Category Archives: Work at Home

How to Have a GOOD Day (in 4 Steps)

Take just 2 minutes right now to give yourself back the power to choose whether your day is good or bad. If the day starts poorly or even just average, you can fall back on this 4 step process. (You’ll never need more than two minutes to do it… except the first time it may take 3 or 4.)

Step # 1. Turn off auto-pilot. That’s how you’re allowing more and more of life to pass you by. Young beautiful girl driver in glasses with a wheel

Step # 2. Take a look at whatever time you have left in your day (don’t even look at tomorrow, you’ll get to that tomorrow) and see its full potential. Choose the potential you are fully capable of filling with good communication and action. (You do not get to depend on luck although that pleasantly happens too.)

Step # 3. Recognize that each minute in your day there is action (toward or away from your full potential) happening. Even if you are totally still and “not doing anything”, that in itself is a choice and an action toward end result.

Step # 4. Realize step number 3, and then begin using your minutes the way you’ve always wanted to (the way you know you can). They will grow into well spent hours, and then well spent days, etc.

Live on purpose. Work on purpose. Spend time with loved ones on purpose. Walk to wherever it is you are going on purpose. Eat on purpose.

Whatever important thing it is that you have allowed to happen in your life through auto-pilot: realize it and put it back on manual.

Look back on your day, only at the end of your day. And appreciate every small step on your journey.

As creator of your business and success remember that YOU are your greatest asset!

Goals for Me: to Make, Break, or Reconsider

I’m sitting alone (well at least I have no children sitting around me) in a random Starbucks contemplating all of the things that I am going to get accomplished this year.

Yep, it’s that time of year again. The kiddies are back to school, everyone’s back to a different schedule, and I am back to the same place I was a year ago (metaphorically speaking) when I wrote Change is Inevitable, Progress is Work.

It’s been a while since I wrote a post, so be prepared for all the info I’ve stored up! I am changing my schedule now, so I will be writing to you on Tuesdays from now on.

I have no idea why (perhaps it’s the very caffeinated iced coffee I am drinking despite the fact that I really don’t like coffee) but I have the strangest urge to type out all of my goals for myself, my family, and my work for the year. Like so many of you other virtual assistants, my life requires balance in three very distinct areas. Today I am going to write about how I have incorporated new habits to keep myself healthy and in top “working condition”.

1. Finding Balance for Myself

I must be healthy. This means:
to eat right
I wrote a post a few weeks ago about a documentary I watched called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. I had to write a post about this film because it has so many great points about how we jeopardize out healthy every time we don’t choose the foods we consume wisely.

We eat so much over-processed and vitamin/mineral depleted foods that our bodies are fighting a losing battle to stay healthy. Check out that movie to watch real people reverse the damage that years of poor eating habits caused.

to get enough sleep

“I found this great new medicine… It’s called sleep!” – I told this to my doctor during a checkup and she laughed and wrote it down and told me she had to use that.

Even though I said it with humor, I meant it earnestly.

Last September, I did a sort of health experiment with my sleep and actually made myself sleep 8 hours every night for a full month. Beating insomnia was well worth the effort.

After a few months of sleeping eight hours every single night, I felt amazing. Of course I have slacked off since then, but I am not nearly as bad as I was. :)

Sleep is the time of the day when the body rebuilds, repairs and re energizes for the next day. The skin is the largest organ of the body and without the proper levels of sleep, it will also be the largest age-showing part of your life. At the surface of the skin are millions of cells that die off each day due to environmental influences, dry skin and sun damage. While lotions and cream may ease the effects of these factors, sleep is the only regenerative cycle that can truly undo the effects of the day. Without enough sleep, the skin will be unable to rebuild those dead and dying cells and this is when aging occurs.

- Sleep and Anti Aging excerpt from the Top Anti Aging Website

and to exercise often enough.

In a post called Exercise? Blah, It Just Sounds Like More Work I wrote last November I wrote about exercise videos, and then last April I wrote about more spontaneous styles of exercise in Time for Recess.

I think the trick for exercise is simply keep changing it up so we don’t get bored. I love to run, so I’ve been running at least three times a week all summer.

What about you?
What do you have to do to keep yourself in top working condition?

Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

Work at Home Mom and Dad Writers

Parents Magazine and Parents.com, Parenting Magazine, Working Mother Magazine

Freelance Writing Job Listings

Freelance Writing Gigs, Newest FREELANCE MAGAZINE WRITING Jobs – collects most listings from CraigsList.org, Magazines Seeking Writers – write about travel, cooking, etc

IT Article Writers

Developer Tutorials, WorldStart’s Computer Tips, Simple-Talk, Technet Magazine

Writers of All Things Etc.

Write for About.com, AuctionBytes-Update and Collector’s Corner, Fiction Writing Editors, Professional Resume Writers, Funds for Writers (Source – I verified some of this information from an article titled “50 Places that Hire Freelance Writers” found at www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2009/07/50-places-that-hire-freelance-writers.)

Write for Animal Magazines

Dog Fancy magazine, Dog & Kennel, Animal Wellness, The Bark, Animal Fair, Veterinary Medicine, Cat Fancy, Catworld Magazine, Cats USA Magazine, Cats & Kittens and Bird Times, I Love Cats Magazine, Bird Talk magazine, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Aquarium Fish International Magazine, and Reptiles Magazine. (Source – I found this information from an article titled “Magazines That Hire Freelance Writers To Write About Pets” at www.cocothebloggingdog.com/2009/08/magazines-that-hire-freelance-writers.html and included links to submission information.)

