Friday, September 18, 2009

Urge to Purge Day 4

Today I purged the information booklet from my health insurance (because I never read it anyway), I filed some papers I need to save for clients, found my Get Clients Now! tracking sheets... hmmm maybe I will start that program again. I finally took the sent faxes out of my fax machine and filed them.

I put away Poncho's (my dog) file (with all the Vet receipts and other miscellaneous Poncho info) back with the personal files in the other room where it belongs! I also put away my recipe file that got left in here after I emailed Becki the Crock Pot stew recipe.

It seems my blog ramblings about organizing my desk have inspired a few others to do the same. After day 1 of my urge to purge my mom sent me a picture of her desk saying my problem (of a clutter filled desk) might be genetic.

(Very clever how she took the picture with the picture of my desk on her screen)

Today my mom sent me a new pic of her clean desk. She wanted to note that the flower was placed there just for the picture because she would never actually leave a vase there where water could be spilled on her keyboard.

Something I've learned (remembered) in these 4 days of purging. Keeping your desk clean and organized in an ongoing process. You can't just clean your desk once and expect it to stay clean. You have to always put away what you take out. It's a good idea to set time aside each day to clear off the clutter. I don't know about you but my desk is like a clutter magnet. My desk was cleared off a few minutes ago but now it has my book, my purple pen, my water bottle, my wallet and my lotion on it. If I don't stop right now to put these things back where they belong they may soon take permanent residence on my desk top.

Day 5 I will tackle my In box.

Urge to Purge Day 3

My desk is slowly getting more organized and starting to look better. I've actually been purging and putting away more than 5 things a day, but knowing I only have to do 5 things makes it easier. The latest items removed from my desk were a pile of receipts (entered in QuickBooks and filed away), a necklace, a belt, my sunglasses (reminder to self - this is my desk, not a closet!), a dime, a stack of business cards (either entered in my contacts or tossed), and a Community Class Schedule (no I'm not going to sign up for that great Spanish class that started 3 weeks ago).

Although I have put away and purged quite a bit, I'm still not happy with my desk. After taking today's photo I'm seeing what I need to work on next either the files and other stashed papers to the left or the so called In Box to the right (a.k.a. place to stick things I know I need to deal with but probably never will box). Notice Intuit QuickBooks Pro 2009 box... I don't know how many months it has been sitting there waiting for me to install the new version of Quickbooks. I could probably take those sent faxes out of my fax machine and file them too.

To reward my efforts so far I gave my desk a little gift. Yes I know adding things to my desk in the middle of clearing out probably isn't the wisest thing to do but whatever it makes me smile. I bought a friend for Robbie the Robot, a little purple and pink wind up butterfly. I also bought new purple pens because *gasp* I ran out of purple ink yesterday.

How is your purging going? Is your desk/office looking better?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Urge to Purge Day 2

After yesterday's post I removed 5 things from my desk. It's starting to look a little better. Oh and I also made a deal with myself to not add any new things to my desk. Whatever I take out I will put away. Whatever needs to be thrown away or recycled will be. However, I'm noticing I didn't quite stick to my deal. Even though there is less stuff on my desk today than there was yesterday, I added a few things (a necklace, my sun glasses, a coffee cup and a glass of water). This purging stuff is harder to do than it sounds.

Yesterday I purged (actually put away) my pens, the little bulldog clip, sticky notes, kid's school directory and my check book. I purged an old sudefed pill that was in my desk drawer and has been in there for probably a year. Why was I saving a sudefed pill in my desk drawer? Who knows?

You may have noticed the little wind up robot on my desk from yesterday's photo or maybe you didn't because my desk was so messy he fell over.

The little robot is named Robbie. When I was in 4th grade I wrote a story about Robbie the Robot explaining that the reason my desk was messy inside was because there was a robot named Robbie that lived in there and messed it up every night while I was at home sleeping. My teacher thought this was so funny, he shared the story with other teachers, students and my parents. A few months ago in Diva Day I was complaining about my messy desk and remembered the story of Robbie the Robot. I shared the story with the group and someone suggested I get a robot to keep on my desk and remind myself not to be so hard on myself about my messy desk.

I'd like to introduce you to Robbie. However, now that I'm a grown up it is time for me to take ownership for my own mess. It is not Robbie's fault. I can't blame Robbie. Robbie is here to remind me to keep my desk clean. When he falls over it's a reminder to me that it's time to stop and clean up the desk again.

It's time for me to purge (or put away 5 more things). How are you doing with keeping your desk clean? Did you find any strange things on your desk or in your desk drawers?

