How much time is multitasking costing you?

How much time is multitasking costing you?

How many times have you bragged about how good of a multitasker you are? I know I am not alone. You can admit it. Only you and I will know your secret weapon!

In all seriousness, I always thought I was great at multitasking and I was getting so much more done. However, I never really realized the impact that that multitasking could and would have on my work. I had read articles about the impact of doing too many things at one time. It could cause you to make more errors than normal, more stress during the time as well as a loss of productivity.

I never believed it until a business coach, Michelle Demers of Coworking Clubs had a group of us do an experiment. It opened my eyes. Watch this video I created and do the experiment yourself.

After this experiment, I learned that I was not doing my best work when I was multitasking. It was actually costing me to multitask as my work was taking more time rather than less.

In this article by Kristy, a guest blogger on A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, she discusses 7 Reasons Why Multitasking Is Not The Answer. Which of these reasons resonate with you?

What are your thoughts about multitasking? Please comment below and let us know. Also post your experiment results. It will be interesting to see how we are all affected.

 

Too much on your plate? Find the best way to prioritize your tasks.

Too much on your plate? Find the best way to prioritize your tasks.

Too much to do and not enough time? Here is a great way to figure out how to get the most important things done first without forgetting the rest of them? A productivity tip from President Eisenhower could give you the help you need.

With all of these priorities whizzing around your brain simultaneously, it’s hard to actually tackle any of them. The anxiety of not knowing where to start is leaving you in a state of analysis paralysis.

This article introduces the Eisenhower Matrix and how you can use Trello to organize your tasks to get them all done without leaving anything behind.

How do you handle prioritizing your tasks?

 

7 Social Media Tips You Can Use Today

7 Social Media Tips You Can Use Today

Did you know that today is Social Media Day?

Social Media is everywhere these days. Whether you post on social media for business or personal reasons, it seems we just cannot escape it. Unbelievably, social media did not begin with Facebook! From my research, I have found that the first known social media site was Six Degrees, created in 1997 (now defunct). It was the first site to let users create a profile and make friends with other users. Since then, many social media platforms have come and gone. Have you heard of Xanga, Orkut, Friendster and Myspace?

The standout social media platforms today are ones I am sure you have all heard of. There is Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn and even Pinterest. Social media has helped us connect with new friends, partners, clients or customers, whether they are in our own backyard or around the world. We have reconnected with friends from our past. We have shared many recommendations, photos, food, recipes, positivity, news, our opinions, business advice and much more.

For Social Media day today, I want to give you 7 tips to use when posting on social media for or about your business…

  1. Always use and image in your post. Posts with images get much more engagement than ones without images. A recent article I read said that 87% of engagement on a Facebook post are on posts with images and Tweets with images get 150% more retweets. This is also the reason we have several photo based social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and others.
  2. Share content from others along with sharing your own content. If all you do is talk about yourself, your readers will stop listening.
  3. We can all use a dose of motivation or inspiration. Take the time to share some inspirational quotes and motivational videos. Quote graphics are simple to create. Find a quote you like and stick it on an image with a complementary look.
  4. With so much information available on social media, there is no way everyone can see every post. Be sure to share your posts several times.
  5. Tell a story. Nothing gets a reader more involved in a post than reading a story. This could include something that happened to you or someone you know, in the past or in the now. This will generate more engagement.
  6. Automate your social media posts. You can outsource your social media to a social media manager, or you can use one of the many tools available. Some of the more popular tools include Hootsuite, Meet Edgar, Buffer, and CoShedule, among many others.
  7. Always include a call to action at the end of your post. What do you want your reader to do after they finish the article? You can lead them to and opt-in, ask them a question, ask them to comment on the post among other things.

So, what I want to know is what you use social media for and which platforms are you currently using?

20 Reasons to Start a Business; Why did you start yours?

20 Reasons to Start a Business; Why did you start yours?

depositphotos_14269523_smallI came across an article from Entrepreneur.com that discusses 20 reasons why entrepreneurs start a business. It’s a pretty extensive list. That being said, the reason I started my business is not included.

I started my business to help other entrepreneurs. Since I’m a natural helper this seemed like the next step for me. Of course there are other reasons, like supplementing my income, college expenses, family and travel.

I began my business to help business owners grow their businesses in a way that will allow them to work less hours, spend more time with family or traveling, or whatever they desire. I offer them a way to document their daily tasks, in a way that allows them to outsource or hire someone else to do them. Basically get it out of their head and onto paper for someone else to do.

Go ahead and read the aforementioned article. I’m curious. Is your reason why listed? Comment below and tell us your WHY!

 

Are you doing it all alone? Questions to ask when hiring a virtual assistant.

Are you doing it all alone? Questions to ask when hiring a virtual assistant.

