January, 2013

The 5 Minute Trick to Dramatically Improve Quality Time with Your Kids

Dumb Little Man

My wife and I both have demanding jobs - mine as a partner at a product development company and hers as a managing director at a transfer pricing consulting company. We also are proud parents of a three year old, with another one imminently arriving. The juggling act has been something neither of us have ever been fantastic at. For me, it’s proven difficult at times to shut work off and fully engage.

2013 219

How to turn an assistant into a career EA

Practically Perfect PA

I’m not going to lie, I became an assistant because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Growing up I’d dreamed of becoming everything from a spy to an air hostess but those dreams faded once I left University and hit the big wall of reality that is paying bills and funding your social life. Looking back over the last 10 years and having worked my way up from a Team Administrator to an Executive Assistant I wouldn’t change my decision for the world (not even the world of espionage!).

2013 219
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Top 10 Small Business Trends for 2013

Small Business Labs

Below is our sixth annual Top 10 Small Business Trends list.  Last year's trends and links to our trends lists from prior years are available here. Our overall economic outlook for 2013 is for continued moderate growth with U.S. GDP increasing 2.25% to 2.75%.    We expect hiring and the job market to continue to improve with unemployment falling and finishing the year in the 6.8% range. Technology  1.

2013 205

Office Items That You Can Reuse or Recycle

Eco-Office Gals

Even office workers that have yet to embrace the ideals of green living are aware of the fact that recycling exists, especially if you’ve decided to set up bins around the office to remind them that there’s an alternative to throwing everything in the trash.

2013 199

The World--and Your Biz--Will Spin Without You

Virtual Moxie

I’ve waited a whole eight days to wish you a Happy New Year, not because I was lazy and couldn’t be bothered to eke out a greeting earlier, but because I was enjoying my life and work was the furthest thing from my mind on January 1.

2013 186

How to Set (And Stick To) Your Business Boundaries

Office Organization Success

It happens to all of us at some point or other … a client will ask us to do something different for them that is outside of our normal business practice. And, in the interest of keeping our clients happy, we will accommodate. The thing is, when you do make exceptions for one client, you’re not being fair to all of your other clients. So it’s really important that you have in place clear policies and processes, and that you have effectively communicated those policies to your clients.

2013 178

8 Ways to Dramatically Boost Your Productivity While Traveling

Dumb Little Man

As organizations get larger, it’s inevitable that their leaders will have to invest in some travel. Whether they’re visiting current clients, attending conferences, meeting new clients, or simply seeking inspiration, travel becomes a crucial and unavoidable part of a growing business. Whether you live in New York City or a small town in the Midwest, you’ll need to break out of your bubble if you truly want to grow your business to the fullest.

2013 219

More Trending

Increase Productivity By Streamlining Inputs

Simple Productivity Blog

Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog. One of the easiest ways to increase productivity is to streamline your inputs. By limiting the number of places you have things coming from, you can cut down the number of places that you have to check. By limiting the places you have things in process, the less time you will spend searching for things. What Are Your Inputs? Inputs can be defined as any place where things come from that you have to deal with.

2013 172

WordPress Plugin Analysis & Facelift.

Eco-Office Gals

WordPress is a wonderful platform, back in it’s early onset I knew this was going to be the medium I wanted to work with at Eco-Office Gals. Unlike a static, HTML site of old, it grows with you, it grows with our online needs. Growth also means change. While some plugins & themes are tried and true, many are not. Plugins you installed years ago may become out of date, hindering the functionality of your website or causing a security issue.

2013 196

On Judging

Virtual Moxie

The idea for this post was a Facebook conversation about judging that came as a result of a friend posting this quotation: I understand the spirit of it—I really do. But being a word geek, I struggle. I just cannot get behind the second part of that as it’s written. It’s meant to convey that we should judge others less. But that’s not what it actually says. And for me, sometimes (like now) the spirit of an intention just isn’t strong enough.

2013 176

Kiss That Frog!: 21 Ways to Turn Negatives into Positives

Ian's Messy Desk

Just like the lonely princess in the fairy tale who was reluctant to lock lips with a warty frog and transform him into a handsome prince, something stops many of us short of attaining our dreams. Our negative thoughts, emotions, and attitudes can threaten to keep us from achieving all that we’re capable of.

2013 171

Reboot Your Life Like Betty White

Dumb Little Man

We all know her. In fact, we all pretty much grew up watching her antics on television. From guest appearances, games shows, sitcoms and countless commercial spots; who hasn’t had a laugh with Betty White? Her legacy of comedy is a testament for us all on how to remain fresh, relevant and employed way beyond our ‘golden years’. Betty Marion White recently celebrated her 91st birthday in January 2013. Her career literally spans nine decades.

