Lessons Learned About Time Management From a Puppy & Pneumonia

Sounds completely ridiculous, right?  But believe it or not, I’ve accomplished more in the last three weeks of being hospitalized and getting an 8 week old puppy than I have in the last few months!  How did I do it?  Well, I thought I would share some key points here because I feel in this current age of faster and faster and everyone appearing to want everything done yesterday, the points are probably going to hit home to a lot of people.

Firstly, listen to your body!  Now I haven’t had Pneumonia for nearly 10 years but when it happens it is smackdown!  There really isn’t much you either have the desire to do nor the energy.  So what did I do for the fortnight I was laid up I hear you ask?  Well, besides re-scheduling and/or cancelling a bunch of appointments and initially feeling very sorry for myself, I actually sat down and put together my goals and then a plan for the next 12 months.  Now I know with all of the so-called “busyness” of life these days, I would never have got that done had I not been laid up.  And I am so incredibly grateful that I was!  The amount of fun I had doing it, which in turn put my entire biochemistry into such a positive and uplifting energy vibration that then healed me, was just amazing.  Within days of completing my goals for 12 months, 6 months, 3 months, this month and next month – I was back to normal.  Coincidence you say?  Well, maybe.  But learn to listen to your body – sometimes it is purely and simply telling you to stop and take a break.  And sometimes those messages are louder than others – mine was a brick!

Since then, I’ve put into place weekly and daily goals.  Which, unbelievably, I’ve managed to accomplish fairly easily and effortlessly.  Before I became ill I surrounded myself with lists.  I really am a list kind of gal.  But the lists never really had a deadline attached to them.  The power of seeing a date and “Weekly Goals” at the top of the sheet really sent my sub-conscious mind a very clear message – that this stuff was just going to get done no matter what.  And for some strange and unknown reason, I’ve started seeing things differently.  For instance, not spending so long going through e-mails.  And I’ve become much more decisive on what I read and give energy to.  I’ve become more energized in the sense that when a task needs to be completed – I just keep going until it’s done.  It really has been an epiphany that I just cannot fully explain.

Read more

Creating the right work environment at home

Running your small business from home has never been easier thanks to the radical advances made in technology over the past decade. With the advent of digital communication services and cloud-based data storage and software, running a small business from your home can be both economical and very convenient. But what does this new freedom mean for the work environment that we now create for ourselves? Being free from the traditional office setup means we can tailor our work environment to suit our personal productivity needs but how do you best achieve this?

Here are a few tips to consider when setting up your work environment at home.

Location, location

Finding the right location for your home office is an important first step. For many this will be a straight-forward decision as they will already have a study or spare room in mind. However, it’s important to consider an alternative work space that may be available around your home. While having an established office is important, many home workers find it beneficial to have a second area that they can access in order to reset when they go through periods of frustration or overwhelm. This needn’t be an entirely new office but could be a simple table in or outside of your home that you can easily escape to and get started again with relative ease. Experiment in using this space at different times during the day. You may be surprised by the impact this can have on your focus and ability to deal with tricky problems.

Read more

Seven Ways to Organize Your Home Office to Create More Space

Keeping an organized and tidy workspace is essential. Studies have shown that concentration is negatively affected in an untidy work environment. So it’s just as important for home workers to keep their workspace clean as it is in a conventional office. As the specialists in both home and office cleaning, at Helpling, we’re uniquely qualified to offer tips on how to keep your home office clean and organized. We’ve put together some of our top tips on how home workers can keep a neat and tidy workspace.

1. Go digital

If you’re working from a home office, space is likely at a premium. Maximise what room you have by digitizing as much of your paperwork as you can. Use laptops or iPads for meetings to shorten your paper trail and reduce printing costs. It is also much better for the environment.

Read more

Time Management Tips For Small Business

As an entrepreneur running my own business, time management can become an issue if not managed properly.

Time is unlike anything else in the business world. Lose some, or worst still, waste it and you will never get it back. Making the most of your time is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of running a small business successfully.

But how should you manage your time in the small business environment? I’ve compiled a list of simple techniques that you as the small business owner can use to ensure time management doesn’t become an issue for you.

Prioritize tasks

Often as an entrepreneur, the tasks that you need to complete will fall into your lap. This is especially true when you are starting out and may not have the capital outlay to employ extra staff.

A great idea is to prioritize your tasks on a daily basis. Rank them in order of importance for the day and begin to work on them in that order. Bear in mind that everybody is different. You might not be the most productive person in the morning, perhaps working at your best after lunch. Leave the most important task for then, unless there is a pressing morning deadline.

As someone who works at my best in the morning, I prefer to get all the important things done when I am at my freshest, leaving smaller, less important tasks for later in the day.

Read more

Is Online Marketing a Better Match for a Small Business than Offline Marketing?

The question of whether online marketing trumps offline strategies is often treated as a hypothetical one – most marketers have tossed offline by the wayside and placed 100% of their focus on newer (and more successful) online methods.

