Don’t structure your day so much that it’s not flexible. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Having a theme helps to focus on what to get done for the day. #vatipGotta Tweet!
Wherever you are, just keep pushing. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hello, hello, virtual assistants. Thank you so much for tuning in today. You are listening to episode number 36. I am so glad to have your ear today, tonight, whatever time of day it is that you’re listening, whether you’re in the car, at the gym, at home, whatever it may be. I know that you’re going to find some nuggets today that will help you move forward in your virtual assistant business.
I want to talk about staying focused when life happens.
This thought came to me. I did a BlogTalkRadio episode three years ago on this same topic, and it came up because I had been engaged for one week and I was in the process of planning a wedding. I got engaged, let’s see, it was October 20, 2012 and got married December 7, 2012. So less than two months I got engaged and getting married. So I had to plan the wedding, of course, but all the while run my VA business at the same time. So that episode really dug into how I stayed focused, and so I listened to it for a little inspiration and a little push.
I needed that push this week. Kind of feeling down, I’ll be honest with you, about some of the responses or lack thereof that I’m getting. But I take full responsibility in that. I’m working on collecting some information so that I can serve you in the best way. I wanted to throw in the towel. I wanted to just quit because, you know, the crickets, it’s hard to bear sometimes.
If you’ve put anything out online, I mean, it’s like, you know, laying your baby out there and nobody saying, “He’s cute,” or “She’s cute,” or “How adorable” or no likes on your baby’s picture. I don’t know right or wrong, but you get in that space. So what I did, and when this happens to you because, hey, we’re all human, it happens, it’s a good time to pull out your journal. Pull out your notepad on your phone, which is what I ended up doing.
I was waiting in the car. My husband and I went out to get dinner and so I like to sit in the car and catch up on email and read sometimes, and so I was jotting down this note while I was waiting for him and this is where I kind of put my thoughts down. Put it all down, and I have to tell you by the end of it, I got exactly what I needed, and that was pretty much to get it off my chest and move forward.
In listening to the old BlogTalkRadio episode from 2012, you know, it got me excited in thinking about all the reasons why I enjoy podcasting, and it is a way to share with you almost one-on-one because you’re listening. I don’t know how many people are listening at one time, but I know for sure you are listening. So it’s like a one-on-one conversation, and what I don’t like about it is being one-sided and not being able to hear your response or your questions or what do you think or anything like that. At the end of the episode I share my contact information so you can call and let me know what you think, or if you’re listening to it from my website, posting in the comments what you think or what have you, or questions, really questions, because that helps me to serve you even better.
Let’s talk about when life happens and how you stay focused. One thing that is helpful for me is I’ve put themes in place based on the day.
Things can get a little crazy as you get more clients or your schedule changes and you have to rearrange things, and it happens, I mean, that’s life. There are all kinds of things that happen, so we have to figure out how do we maintain some type of structure. Not that it’s so structured that it’s not flexible, but to at least know, okay, what am I supposed to be doing today? What has to get done today?
This podcast is about your business. I know you’re serving your clients. You’re meeting your deadlines. That is happening. But are things falling by the wayside on your side of things? That’s really the main focus of this podcast is The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant.
One thing that has helped me is having themes for days. This is what I mean by that. Mondays – planning day. This is just an example. It’s not to say this is exactly how you should do yours, but to give you something to think about and start thinking about what would be helpful for you. Tuesdays – administrative day. Wednesdays – recording and training day. Thursdays – writing day, and then Friday it’s open. That’s where it’s more of a creative day or a relax day. Okay. Again, this is specific to your business, not your client projects.
Planning day. What does that mean? Well, on planning day I map out plans for the following week’s content. This is the idea. Now, every Monday is not perfect. It may not happen every Monday, but it’s nice to have a plan so that when you hit the reset button, you’ll know what you’re resetting to. So planning day, map out plans for your content. Wherever you put content, whether it’s on your blog, social media, email, whatever it is, planning that out.
I do appointments on planning day. So if there are any potential clients that want to speak with me or clients that want to speak with me, Monday is a good day for me, so that is on there. Customer appointments are on there, and if I ever have to do any team meetings or something like that, which is rare. We do mostly email. That is planning day, so having that focus.
Then Tuesdays, administrative day, on administrative day think about the things that easily get set aside like bookkeeping or running errands or even things that you want to read. There may be certain blog posts that you want to read that are specifically related to your business. Maybe you have noted them as important in your email or saved them, however you keep track of things you want to go back and read, or even actual books, so that’s a good day.