2013 219

Getting your motivation back after a vacation

Practically Perfect PA

Well today I am back to work with a very large bump! I’ve been out of the office for just over two weeks and having had a wonderful break catching up with family and friends I am now sat back at my desk wondering how it is already January 2013 and why did the Christmas and New Year’s holiday go so quickly!

2013 192

CFO's Top Corporate Finance Trends for 2013

Small Business Labs

Interesting 2013 trends list from CFO Magazine.  Their six trends are: 1.    The pressure on CFOs to unlock corporate cash hordes will grow. Billions and billions are sitting corporate balance sheets basically earning bupkis due to low interest rates. CFO expects stock buybacks and increased dividends.    2.    To hire or not to hire will be the question. CFO thinks 2013 might be the year corporations increase hiring.

2013 161

How to Reduce Food Waste at Home and in the Office

Eco-Office Gals

A lot of times, when we toss food into the trash can, we don’t give it a second thought. However, once it is picked up to be taken to our local landfill, do you know what it turns into over time? It becomes methane gas and aside from its direct contribution to global warming, methane gas also contributes to digestive problems and a deprivation of oxygen within our bodies.

2013 190

Schedule a Call ONLY at the Point You Confirm It.

Virtual Moxie

Amy wrote to pick my brain , with this conundrum: “When a potential client emails me and wants to do a consultation, I always send back three very date/time-specific appointment possibilities, and immediately block those times on my calendar, pending his response; it's what I feel I should do, since I offered those times.

2013 166

Plan A Schedule: Use Buffers

Simple Productivity Blog

Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog. My husband, who used to be an electrician in the Navy, was called on off hours to do work on the ship. Often it was said, “It will only take five minutes.” ” But as my husband is fond of saying, “There is no such thing as a five minute electrical job.” ” Even replacing a lightbulb on a ship usually became a much bigger project. He learned this, and how to buffer his tasks. Not Parkinson’s Law.

2013 158

7 Effective Ways to Deal with Rejection in Relationships

Dumb Little Man

Do you remember how you felt when you failed that math test back in school? Or when your application for inclusion in that sports team was rejected? Or more recently, when that job application didn’t work out? Even more recently, when you felt rejection in your relationship as your last girlfriend or boyfriend dumped you? We’ve all been there. Rejection has been, and will be, as normal a part of your (or anyone’s) life as your daily mail. Still, it hurts.

2013 219

The questions you need to ask before you cover for another assistant

Practically Perfect PA

In last week’s blog I wrote about assistants working together as a team and part of the blog discussed how we should cover for each other when one of us is off sick or on holiday. Once the blog was published I had a couple of people tweet to say that cover for other assistants is hard work and can be a thankless task so I thought I’d follow up with the questions you need to ask before you agree to cover for another assistant.

2013 191

Is Self-Employment Declining?

Small Business Labs

The BLS recently released their Industry Employment and Output Projections to 2020. One of the more interesting projections is the share of the labor force that is self-employed:  it's projected to fall to 5.9 percent in 2020 from 6.3% in 2010. At first this seems somewhat counter intuitive. But it becomes a bit more clear once you understand how the BLS defines self-employment. For most purposes the BLS uses unincorporated self-employment.

2013 158

Green Energy: Simple Ways to Save Money and Protect the Environment

Eco-Office Gals

Believe it or not, building an eco-friendly house from renewable materials isn’t the only way to go green. That’s right, even the smallest changes like arranging boiler maintenance or fixing leaking taps can save you money and protect the environment, so there’s no need to shop for wind turbines or solar panels just yet. Use energy-saving light bulbs. If you didn’t already know, most incandescent light bulbs have now been banned.

Moxie Tip 308: Divorcing Clients

Virtual Moxie

Divorcing, firing, ending the relationship with—by whatever name you give it, this is one aspect of owning a VA practice that often creates a lot of anxiety for people. I think the reason for that is often because we don't like confrontation, and we see this kind of conversation in that light. As a result, we don't want to have it, even though we know we need to.

2013 164

Strategies for Expanding Your Professional Network

Eat Your Career

We’ve all heard it a million times: “It’s not WHAT you know; it’s WHO you know.”. While I don’t believe this entirely (to me, it’s both what you know and who you know), I definitely agree that having a strong professional network is a critically important part of creating career success. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think about expanding their network until they need something—like a job. But I encourage you to be proactive.

5 Obvious Goal Setting Mistakes You Must Avoid

Dumb Little Man

Goal setting can get overwhelming. To get the maximum results and to actually achieve your goals, you have to know what you're doing. If you miss something important, or make an obvious mistake, it could mean significantly delaying your progress. That's why I've written this article, where you'll discover 5 obvious goal setting mistakes you must avoid. That is, if you want to achieve your goals. This isn't rocket science. It isn't hard. It comes down to making progress.

Goals 219

Working with other assistants

Practically Perfect PA

In my recent blog on what I think Assistants can expect in 2013 I briefly discussed the relationship between assistants and how teamwork and support of each other will become more important this year. I thought I would go into a bit more detail and give some tips on how we can work as a team. Working as a team.

