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Have you got 2020 Vision?

Have you got 2020 Vision?

Make 2020 Count!

I’m planning my January and February 2020 blog posts and just love the ‘National Days’ and weird ‘special’ dates.   So, like Kiss a Ginger Day (12 Jan), National Hug Day (21 Jan). What about National Peanut Butter Day (24 Jan) and my personal favourite, Squirrel Appreciation Day (also 21st Jan).  But, c’mon, who doesn’t appreciate a cute little squirrel?!?!?!  February has a Toothache Day (9th Feb) and a whole day dedicated to Almonds (16th Feb), that’s nuts!!!!

Make 2020 Count! Virtual Assistant Squirrel
Make 2020 Count! Virtual Assistant Glasses

Make 2020 Count!

I started this post with the intention of writing about keeping your social media relevant, current and industry specific. To talk about how your readers want to see the value and expertise you can bring, but nah!.  It’s nearly the New Year, 2020.  The year of clear vision but why have no Opticians jumped at this?  Instead I’m choosing to think of the days to come, making them count and giving them meaning.  

Make 2020 Count!

How many of the days do you actually have a memory of in 2019?  I can remember what I was doing on key dates but they only account for maybe 20 days in 2019.  Why?  Because they were the special or particularly tough ones, they made an impact.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just remember 5 ½ % of my life.  That means I’ve forgotten over 94% of the last year of my life! I want my days to count, be special, have impact and make a difference to others and to myself.

Make 2020 Count! Virtual Assistant Dory
Make 2020 Count! Virtual Assistant Coming Out

Make 2020 Count!

My challenge to you in 2020 is have clear vision and have clear goals.

Incidentally, my birthday is World Coming Out Day. Stranger things have happened and if that does happen, I don’t think I’ll forget that day in a hurry!

Just in case you didn’t know VAS can look after your social media and blog posts. No one will ever know they didn’t come from you!  Check it out!

In 2020 I start building the best version of me by attending #ThinkResilience in Londonderry/Derry. 

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Cloud Freelance Virtual Assistant Website building

11 hours!!!!

11 hours!! Are you kidding me?!!?

Virtual Assistant, blog, belfast, admin, freelance

It is weird that we’re zooming through December and I haven’t got my tree up yet?  I look around my neighbour’s homes and I wonder how a plane hasn’t tried to land on them yet – I live near some very artistic characters.  There is a house further up the street that actually haven’t taken their decorations down from last year and I’ve just this second realised they haven’t been lighting them up this year yet – wonder if they are ok, if I knock at the door am I going to be greeted by the ghost of said neighbours?

So, it got me thinking about the book I’m reading at the moment, granted I’m only 2 chapters in, but oooo I tell ye it’s a goodun. Atomic Habits by James Clear challenges us to make small 1% habits each day for the better.  Make your bed when you get up – start your day off organised.  Leave

your phone downstairs when you go to bed, then it’s not the first and last thing you see at bed time (tricky one), make that to-do list for the next day before you go to bed, then you can hit the ground running with a predetermined plan of action.  After all a goal without a plan is just a dream! 

It’s not that I’m procrastinating about the tree honestly.  I’ve just had other priorities, mostly work related (that, and I hate cleaning dog pish off the tree and floor).  Skewed priorities get in the way of living. Yes, we all have to work, the bank manager dude keeps on insisting that I send her money every month for something called a ‘mortgage’ and there

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are electric bills, rates, gas, insurance, groceries – see when you have a mountain of a son to feed, the grocery bill is not a joke, it’s more than my mortgage!!!! 