But is online marketing always the best match for a small business? Let’s first take a look at how online marketing can benefit your business. I’ll also consider the question of whether offline marketing really is antiquated and not worth doing, or if there’s something left in the tank of old school methods.

Deep Dive Analytics

Online marketing can give you an excellent overview of the performance of each and every dollar you spend. Free inbuilt tools on Google Analytics, for example, allow you to set goals and track the flow of your traffic. You can analyse where your audience is exiting your site, which landing pages perform best – and that’s just the start.

Analytical tools allow you to deep dive on the specifics of your business performance, allowing you to tweak and adapt in real time. You can respond to market shifts quickly by viewing the results of complex calculations with just a few clicks.

Read more

Putting Together an Immaculate Business Website

To run your business smooth means that you will have to mark your presence online, and offline as well. However, unless you have a good website, people will just quickly click away to look for what they need elsewhere. You should never wait for updating your webpage until it is too late, because by the time you have everything done, your business might have missed out on many opportunities.

Let Customers Praise Your Products and Services

Telling how great your business is, will never be a good practice, because people will want to hear what other peers are thinking. It will be absolutely necessary that you include reviews, and to alter them very little, so that people can read what others really meant. Not only will it be helpful for other people, because it will tell them clearly if they should work with your business or not. But, on the bonus side, if you have good reviews, it will be an invite for everyone to come and check out your business, meaning that you will have more traffic.

Read more

Sustainable Office Design for a Green Tomorrow

In recent years, the adverse effects of the changing climate on the environment are being given more attention in the field of office design. Some researches even show a correlation between sustainable work spaces and a more efficient work environment. Investing in ‘green’ offices is a growing trend, since employers have come to realize that this investment pays off in the long run. If you are having trouble with low productivity and high productivity costs, maybe you should try the following ‘green’ tactics.

  1. Let there be daylight

If your office relies more on daylight and less on artificial light, you will save up on electricity. There is also a clear connection with productivity. Employees who are exposed to daylight work better, concentrate more easily, and sleep 46 minutes more each night than those who work under artificial lights. With the development of new technologies, even office spaces that are located inside a building, with no windows, can get natural light with clever devices that redirect sunlight.

Read more

Tips For Running a Business With Your Loved One

Running a business with someone you love can be tricky at times but the many benefits that come with it far outweigh the challenges. My partner and I started our business together about 3 years ago and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Having said that, there have been plenty of obstacles along the way and 3 years in, we’ve got a few tips that might help other couples who are starting out in business together.

We started our ecommerce business as a side project while we both had full time jobs. Over the years we gradually reduced our time at our jobs as the business grew. Now we are both about to make the leap into full time entrepreneurship and we are more than a little excited! Not only will we get to choose what we do when we wake up everyday, we’ll also get to spend the majority of our time together, instead of with work colleagues.

Here are some tips we’ve learned along that way that have really helped us to succeed in our business:

1)    Plan your life and business goals together. When your income and life are so intertwined, having life goals that are fuelled by your business success can be the best motivator there is! Location independence is one of the most motivating incentives for us and has helped drive us through the tough times. Connect something you want in your life to the success of your business and you’ll have all the motivation you’ll need to make it work.

Read more

How to keep your Computer and Network Safe

Keep all software up to date including the operating system

Software isn’t perfect. It’s bad enough that bugs in the code occasionally make a program crash. What’s worse is that cyber criminals are constantly seeking flaws in operating systems and other software, vulnerabilities that will let them steal your passwords, install malware, and otherwise give you grief. For these reasons it is vitally important that you install the recommended updates. Recommended updates can also address non-critical problems and also make your computer and network perform better.

Install antivirus and malware protection

This will protect against viruses and malware that can come from emails, files on disks or downloads from the internet. Make sure to use the very latest version of your antivirus or security suite. The bad guys are always inventing new tricks to try to correct your Computer and network. If you’re using an old security tool you won’t have the new fixes. If you make certain to keep these essential programs up to date, you should stay safe from most known threats.

Read more

5 Digital Success Tips For Small Business

Our competitive landscape has completely changed. Customers expect more from businesses, on and offline. Technology is transforming the way we search, connect, engage and purchase. New tools, platforms, lower barriers to entry and accessible insights are evening the playing field for small businesses.

Is your mobile and digital technology use currently limiting your digital potential?

Here are five tips to help you become a leader, not a laggard.

1. Get the basics right

•    Stalk your customer – Understand your customers’ buying journey and exceed expectations. Tailor the online experience to complement your other channels and customer interactions.

•    Have a realistic budget – Customer attraction and retention are crucial for small businesses. Have you set aside a budget for marketing? As a guideline 5% of revenues is recommended for existing businesses and approximately 10% for start-ups. ROI (return-on-investment) should always be key when measuring your marketing efforts. Smart investments will ensure you are well positioned to attract consumers now and in the future.

Read more