Outlining content. So planning day it was mapped out, this, this, and this, and then Tuesday, administrative day, outlining, so being a bit more specific on what it is that I’ll write or talk about on that day.
Recording/Training day. Okay. That’s easy. Recording day, record podcast episodes, right, and get them to my VA. I have a deadline that I set for myself to get it to her in time, and she has a deadline for me that I have to get it to her in time, which is great, keeps me accountable. So that’s what I do on recording day. Also trainings. I do trainings on Wednesday as well, whether it’s doing Blabinars or webinars or VA training. Wednesdays are good for me on the training day.
Writing day. Writing the content that’s been mapped out, that’s been outlined. Actually digging in and writing the content, updating things on the editorial calendar for social media and podcasts and different things like that. I’ve got those days all grouped together because these are all things that have to be done and I enjoy them. Because I enjoy them so much, it’s easy for me to kind of be all over the place if I don’t have it organized. This is very helpful to me to just have it mapped out into a nice theme, and thinking about everything that I have to get done and putting that all in place.
Then with Friday being open for anything creative, brainstorming, journaling, whatever, I don’t plan Friday. In fact, I have it noted as Sabbath day, just an open free day. I tell you, on Fridays it’s a big brainstorming day. Not on purpose, but because ideas are able to flow freely and just jotting things down and writing. I even like to play puzzles on my Kindle. That helps to kind of get the brain focused and thinking or whatever.
Think about what may work for you and try something. Not just think about it, but try something.
I have tried chunking activities, scheduling by the hour, scheduling by the 15 minutes, all these different things. But the thing that fit most with me naturally was having a theme for each day. It’s based on my schedule for that day. I know specifically when I schedule calls on Mondays and Wednesdays because of my schedule, so it fits and it fits with the theme for the day. Think about what works really well for you and go from there.
I’m going to shift gears a little bit and tell you something interesting. After I had written my thoughts down, well, typed in my thoughts on my phone, went back to email and checked email, and I remember there was an email with a title from Gary Vaynerchuk. You may have also gotten his email if you’re on his list. Let me find the title of that email. This was the title of the email: 6 Minutes Now For the Next 60 Years of Your Life. That totally grabbed my attention, so I clicked on it and saw the same title.
The first thing it says, it says a little bit more about this video. “Why entrepreneurs over 40 need to act now.” I don’t know how old you are. I don’t know if you’re in the 40 and over category, but it doesn’t matter. If you are 35, 25, 55, I strongly recommend you watch this video. I shared it on my Facebook. Of course, Gary V. encouraged people on his Facebook to get that video out like wildfire. But it totally helped me get out of the whole funk thing of hearing crickets and all that stuff, and to push.
The reason why I even went to his email, I had seen it that morning in my inbox. But when I was in my little funk and thinking about the crickets and, you know, are people listening, are people reading, and I remembered in one of his #AskGaryVee show episodes where he was sharing how long he did his Wine Library TV before he started getting a lot of viewers. Sometimes you just need a reminder, hey, you know, come on, you just have to keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing.
So wherever you are, I just say keep pushing.
Here in the Carolinas, we say “keep pounding,” which is something regarding our Carolina Panthers team and for them to keep pounding away, keep doing what you’re doing to win those games.
I’m going to post a link to Gary V.’s video that I’m talking about for entrepreneurs 40 and over. I’ll post the link to there. It is going to take you to his Facebook so you can see that link if you haven’t seen it already. I just encourage you to watch it. It is six minutes that you’ll want to watch again and again and again to help you.
I always want to make sure that I express to you how grateful I am that you listen to this show. If I have done anything in any way, sparked an interest, a thought, whatever, in relation to your virtual assistant business or your life in general or whatever, head to iTunes. Do a review for me. I would love to get your feedback on this show. If you’ve got some tips for improvement or whatever, I would love to hear that as well. It doesn’t matter, positive or negative, I want to hear it all.
If you go to my website: tiffanyparson.com, click on Podcast at the top, and for each podcast episode you click on the title, and this will be episode 36, and click on iTunes right underneath the little play box, and it’ll take you to iTunes. Then from there, I want to say you can review. You can review it from there. So want to get your feedback on that. I’ll give you some other ways to share with me at the very end.
Again, thank you so much for listening and getting all the way through this episode. I want your focus to be on point and for you to know that you’re not alone in the valley, or when you want to just throw in the towel, you’re not alone. I’m here with you and we’re getting out.
Have a wonderful and fabulous day, night, whatever time it is on your end.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time.