Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Since my e-book launch and the fact that it is summer and virtual assistant work is slow, I’ve tried to catch up on some of my reading. I don’t mean reading those summer novels.
I’m referring to informational reading from groups on LinkedIn, Google+, and other sites. I like to keep current in everything I do, so I tend to read up on things, so when they happen, I am prepared. My clients appreciate this as well. It lends credibility to my business, when I can contribute to my clients’ concerns about something new or something misunderstood.
I had to develop a way to keep track of the “interesting news” and not just all the news. I created a Word document much like a book. I have a Table of Contents with the page numbers of each article I copied and pasted.
As I read through all of the articles on the web, I can copy and paste them into this word document. By glancing at the table of contents, I can easily navigate to the page I want to start reading. I used to save each article separately, but then I had too many articles and they weren’t always easy to find. I like the main documents approach and it’s a time saver.
Sitting there reading through all of these articles can be hard on the eyes. I take frequent breaks and walk around a bit to relieve some of the stiffness in my joints. That helps, but I know I have so many to read through.
I decided to put myself on a schedule and put time aside each week and just sit there and read through them and save the ones I think I will need. I always say I will do this, but never actually do it. I get distracted and end up not doing it. This has to change.
Now that I’m an author, I really need to focus on tightening my work schedule to include not only what needs to be done, but to schedule time to take care of the overload or unexpected distractions that eat into my work time.
It’s so tempting to go outside on a warm, sunny day and relax with a glass of lemonade. I love the outdoors, so it is particularly difficult to stay indoors and work. Client work is different, but having to sit inside just to clear out my inbox or organize my files, is a different story.
I’m testing a new schedule. I get up at 6 every morning, so I am working by 8 a.m. I work until 12 noon and then take a break for lunch. After lunch, I try to finish anything not completed before lunch unless it’s an ongoing project. I try to save my errands for the afternoon. I am a morning person and try to get my most difficult tasks finish by noontime. In the afternoon, I feel more like moving around, because I’ve been at my desk all morning, so that’s why I save my errands for the afternoon, if possible.
This is working out well. My biggest challenge is social media. Yes, you heard me, social media. I get so caught up with it that I waste time, especially Facebook. I need to work more efficiently on this, but I’m not a wiz at social media, so it takes me time to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. I have just started using Twitter for my e-book marketing and it’s a challenge to fit my message in in only 140 characters and let’s not talk about those hashtags. I still don’t have the knack of using them, but I’m learning.
Balance is the key to learning and doing and getting it all done.