When we entrepreneurs first have an idea for a business and go for it. We start out all alone taking care of all aspects of our business. And it may remain like that for a long time. However, think about it…can you really do EVERYTHING? Are you an expert at EVERYTHING?

virtual assistantDoing business consists of bookkeeping, social media, blogging, marketing, email lists, product creation, customer support, and much more. Do you have time to perform all of the tasks necessary for these areas in your business? If so you are probably spending way too much time working and not enough time with family and friends. I mean, that is the reason for having our own business, right? To be able to earn more money and have time to do the things we like to do. We want to travel, volunteer and spend time with family and friends.

There are people that can help you with these parts of your business. There are some that focus on a single area of concern, like a social media expert, or a customer support expert. Others can do a bit of everything. Some do outsourcing. Others hire virtual assistants.

Outsourcing is where you hire someone to provide specific services. Usually the person you outsource work to is an expert in that service.

A virtual assistant, or VA, usually provides many services. They know a lot about a lot of things. Consider hiring a VA to give you some of your valuable time back to use in other areas of your business or personal life. Some common things that are given to a VA to do are bookkeeping, research, manage email, social media, scheduling appointments, transcription and social media. But each VA has their own set of skills. You will need to talk to your prospective virtual assistants to see if they are able to do what you need.

The following is taken from a conversation that I had with my friend Ellen Marie. She is a virtual assistant. We talked about how one can find the right virtual assistant.

Pam: In your words, describe what a VA is.
Ellen: A VA is more than just an administrative assistant. They is a collaborative partner in your business. When I say partner, what I mean is they should “show up” for your business and treat it as if it were their own, insuring your success.

Pam: What kinds of services does a VA provide?
Ellen: Virtual Assistants perform a wide array of services for your business. It can be as simple as typing letters or responding to emails, but there are some who do so much more like marketing, social media, graphic design, web design and maintenance or email campaigns. There are some “generalist” and some “niche” VAs. Based on your particular needs you would speak to a VA a couple of times to be sure you are getting exactly what you need.

Pam: What are some questions to ask when hiring a VA?
Ellen: I would ask the VA about her experience, work schedule, fees, how do you organize your work, technology, ask for suggestions on collaboration so you can work smoothly together. Also what are your skills? What skills are you best at?

Pam: What would you recommend not asking a perspective VA?
Ellen:Do not ask “what can you do for me”. That’s too vague. Get specific. Mention the specific platforms you use and ask if she has knowledge of them. Remember, you are looking for a partner, not an employee.

The main things Ellen stresses is that you must be clear on what you need and what the expected outcome is? If you are vague in asking for what you need, you will not get exactly what you want!

Ellen can be reached at:

URL: http://www.ellenmarieva.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/ellenmarieva

 

 

Emergency Preparedness: Does your business have a contingency plan?

Emergency Preparedness: Does your business have a contingency plan?

emergency preparedness contingency planWith Hurricane Matthew beating down our doorsteps here in South Florida, I thought I would take this time to talk about something critical. Something everyone and every business should have in place. That is emergency preparedness – a contingency plan.

Create a contingency plan to address the needs of the business in the event that something occurs outside of normal business operations. This includes events like a personal emergency, natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire, etc.), or even sabotage like a hacked website. These things are a possibility for every person and every business.

What would happen to your business if you fall ill and could not attend to your business for six months? How about a devastating weather emergency? In 2005, here in South Florida, we had Hurricane Wilma. We were without electricity for over a week. Luckily my family and I were able to evacuate the area to family in another state but if i had a business at the time and no power, how would I run my business? As a matter of fact, I was working a full time job in 2005. Some of my fellow employees were asked to take their computers and temporarily relocate to Orlando. That was the contingency plan in effect.

Your contingency plan will consist of several different scenarios. The plan for a weather disaster and relocation will be different than that of a website hacking. When developing your plan, you must think about all of the different scenarios that can potentially disrupt your business. I recommend building a list of these scenarios first.

When developing the actual plan for each scenario you must think about who, what, when and how these things will happen.

Who: Who will implement the plan? Who are participants in the plan?

What: What is the scenario or event disruption and how will it affect your business?

When: When will the plan be enacted?

How: How will the plan be implemented? This is the meat of the plan; what will happen in this scenario.

Once the plan is fully documented, make sure more than one person is aware of the plans and document. Store it somewhere safe; somewhere it will always be accessible.

My last tip is to make sure you review your plan at a minimum, yearly. Things change and you want to keep the plan up to date.

Click here to go to the Small Business Administration website to read further information about emergency preparedness. It contains some great information, PDF’s and checklists. Here is a link to the SBA for information about Cybersecurity plans as well.