3 Virtues That Entrepreneurs Can’t Succeed Without

(Number three is the only one that is not debatable.)

1. Acceptance

First we must fully accept two very important things with real confidence: ourselves and the inevitability of change.

Confidence begins with self-acceptance… Make a decision that you will never again compare yourself with someone else. Appreciate others for what they are and enjoy the wonderful person you are.”

- Quoted from Joyce Meyer’s The Confident Woman

Standardization is a beautiful thing, but a real entrepreneur is never satisfied with the ‘status quo’. In order to face change, you must first embrace the fact that it will come.

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”

- Gail Sheehy

2. Diligence

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

- Thomas Edison

“Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.

- Sir Winston Churchill

And last but not least:

3. A Sense of Humor

If you can’t find the humor in those “there is no freaking way that just happened” situations, you might as well quit now because your health or your sanity will seriously begin deteriorating within a year.

“Every survival kit should include a sense of humor.”

- Author Unknown

Remember this? -> 5 Silly Things Most Virtual Assistants Will Go Through.

Ok, there are many more virtues like honesty and integrity and creativity and maybe luck (Is luck a “virtue”?) and the beat goes on… :)

Time for Recess

You know I’m always trying to learn new, more efficient ways to take better care of my health. Sometimes, it’s the old ways that benefit us the most.

Last Thursday, I had a bunch of work piling up while I was absolutely stuck on one of my projects… I knew I was probably being too much of a perfectionist about it.

When a few hours went by with hardly a trace of productivity on my masterpiece (of the moment) I realized I needed to stop. I needed to get the blood pumping through my legs again.

Then I thought about the usual exercises I could do… I didn’t want to do any kind of structured activity that involved a workout video or a treadmill… No, I would need something else.

I had a sudden urge to either aimlessly take a run around the neighborhood or run up and down the stairs until the productivity part of my brain could reboot or something.

I went down to our basement fridge to grab myself (yet another) diet coke and spotted Haylee’s (my eight year old) hoola hoop leaned carefully against the wall where I am certain she decided was a good place to “hide” it from Ryan (my four year old) who had been leaning all of his weight on it, bending it more of an oval than a circle.

What the heck? I thought to myself. I decided to go ahead and try it.

I went back upstairs and turned on the radio and hoola-hooped through three songs (and 27 commercials… that’s only a slight exaggeration.)

The exercise was invigorating and just exactly what I needed to reset and focus on my work. Then I wondered how often we “grown ups” stop and indulge in a little bit of playtime for ourselves.

Do something you haven’t done in a long time… like a handstand or jumping jacks… you’ll be surprised at how difficult and simple the skill is to revive after years of dormancy.

Is Your Workspace Devoid of Music?

I have always loved music. Most people do. In my teens, I would listen to music all the time. I’m not really sure when I stopped listening to it all that much.

It’s just a common way we all experience things… or, in some cases, “get over” said experiences. It can be used sort of like a drug. Choose your poison: stimulant or depressant. :) Ok, so that’s being a little dramatic.

But seriously, isn’t our brain capable of be trained (or hardwired if you will) by all input from our environment? So what kind of music is constantly influencing you? Is it helping you? Or is it slowing you down?

Creating Online Playlists

This week I was looking for some good music to help me work and I started working on some playlists @ playlist.com.

Here are two of them that are definitely a work in progress, but I decided to go ahead and share anyway…
Music that helps me stay focused and write without causing me to want to sing along and then forget what I was writing: Amber’s Writing Music

The type of music I like to listen to when I’m doing redundant or tedious things like coding or editing graphics: Music to Motivate a Little

I really don’t know if it is completely legal or not actually. I am assuming so, but some (really I’ve only happened across a couple of them) of the quality of the music files seem to be a little less than perfect quality… makes the service seem a little more shady.

Downloading Music for Free?

Speaking of shady… :) I accidentally stumbled upon a program called Free Youtube to MP3 Converter

And yes, I tried it out on some random video and it quickly and easily ripped me a copy of the audio as an .mp3 file. Nice.

When I first came across this I wondered to myself what could possibly be the legal use for such a tool that (according to Cnet’s Download.com) has been downloaded more than 16 million times as of today’s date.

We live in the virtually real world right? So we all know that a high percentage (I would be afraid to even guess that percentage is out loud) of the 1,377,154 downloaders who had just downloaded the most recent version of the software this last week certain to be those who are using it just to rip off lots of music that, in truth, probably costs too much anyway. In the same breath I must declare that I agree that it’s terrible to steal and yada yada yada…

Regardless of that, my purpose for writing this post is not to talk about FBI warnings or data (including music file) security. I had to write about this juicy little program because it does also have promise to be used for the greater good.

So what could the legal uses of this software be?

You could use it to make your own little podcasts of educational videos posted to teach you how to do this or that. It could be a great way to expose up and coming artists by making it even easier to add their music into your playlist. It makes church music or any private sector choir music videos easily transferred to MP3.

Perhaps beginner artists could pay one company to shoot a video for them and not have to pay another recording studio to master an album for them… or maybe that’s a gray area. I don’t really know how the recording or producing business works so make sure you know what you’re doing.

I’m still working on the extra info about landing pages. It will have to wait until next week though. I was too excited to write about this topic this week. :)