Tag Archive for life

Stand up and be counted!

2015-03-21 21.42.47I’ve been using computers since I was a teenager. (My parents wondered why I stopped going outside, but computer games were the answer! Ah, Windows 95…) For all that time, I’ve spent many hours sitting on my behind, and never thought a thing of it. When I started work as a Virtual Assistant, I continued in the same way, creating my work area on the presumption that I would be sitting all the time.

After a while, I noticed that I was sore and uncomfortable, and I certainly wasn’t feeling very good physically. Sitting down all day made me feel lethargic and groggy. I browse a lot of articles linked through Facebook, and one caught my idea about the idea of a standing desk, specifically for something called a geek desk. I absolutely loved this idea, although the price was a little too high for me, so I put it on the back burner of my mind.

A while later, I had gotten frustrated with my sitting situation, and I decided to take measures into my own hands. I had long had a sturdy kitchen table from Ikea, and it struck me that it would make a good base for a possible desk. With some hunting, I found a smallish TV stand that would hold monitor and speakers. Further exploration resulted in the small, two shelf stand that would work with my keyboard whether I was standing or sitting. I got a computer chair mat-I do sit sometimes, when I’m not feeling well, or am sore from some other activity-and a chef mat to stand on.

And that’s how I work! I find that this position is much better for my health-I feel more energetic, and it’s much easier to keep my mind sharp than it was before. One unanticipated side effect was the fact that it’s also too easy to walk away from things, since I don’t have to undergo the extra effort of getting up first! 🙂 It’s not for everyone-although some people take it even farther and put a treadmill underneath and walk while they work-but for many people I think it can have some excellent health benefits, and greater long term affects for the body.

 

Pulling The Trigger: Wrapping it Up

triggerIn this series, we’ve covered a lot of ground and tackled what I feel is a pretty important issue in the life of a freelancer. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series, and I have two last thoughts for you as I wrap things up.

The first is to take action. Much of success in life doesn’t come from waiting, it comes from movement. Yes obviously you can make a poor decision, but even wrong movement can result in a lesson learned. It’s really easy to not do something. Inertia is a powerful force in life as well as physics, and you can use it to your advantage. Moving is easier to maintain once you do it for a while. It’s how those insanely busy people get it all done every day, how every mom manages to juggle 150 things at once. 🙂 Take a step, even half a step today, and tomorrow, take another. You won’t regret it.

The second is to remember the value of accountability. We work alone, mostly connecting online with our colleagues and friends. It’s incredibly useful to have someone out there saying to you, “Did you remember to write those marketing emails this week?” or whatever you need reminding on. Someone to nudge you from time to time, to encourage you when you falter, and help you suss out whatever it is that might be holding you back. Find someone, find a friend, ask your spouse, but strongly consider someone in the industry. It helps if you can share your struggles with someone who is in a similar space. If you were so moved, you could even hire me-or one of the many other fine VO-helping folks out there-to work with you on a schedule and touch base with you. There’s a million ways to make something happen, to help yourself stay on track.

I hope you take my words as encouragement, and perhaps a little inspiration. I love to see people succeed, to move higher and do better. The year is close to ending, and you have a fantastic opportunity not just to change in the new year, but to change right now. Change is possible every single day, don’t let it pass you by.

You can see the previous post in this series here!

Pulling The Trigger: 5 Ways to Find Momentum

triggerIn the past two entries of this series, I’ve discussed the problem I’ve seen with lots of voice talent–they have the idea to improve their career, and they know it’s a ‘should’, but they never actually get to it. They don’t pull the trigger. We’ve defined the issue, broken it down, and now comes the last major problem.

Momentum. Keeping it going. Everyone, at least once in their life has made a change. They’ve started something new, felt great, and moved forward. But three months down the road? Six months? The minutia of daily life and the ruts in the road have them squarely back in ‘the old way’. How do you overcome this? How do you stick to it? Remember the following things:

1. Everyone falls off the wagon.

Whatever that wagon might be, we all have a tired day, or a busy day, or any one of a number of things that prevents us from doing what we know we’re supposed to be. You’re not alone. Don’t beat yourself up-that’s a waste of time!

2. It’s never too late to get back on the horse.

So you stopped that one thing a week ago. A month ago. A year, or five or ten. Who cares? It’s never too late. Don’t say well, I’d really like to, but….just do it! (Yes, I’m visiting cliché land, but I think you know what I mean!)

3. Do whatever it takes.

To remind yourself! Post its, lists, an app, a friend, whatever. Build the structure you need to keep moving, give yourself something to hold on to. If something isn’t working, change it! Don’t get wedded to a system that won’t help, clear the slate and try something new. There’s always another organizational method out there.

4. Make like Nike.

And just do it. No excuses. Don’t say, but, don’t say I’ll do it tomorrow. Just do it!

5. Be all that you can be.

Remember that you’re always more capable than you think you are. You never know where you’d be if you stuck with it. You CAN do it. Don’t think of the reasons why something won’t work. Think of the reasons why it will!

Check out the next post in this series here, and the previous here!

Pulling The Trigger: Making The Time

triggerIn my trigger series so far, I’ve talked first the idea of pulling the trigger. Then, the idea of defining exactly what you need to do, breaking down big new-years-resolution-ideas into something that is easy to do, easy to understand, and is most of all specific. The smaller you can break it down, the more easy it will be to actually do something about it.

And today what I write about is one of the most persistent problems of the modern world. Time. Having enough time, allocating the time when you do having, and utilizing it to the best possible extent.

So, how do you do it? How do you have enough time? Again, the answer is in something we’ve already covered. Break things down. Make a (flexible) schedule. Write it, but in pencil, as we all have our last minute “oh crap!” situations regardless of our type or level of work.

For me, timers are a big help. I suffer from an ADD-like problem where I will worry about what other tasks I have to do than the one I’m doing, so I’m not mentally present enough to work efficiently. So, I do a 2 timer cycle, 45 minutes, then 15 minutes. This allows me to accomplish more than one set of things per day, and also means I can trick my brain into focusing on the amount of time I have to work, rather than the list. I’m able to do other things (like write this post!) and stay far more focused than I do otherwise. What works for you may be something totally different, but keep trying things until you find your ‘fix’ for a broken or ineffective schedule.

One important note though-whatever you do to make yourself use time better, forgive yourself. Everyone has off days, and it’s far better to say, well, I messed up here, and this is how I’m going to make it better, than to spend a lot of time kicking yourself for what you didn’t do.

So, specificity and schedule fixing are two big keys. Start on one of those small tasks during your day, chip away at it. Most of these things don’t need to be finished all in one go, and making progress leads to more progress as the mental kudos stack up. Sometimes getting things accomplished also can mean asking for help. Can you hire or train someone to do something you need? Remember, you really don’t have to get everything done yourself.

When it comes to your ‘should’ list, don’t let it lie, don’t forget about it, and don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in the daily minutia that you never get started. You never know where your career would be if you actually went for it.

Check out the next post here, and the previous here!

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