Where is the down time?  Where is the me, friends, family, movie, takeaway and jammies time?   I was shocked at my screen report last week, I apparently averaged 11 hours of screen time PER DAY!  Actually, SHOCKED!!!  I thought back upon my week and tried to argue with what the figure in front of me was telling me.  But I did this, and I went there and… I couldn’t think of one thing that added value to ME, I’m not talking ££££ here, I’m talking me.  I couldn’t think of one thing that added value to my family.  Nothing.  That is incredibly sad.  We tell ourselves, and it’s true, that we work hard for our family, that we put the hours in so our loved ones can enjoy a certain quality of life.  But 11 hours of screen time per day.  I must have taken a toilet break or two in there somewhere, but I could find no ME value or family value at all anywhere in my life last week.  That actually rocked me!

There’s a ££££ value that we all NEED to achieve each month.  There’s a ££££ that we want to achieve each month.  For our financial needs and our financial wants we bust our asses.  At what cost?  Little to no added value to our life, little to no added value to our family and friend’s lives.  Our lives should add value, leave a lasting legacy of love and inspiration – I’ve never heard any speaker at a funeral say, I wish my dad could have made more money, or I wish my mum had spent more time making money than with me.  No, we all pray for more time WITH them.  We all have value to give our loved ones, our spouse, our children, our friends.

I put so much time and emphasis into asking people to claim back their work/life balance, to rest, to relax to just be and I’m over here like HEEYYYAAAAAAA!  Pot, kettle, black!!! 

I didn’t NEED to do a lot of the stuff I did last week; I chose to.  I chose my screen over myself, over my family and over my friends.    I am not rocking up double figures on the screen time ever again – I am making an atomic habit change.  I am speaking (not texting) to at least one friend every day and visiting in person at least one friend every week.  Oh, and I’m putting my tree up tomorrow!!!

Virtual Assistant cloud
Cloud Freelance Virtual Assistant

The mysterious cloud

If you’re not overly techy minded, you probably do, at the very least have a smart phone.  In fact, around 3.2 billion people worldwide have a smart phone.[1]  This tells me that nearly half of the worlds’ population has a fair idea of the internet, apps and have maybe heard of ‘the cloud’ or cloud computing, but what the heck is cloud computing?!?!?

Cloud

Simply put its technology that allows businesses and peoples to store their electronic things, from photos and documents, through to whole account systems and databases, somewhere off site in a superdoooper server (computer filing system/brain) but rather fantastically it lets them gain access to those files/databases via the internet.  It also means companies can save a small fortune by not having to install and maintain their own IT infrastructure.  Do you remember the days when Windows software would be bought on disc and loaded onto your computer or in the office the accounts package of choice would be loaded onto a pc.  Something would then go wrong and if you were lucky enough to find the needed disc in among your pile of 11ty billion other discs then chances were, you wouldn’t be able to find the friggin registration key!!!  Sense my frustration? Uh huh, this might have happened to me once or twice over the years.  That rarely happens anymore, in fact some laptops don’t come with a slot for discs at all – mine that I’m using now for example, doesn’t have one.  The reason for that is most software can now be downloaded from ‘the cloud’.  Industry analysts IDC discovered that 78% of worldwide companies were already using the cloud.[2] Gosh, the nerd in me does love a statistic or three!

The rising trend in cloud-based software means that freelancers, including VA’s like me are becoming more popular, simply because we can work from anywhere with a WIFI signal.  If I am doing your bookkeeping, I can simply log into your portal from my secure home office and do the work needed.  I can even send you documents securely in all kinds of formats through programmes such as Dropbox or Google Drive.  I was going to say the only thing I would probably struggle to do would be bringing you a cup of coffee – but I think Deliveroo has that one covered!!!

Virtual Assistant

 

For people using our services it’s a very cost-effective way of working as we work like other trades people.  A client doesn’t have to commit to our salary, PAYE, NI, pension etc as we pay our own.  A client doesn’t have to provide us with office space or equipment as we have our own.  Imagine calling a plumber out and them expecting you to provide all the tools needed for the job!  It doesn’t happen (I hope).  All you have to commit to doing with your plumber is give them access to what they have to work on and pay them for the time they spent.  It’s the same with a VA, but we don’t unblock your toilet – or at least this one doesn’t!

 

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/

 

[2] https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US42014717