2013 188

You Want to Grow Your Business – But Are You Really Ready?

Step It Up VA Coaching

by Donna Toothaker. Wow, I can’t believe we are charging into a new year already! Exciting things are happening, and I’m looking forward to a wonderful year in my business. How about you? Are you anticipating a breakout year in your business? Are you ready to grow your client base, expand your resources and your income? If so, good for you! Of course you have a solid plan for making those things happen, right?

2013 155

The Increasing Popularity of Net-Zero Energy Buildings

Eco-Office Gals

In an ideal world of eco-thusiasts, all buildings would run on totally green power, creating no carbon footprint whatsoever. Unfortunately, the majority of homes, offices, and other buildings still run on electricity from the grid, natural gas, and the like. In other words, they operate entirely on the consumption of fossil fuels. Such buildings are estimated to draw nearly half of all fossil fuel energy produced, and as a result, they are responsible for massive greenhouse gas emissions.

2013 167

Moxie Tip 297: Figure Out What Your Real Work Needs to Be

Virtual Moxie

If you resonate with the goat path (as I call it), to be the best damned goat anyone has ever seen, you need to learn far more things, and learn them at the hands-on level. If, on the other hand, you resonate with the eagle path, you need to learn ABOUT all the same things, but instead of the hands-on level, you need to learn about them with the 10,000 foot view.

2013 160

Streamlining Inputs: Paper

Simple Productivity Blog

Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog. Paper breeds more paper. It is only by regular processing that we can hope to keep the paper monster from breeding all over our homes. But faced with piles of paper, it is very tempting just to shove the piles in a hidden space and hope they go away. They never do (trust me on this, I have tried). Streamlining the way we handle paper can make it much smoother and faster to deal with.

2013 152

How to Increase Concentration – The 5 Key Steps

Dumb Little Man

Do you usually find it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand ? Do you find your mind invariably straying to some happy moment in the past, a pleasant song you've recently heard, or a movie you've seen, or a book you've read etc.? Most of us do, so don't worry. For most people, concentration doesn't come naturally. That includes me.) That's why today I've decided to share a few tips and tricks with you to make this age old art of concentration easy for you.

2013 219

J’adore rapport – working with a new manager

Practically Perfect PA

Congratulations you got the job, you’ve worked your notice, you have bought a few outfits and now you are sitting at your desk ready to face the challenges of a new role. Hopefully you would have been interviewed by your new manager so you will have gained some understanding of what they are like and what they require from you.

2013 171

The Power of LinkedIn Groups

Small Business Labs

We spend a lot of time on social media here at Small Business Labs. Twitter is an important resource for information discovery and, of course, we read of a wide variety of blogs. We're also active on other social media platforms.   But over the last year or so LinkedIn Groups has emerged as one of our key go to sources for information. We've found the discussions in our favorite groups to be excellent, the content relevant and the networking opportunities outstanding.

2013 149

The Top 5 Cities for Green Jobs

Eco-Office Gals

Eco friendly business and environmental responsibility are becoming more widely accepted–in many places, they are even being demanded. Reckless actions in the past have had a serious effect on the environment, and many people are trying to repair the damage. These 5 cities have come out above the rest in terms of spurring this new industry forward. These are the top cities in America for green jobs. Los Angeles, CA.

2013 166

Moxie Tip 304: Attraction—It's About Pull, Not Push

Virtual Moxie

One thing I know for sure, Attraction cannot exist in the same space where seduction and manipulations exist. Moxie Moxie Tips

2013 158

Simplifying The Task List

Simple Productivity Blog

Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog. Even though I write this blog and make it a point to find the best ways to be productive, occasionally I get buried. Right now I am buried under a mountain of projects and tasks. I simply look at my task list and want to run away and join the circus. It isn’t the first time it has happened, and I am sure it will not be the last. But there is one thing I have learned from all the times this has happened.

2013 149

Why The Road to Success is Always Full of Failures

Dumb Little Man

Henry Ford once said that failure is the opportunity to start again more intelligently. Throughout history there have been a lot of rich people who made awful business mistakes, got fired, got rejected for jobs and were considered to be losers. Unfortunately, failure is inevitable , but it gives us wisdom that we will need to succeed in the future. It's important to treat it as a useful experience, learn as much as possible and move on no matter how difficult things get.

2013 220

Quiz: Are You a Respectful Co-Worker?

Eat Your Career

Your office is probably full of different personalities— some easier to get along with than others. No matter where you work, or what you do, respecting your co-workers is an essential part of being a high-quality professional. Your team is there to support and guide you. But if you don’t treat others with the respect they deserve, you’ll end up struggling all alone. Believe me – a little bit of respect goes a long way! You don’t have to be a pushover.

2013 143