The Urge to Purge

Hi my name is Sally and my desk is a mess. (See picture to the left as proof). I have the urge to purge! I am a Virtual Assistant with a business called Virtual Simplicity and I help other people get and stay organized. With that profession you'd think I'd have a spotless desk wouldn't you? As much as I hate to admit it my desk is not spotless, it is messy! I struggle everyday with this. I want a spotless desk!

I recently met Jen from Inspired Home Office through Diva Day who explained to me that it is okay to have things on my desk. A desk in use is going to have stuff on it. So Jen's words gave me some encouragement but I still want that clean and shiny executive desk that I picture myself having. I want to walk in to my office and look at my desk and feel a sense of relaxation. Not walk in and get mad at myself for having such a messy desk.

In an effort to achieve the desk I dream of, the desk I preach about... I am going to start purging. I got the idea to purge 5 things a day for 5 days and thought it would be fun to invite others to join me. Is your desk a mess? Do you want to do the 5 things a day for 5 days purge?

There is a section in mine and Yvonne's book called:

Pitfall #4 - Clutter

When you visualize a successful CEO’s office, do you see a messy, clutter-filled office with so much paper work piled up you can’t even see the top of the desk? Or do you see a spacious, clean, simple office with an organized desk and a big, shiny workspace?

Now look around your own office and desk. Does it look like the successful CEO’s office or is it a clutter-filled mess? Schedule a few minutes at the end of each today to put back what you have taken out (i.e. files, office supplies, etc). - Managing Your Thriving Business For Success.
I think it is time I start practicing what I preach. It's so easy to give advice and sometimes so hard to follow it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I'm famous!

Okay, well maybe I'm not famous... but I was interviewed on The Juice by Jory Des Jardins. It was fun (and kind of intimidating).

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Being Authentic is Professional

I'm on an authenticity kick right now. I mean I've always believed in being authentic, real and full of integrity but sometimes it's hard to figure out who my authentic self is. I guess I'm trying to find MY voice.

I just sent a proposal to a potential client. I have to admit I procrastinated on this proposal because I was feeling a little intimidated. Not intimidated about the work, because I know my team would do an awesome job on the project. What I felt intimidated about was how I was going to present my proposal. This potential client had received a proposal from a big company and she showed me the proposal to ask if this is something I could do for her. The proposal was very professional looking and presented in charts and easy to read.

For some reason, because I saw that proposal I felt like I had to submit a proposal that looked just like it. I don't do my proposals like that. I'm pretty simple and straight forward. I write out what I will do for you and how much it will cost. I don't add all the bells and whistles.

This morning I realized I wasn't being authentic by worrying about how my proposal should look. I realized I just need to send her my proposal the way I write them. It is then up to her to decide if she wants to work with me the person who sends simple and straight forward proposals or work with the company that sends the pretty, polished and formulated proposal. Whoever she chooses is probably the right person for her.

Are you being authentic in how you present yourself to your customers and potential clients?

Is your business THRIVING or just surviving?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

How many different hats do you wear?

As an entrepreneur you probably wear many hats. This piece is inspired by a post I just read on the OwningPink blog about living an authentic life. Lissa Rankin described the many different hats she wears and the importance of wearing the hats authentically.

The part where Lissa described wearing the mommy hat cracked me up. I guess I could totally relate to what she was saying.
"When wearing my Mommy hat, I’m supposed to instantly know how to relate to kids, carry organic snacks everywhere, show up at preschool gatherings looking rested, athletic, and unfazed by the fact that my kid puked all over me the previous night – not to mention bring unfettered volunteer efforts to every kiddie project."
Are you being authentic to yourself? Do you love the business you started? Do you get excited about the work you have to do? Sometimes we get so caught up in what we should be doing we forget to think about what we could be doing.

We think as a Virtual Assistant we should offer these services, but what if we hate these services whatever these services are. Say you hate doing bookkeeping but you thought you should offer it as a service because you are a Virtual Assistant and that is what Virtual Assistants do. Try replacing the word should with could and see how your perspective changes. I could offer bookkeeping as a service. Now check in with yourself and see how that feels. Does that feel right for you or does the idea of offering bookkeeping feel awful? If it feels awful then don't offer bookkeeping as a service. This can work the other way too.

Say you want to offer a service that is not traditionally considered a Virtual Assistant service. Other VAs might tell you that you should not do that but you know what? You can do it if you want because this is your business and you can do whatever you want! If you want to offer online classes in basket weaving as a service of your VA business then go ahead and do it. Be yourself, be authentic and next time you hear yourself saying, I should... try replacing it with I could and you just might be surprised at all the possibilities that pop in to your head. I first heard the idea of replacing should with could by Louise Hay in the book You Can Heal Your Life and it really resonated with me.