Sharing Kindred Blogs and Commitments

Immersed in Eternity… Picsie Chick is one of my favorite blogs. Her images and poetry calm me to the core.

Immersed in Eternity… Picsie Chick is one of my favorite blogs. Her images and poetry calm me to the core.

Last week I took a last minute opportunity to take a mini vacation. While I was on “vacation,” I found myself with big plans to get caught up and get ahead before our busy fall season started. I take some classes online, my 3 year old has Mother’s Day Out and Dance Classes, and business always picks up around this time. After a 9 hour drive on Monday, I slept in on Tuesday and instantly found myself feeling guilty for not getting more work done. Yes, I seriously felt guilty for being on vacation.

Later that day, I was read a post from Leisa at Words are Little Gods. Leisa was reflecting on how she had a great weekend, but was beating herself up for what she didn’t get done. This suddenly brought my own attitude into focus. Here I was trying to take a vacation and I was literally letting it pass before my eyes.

Another blog I read often is Ronna Detrick’s Renegade Conversations. She recently posted lists of 10 Things She was Saying No To and 10 She was Saying Yes To. I’m going to steal her method for today’s post. While I wish I had half the conviction and determination Ronna does, over the past few months I have felt the need for change. This summer we’ve noticed a wave of changes- some planned and others not as welcome. Without getting too philosophical, I believe things happen for a reason and make us stronger people.

To better serve myself, my family, the wonderful ladies that work for me and my clients,

Things I’m Saying No To

1. Working for Free– Mirroring Number 1 on Ronna’s List of No’s, my project manager and I have been discussing this for a while. I pour my heart and soul into the growth, care and details of this business. Secondarily it’s not fair to our loyal and loving clients who pay us well for me to spend so much time on discounted work.

2. Feeling Guilty about Not Working 24/7.

3. Conversations, Relationships and Clients that Suck the Life Out of Me. Again, I’m using Ronna’s phrasing here because I’ve been troubled with this for a while and I didn’t realize how much it was “Sucking the life out of me” until I read her post.

4. I will not let my Inbox dominate my day. Yes I mean email. At one point in the past year, I was getting about 1,800 emails a day (from clients, contractors, newsletters, junk, etc.) I have done 4 major things to eliminate email overload.

A. We use Basecamp for contractor and client communications. This leaves me with a sense of security because emails don’t get spammed and files are always securely on the server. (We’ve actually been using Basecamp for a year this week and still LOVE it.)

B. I unsubscribed from a number of lower quality newsletters that I considered junk or spam even though I probably signed up for them.

C. I created a Swipe File in my email folders. By using Filters, great newsletters full of ideas and products I might want are securely in a folder, but not in my inbox taking my time when I don’t need them.

D. Using the Zen to Done technique (See #1 On Yes List), I empty my inbox everyday. Yes it’s possible and I’ve been doing it for a while now. I found the first step was to get it empty once and respond to everything the same day it comes in. The mantra “Look at nothing twice” also drives it home.

5. To allowing myself to get burnt out on my business rather than confronting issues.

Things I’m Saying Yes To

1. Using my time more productively and Continuing to become more organized. For the past several months, I have been working through Zen To Done by Leo Babauta. The steps and tasks in the book have definitely been a lifestyle change. When I first started reading the book, I thought I am already doing most of these things. Then I was honest with myself and admitted that I wasn’t following through.

2. I will ask for help when I need it. I have two wonderful VAs and a Project Manager who are always willing to support me. The Key to our success at The Small Business Transcriptionist has always been teamwork.

3.Using #2 as a Stepping Stone, will allow me to do the things I love (in business and in life.) Teresa at Picsie Chick says in her Naked Pictures page, she is in love with what she does and doesn’t feel a need to correct her images. As you can see in her image above, she takes the time to enjoy the beauty of nature because that is her calling and I have to say she does it very well. (Thanks for letting me feature your image Teresa!) I can only hope to use my skills as well as she does.

4. Making time for the Important Stuff. No matter whether it’s a client deadline,  spending time with my daughter, or making time for myself.

5. Making the appropriate and timely changes to provide better service to our clients while keeping my contractors and I happily working and profiting.

Now that I’ve gotten it all off my chest, I know that these changes will be better for my company and my clients. Let me know what you think and what changes you might need to make in your business.I encourage you to reevaluate your plan and lifestyle  if you are overwhelmed and otherwise unproductive. Perhaps you need to need to find a part time VA or outsource your transcription and editing.

