Tools of the Trade, Virtual Assistant, WAHM

Work at Home Parent Pro Tip | ALWAYS Stay Ahead of Deadlines

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At this very moment, my community is “digging out from under” a massive SuperCell Thunderstorm that hit our area Sunday night.

The damage is big. The damage is widespread. The cell, which has been likened to a Category 1 Hurricane (unheard of in Minnesota) pretty much leveled many areas in our beautiful Brainerd Lakes Area. Last year, around September, we had another massive storm that dropped a tree on our house, knocked out power for 24 hours and Internet for two days.

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These pictures are of our property. As you can see, our garage has an “owie.”

This picture is of the bleachers at the iconic Brainerd International Raceway. The bleachers are now a big slinky. Go here for more storm damage pics.

A section of the grandstand at Brainerd International Raceway lies twisted and damaged Monday after storms moved through the area the night before. (Kelly

The good news is that, despite the magnitude of the storm, no one was hurt. Power was only out for about 10 hours and Internet came back (in my area) about the same time the power did. For someone who works from home and relies on Internet access to make $$, this is a big deal. But on the flip side there are plenty of folks that, days later, still do not have power. Some areas can expect to be without power for several weeks.

Which brings me a very important point. If you are a WAHM, freelancer or a virtual assistant, staying AHEAD of your deadlines is critical. Why? Because life happens, people get sick and storms drop trees on your humble abode. Procrastination is NOT your friend and due to the fact that “life happens.” I highly recommend doing what you can to stay ahead of any and all deadlines affiliated with your work or business. Here’s are some tips and tricks to keep yourself on track:

Work at Home Parent Pro Tip | ALWAYS Stay Ahead of Deadlines

Know your Deadlines and Plot them on a Calendar: Whether you like a paper calendar and colored markers or an online organization system like Trello or Basecamp, have a firm knowledge of your upcoming work and when it due. Flying by the seat of your pants may work sometimes, but it can also result in some serious, “OH SH*T” moments when you lose power or internet the day before your project is due (and you haven’t even started on it yet). I can promise you that, some clients will understand when you are unavoidably detained…but just as many won’t give a crap and your actions could cost you a client.

Practice Discipline: Yes, I’d love to blow off writing assignments for the sake of “funner” work…but getting my work done ahead of schedule for me is like “eating the crust first.” What does this mean? You know when  you eat a yummy sandwich, and the crust needs to be chowed before you reach the goodness of the contents inside your sammie? Work is very much like that. I make a point to do my hardest work first, and do it during my optimum time (mornings) so I can have the option to slack a bit in the afternoon.

Reward Yourself: If you are a parent, you know the benefit of using rewards to motivate your kids. “Johnny, if you clean your room, we can have ice cream” type incentives gives Big Humans and Small Humans the gumption to get the job done. This can apply to your work life as well. I personally get huge satisfaction from complete and turning in my work ahead of schedule, but of you are someone who needs a bit more coaxing, create a reward system for yourself.

Bullet Journals and To Do Lists: I freaking love, love , LUV  Bullet Journal. For the list-makers, the note-takers, the Post-It note pilots, the track-keepers, and the dabbling doodlers. Bullet journal is for those who feel there are few platforms as powerful as the blank paper page. It’s an analog system for the digital age that will help you organize the present, record the past, and plan for the future.”  Watch the video on the website and you will see what I mean. This system is simple and slick-as-snot when it comes to organizing your business life on paper. If Bullet Journaling is not how you roll, check into reminder-style apps like Cozi, Sunrise App or even Google Calendars.

Remember there are Two Sides to Every Coin: Simply put; even though you are not in crisis at the moment doesn’t mean someone directly connected to the work you need to get done isn’t. “Life gets in the way” for other people as well. Right now I am having a slight crap-my-britches-moment because I have a magazine deadline (local publication) of Friday and there are a few people I need to interview or get approval from. The same people who are currently MIA because they have no power or are busy cutting downed trees so they can get out of their driveway. See, even the teacher screws up sometimes 🙂

ALWAYS Stay Ahead of Deadlines

 

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