there to help you.

 

Communicate Expectations

 

Be clear with your deadline expectations. If you said you wanted the research project done by Friday but actually, Thursday is better, communicate this. Clear and open communication is important especially in a virtual situation when your VA is not on hand to read a situation for themselves.

 

Collaborate

 

Involve your VA in the process and encourange collaboration. Whatever the task or project is consult your VA along the way and if you have a whole team of people working virtually allow them to consult and collaborate – this is how ideas grow and thrive. Make your virtual team work for you.

 

If you would like a task done that is outside of your VA’s  remit – always ask the question!!! Your VA may well have experience in this area and you weren’t aware or they may be able to recommend someone who can do It for you.

 

Encourage and Reward

 

A little encouragement goes a long way and one thing is for sure – your VA will really appreciate words of thanks or praise.

 

Over time your relationship with your VA will grow and evolve and you will see them more and more as an asset to your team.

 

Would you like to work with a Virtual Assistant or perhaps you would like more information on how to become a Virtual Assistant? Send me an email laura@laurahilmi.com for more info.

What Kind of Tasks Can a Virtual Assistant Help With?

Answer: What do you want help with?

 

Do you need to make sure that your diary is organised? Your meetings need to be confirmed for the following day, appointments booked, anniversary’s and holidays remembered?

 

Do you need someone to keep on top of your inbox and filter through the important emails and the not so urgent emails, perhaps someone to follow up on generic enquiries. Is it overwhelming each day when you open your inbox to be greeted with emails mounting up but you have to run to meetings meanwhile the emails are still coming in. Or perhaps you use social media to reach your clients and need someone to reply to messages and enquiries there.

 

Do you have an urgent project? Maybe you need some research done and there is not enough time.

 

Do you need to have a blog or newsletter written? But the weeks fly by and you still haven’t updated either of them, you feel like you’re losing contact with your customers.

 

Maybe numbers aren’t your thing, you have a pile of receipts in the car or at the bottom of your bag. You know you need to file your expenses but you keep putting it off because you just can’t face another spreadsheet.

 

Maybe there is something more fun to be done but you just need an extra pair of hands. An event or special occasion, a book launch or birthday party. You need someone to help organise the chaos.

 

A Virtual Assistant can help you with any task that you don’t want to do. Outsource to us! You won’t look back! Get in touch info@laurahilmi.com for a free no obligation consultation.

You're Not Really Still Chasing Invoices Are You????

You did the work or performed the service last month for your client. You sent your invoice and then nothing. The line goes cold, emails are unanswered. You have not received the payment. Perhaps it is a mistake, maybe the payment is on the way, maybe the invoice was misplaced. Either way to find out what the delay is YOU have to spend further time and effort chasing your client. Not only is this time consuming it can sometimes feel awkward – perhaps you run your own small business and deal directly with your clients, the relationship is somewhat closer because it is just you dealing with them. You dread calling them to chase payment but it is a necessary evil as you need to be paid.

Imagine if you could have someone else do all of that chasing and following up for you. You know that time is money? You could be using your time to focus on new business not revisiting old business. Your ‘’Finance Team’’ can send the invoices and ensure that payments are made on time and chase any outstanding invoices without you needing to be involved. Streamline your invoicing processes and outsource to us.

Get in touch info@Laurahilmi.com for a free no obligation consultation.

How to tell if you are ready to hire a Virtual Assistant.

Stress, lack of time, disorganisation, chaos? I don’t want to focus on these points here, I also don’t want to assume that these are issues that you are having, I want to focus on what you will gain from hiring a Virtual Assistant… turn the negatives into positives.

Get back work life balance.

When running your own business often your to do list will be never ending – however not all of these tasks need to be completed by you. If you can outsource even a couple of things from your to do list then you absolutely should. Whether this frees up some time to build more business or to take the dog for a walk, catch a movie or get home early to kiss the children goodnight, only you know what makes you tick – do what makes you happy. You are at your best when you are happy.

Time to Focus

Whatever your line of business is – you have your niche. Perhaps a fine art dealer, a life coach or an event planner. We can’t all be good at everything and when using the services of a Virtual Assistant you don’t need to be – let your VA take the strain – allowing you to focus on what you are good at – your business! Spend your time growing your business rather than struggling inside your business.

You’re ready before you think you are!

The chances are that if you are already considering hiring a Virtual Assistant but you’re not sure if you are ready then guess what? You absolutely are ready! Don’t wait until breaking point – get ahead, outsource tasks that you can.

·         Are you ready to grow your business?

·         Can you pay someone each month?

·         Do you have definite tasks to delegate?

If the answer to the questions above is Yes – you are ready to hire your VA. You won’t look back! Get in touch info@laurahilmi.com for a free no obligation consultation.