*If you need help finding a VA, feel free to contact me. Both of my VAs work on a “task” basis for me and are quick and efficient.*

Ladies, be sure to check out RonnaDetrick.com for some empowering conversations.

Have a great week!

Erica

P.S. Be on the look out for more updates on changes going on around here.

Disclaimer: Please assume all external links are affiliate links. Many are not and I personally use every tool suggested on this site. However  due to federal laws, I choose to give a blanket disclosure.

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About Erica

Erica Cosminsky is an HR Business Strategist for small businesses. She can slog through the pile of applicants and help deliver the best assistant to your "office door", she transforms mile long to-do lists into manageable bites, and like your best friend after a raging party, she sticks around to offer assistance or clean up any messes, etc. Find her free delegation workbook at TheInvisibleOffice.com

She is a former corporate HR Manager, and ran her own virtual business team for 4 years. She has a BS in Organizational Leadership focused in HR and is a grad student in Industrial and Organizational Psychology focused in Workplace Efficiency. Honestly, if you have questions about working with people, Erica can probably help you. Ask her on Twitter. @Cosminsky

Comments

  1. Lisbethtanz@freelancewriters
    Twitter: lisbethtanz
    says:

    Erica, you sound like a woman who’s found her voice and her mission! I loved this post and will check out the other resources you mentioned. “Zen to Done” keeps coming back to me in a variety of ways – I think that might be the Universe’s way of nudging me to actually read it. 🙂

    So glad you took some time off and that you’re part of the 31 Day Blog Challenge. I’m really enjoying getting to know the various “voices” in the group. 🙂

    Lis
    http://31dayblogchallenge.com

    • Erica
      Twitter: Cosminsky
      says:

      Lis,

      I think you will love Zen to Done. He’s got it set up where it’s manageable rather than just another attempt to get organized. I appreciate all your hard work with the Challenge too! 🙂

  2. Jennifer
    Twitter: southrngurl6489
    says:

    Hey, Erica,
    I thought you were in the challenge and I see that is so by Lis’s comment. Good for you setting your boundaries and taking charge of you life even further. We’d all be much better for doing the same 🙂

    • Erica
      Twitter: Cosminsky
      says:

      Jennifer,

      Glad to hear you are in the challenge too. It’s posting my numbers quite well. Setting the boundaries has been great for me even just this week. I’m looking forward to seeing how much it impacts my business.

  3. Hey, Erica! Congratulations on your renewed direction! These lists are great, and I’ll be checking out the references that are new to me. It’s so important to stay focused on what we love and do well, and that gives everyone a chance to shine. Well done!

    I’m having trouble expressing just how honoured and humbled I am to hear my part in all of this! I have such gratitude for your tributes and the credit you give me. Thank you.

    May your autumn be the spring of your renewed and wonderful business and your fulfilled and joy-filled life.

    Hugs and butterflies,
    ~Teresa~

    • Erica
      Twitter: Cosminsky
      says:

      Teresa,

      I truly am inspired by your photography. I wish I had your vision and skill. It’s very refreshing and I really appreciate you allowing me to share it.

  4. Hi Erica –

    What a great post. Thanks for the link. Glad you got a reminder to enjoy your vacation. I love your yes, no lists. That kind of thing always gives me renewed energy and enthusiasm for what’s important.

  5. So honored to be in the mix of all this, Erica. And frankly, hearing you think through my “yes” and “no” lists reminds me of what I said – and reminds me of what I need to stay true to! So easy to fall prey to the familiar and longstanding patterns. We need the support of one another, for sure!

    Grateful…

  6. Deb
    Twitter: digimousedesign
    says:

    Not that I don’t need to do a *bunch* of things on your list but the “Making Time for Important Stuff” just leaped off the page at me! I’m sooo guilty of not doing that.

    • Erica
      Twitter: Cosminsky
      says:

      Deb,

      I think we are all guilty of missing what’s right in front of us. I was reading a blog post by Andrew Lightheart last night where he was trying to reply to a question from one of his readers about how to be more in the moment during her vacation. This is a post that everyone should read because he’s honest about how our brains aren’t wired to be in the moment. The brain is always planning where our next meal is coming from or where we need to go to be safe. I feel like saying “Great job Brain. But I’m not a caveman anymore!”

      If you haven’t ever met Andy, I highly suggest following him. He’s on Twitter too and that’s where most of his funniness comes out. 🙂

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