Self Care


Master the Remote Lifestyle: Elevate Your Productivity and Comfort


Master the Remote Lifestyle: Elevate Your Productivity and Comfort

virtual assistant

You've settled in and embraced your remote, work-from-home lifestyle, but maybe you feel there's still room for improvement. Whether you're a seasoned WFH pro or just getting started, optimizing your setup and routine can truly make a world of difference in your productivity and overall well-being.

Let's dive into some top tips and tools that will take your work-from-home experience from good to great!

Your Space

Create Your Sacred Space: Designate a specific area in your home for work, ideally away from distractions like the TV or noisy household areas - get out of the kitchen! Personalize your space with plants, photos, or inspirational quotes to make it your own.

Invest in Comfort: Your workspace should be ergonomic and comfortable. Consider getting a quality chair that supports your posture and a desk at the right height for your needs. A good investment now can save you from aches and pains down the road, and if you're running a business from your home, it's tax deductible!

Set Boundaries - repeat - Set Boundaries: Working from home does not mean you're available 24/7. Set clear boundaries with family members or roommates about your work hours and when you need uninterrupted focus time.

The Tools

Utilize Productivity Tools: Plenty of tools exist to streamline your work processes and boost your productivity. Find what works best for you and your team, from project management platforms like Asana or ClickUp to communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Stay Connected: Working remotely doesn't mean you have to feel isolated. Schedule regular virtual check-ins with your team, or join online communities and networking groups like MeetUp to stay connected with like-minded professionals.


Stick to a Routine: Establishing a consistent daily routine is paramount to keeping you organized and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I can't stress that enough! One of the first blogs I ever wrote, Make Your Monday Suck Less, was about establishing routines. (Sneak Peak: watch for a revised version coming this summer!)  So, start your day with a morning ritual that gets you in the right mindset for work.

Take Breaks: Don't forget to schedule regular breaks throughout your day to rest and recharge. Stepping away from your workspace, even for just a few minutes, can help prevent burnout and keep you focused when you return.

Stay Active: Incorporate movement into your daily routine to combat the sedentary nature of remote work. Take short walks, stretch regularly, or try out desk exercises to keep your body and mind sharp. Set a reminder on your phone or your calendar to get up and move, ideally every hour; realistically, it may be every two hours—but the important thing is, you move!

Practice Self-Care: Remember to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being. Take time for activities that bring you joy, whether it's reading a book, practicing mindfulness, or indulging in your favorite hobby.

By implementing these tips and utilizing the right tools, you can transform your work-from-home experience into a productive and fulfilling one. Here's to mastering the art of remote work and thriving in any environment!

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The Post-Holiday Comeback

holiday calendar

The Post-Holiday Comeback


The holidays are a time of joy, relaxation, and indulgence. You've savored every moment and embraced the festive spirit, and now you find yourself back in the groove of everyday life, with your business and responsibilities calling your name. Don't look so sad; I'm here to guide you through a smooth return after the holidays and keep a bit of that festive spirit alive just a little longer!


The Power of Reflection

Before diving headfirst into your post-holiday tasks, take a moment to reflect. Imagine your holiday experience as a treasure chest filled with valuable memories and insights. Did you learn anything during your break that you can apply to your business? Consider it your own version of the philosopher's stone, turning vacation experiences into golden opportunities for growth.

Pro Tip: Share your holiday stories and lessons with your audience – they'll appreciate the personal touch.

The 2024 Vision Board

Just as the artist envisions a masterpiece before the first brushstroke, you should create a vision board for your business. This visual representation of your goals will serve as your guiding star through the year. Pin up your aspirations, both big and small, to create a roadmap that will lead your business to new heights.

Pro Tip: Share your vision board with your team or clients for transparency and motivation.

The Marathon, Not the Sprint

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race. After the holiday sprint, ease into your routine gradually. Don't overwhelm yourself with an epic to-do list. Start with achievable tasks and build momentum as you go. It's like stretching before a long hike – it helps prevent burnout.

Pro Tip: Use productivity tools or apps to help you manage your workload efficiently.

The Reconnect and Rekindle Strategy

Just as you rekindled old relationships during the holidays, apply the same principle to your business network. Reach out to clients, collaborators, or partners you haven't connected with in a while. A simple "Happy New Year" message can go a long way in strengthening your professional ties.

Pro Tip: Consider hosting a small post-holiday gathering or virtual event to foster connections.

The Digital Detox Day

In a world of constant connectivity, it's essential to recharge your digital batteries. Designate a "Digital Detox Day" where you unplug from screens and gadgets. Use this time for introspection, planning, or simply enjoying the offline world. Think of it as a spa day for your mind.

Pro Tip: Announce your Digital Detox Day to your clients and colleagues in advance to manage expectations.


Returning after the holidays need not be a daunting task. Embrace it as an opportunity for a fresh start and renewed energy. By infusing creativity into your post-holiday comeback, you'll not only revitalize your business but also inspire others with your innovative approach.

So, as you step back into the hustle and bustle of your professional life in 2024, remember: you're not just getting back to business; you're crafting a masterpiece.

Here's to a smooth and successful return after the holidays!

Happy Holidays!

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burnout prevention strategies

Burnout Prevention Strategies for a Productive Summer

burnout prevention strategies

Burnout Prevention Strategies for a Productive Summer

virtual assistant

It's time to buckle up and embrace the sunnier side of life while ensuring we don't get burned out during these hot summer months. After all, the only thing that should burn in the summer are hot dogs and smores! Summer is a time to be carefree, not bogged down with stress-filled days! But we all know, as the temperature rises, so does the risk of burnout. Fear not all you hardworking small business owners, accountants, and CEOs! I am about to equip you with some fun and impactful strategies to keep your cool and prevent burnout while enjoying the summer to the fullest.

1. "Summerizing" Your Work Routine

Before you dip your toes in the sandy shores, it's essential to fine-tune your work routine to align with the summer spirit. Embrace flexibility and encourage your team to do the same. Introduce summer hours, allowing everyone to beat the traffic and leave a little earlier to soak up the sunshine.

2. Sun-Kissed Workspaces

Let's bring the summer vibes indoors! Spruce up your workspace with summery decor and vibrant colors. Incorporate a few tropical plants, hang up some beach-themed art, or even swap out your office chair for a hammock (okay, maybe not that far!). A visually appealing workspace can make a huge difference in mood and productivity.

3. Flip Flops and Focus

It's easy to get distracted during the summer months, dreaming of lazy beach days. Combat this by setting clear goals and breaking tasks into manageable chunks. Consider adopting the Pomodoro Technique – work diligently for 25 minutes, then reward yourself with a short break to daydream about your next summer adventure!

4. Cool Off with Summer Self-Care

Think of self-care as your sunscreen protecting you from burnout. Take advantage of the warm weather to indulge in some outdoor self-care activities. Go for a refreshing swim, take a stroll in the park, or have an impromptu ice cream break with your team. Remember, self-care is the key to maintaining a sunny disposition. And don't forget the sunscreen!

5. Chill Out with Team Building

Summer is the perfect time to bring your team closer together. Plan some fun team-building activities to foster camaraderie and create lasting memories. These activities will strengthen team bonds and improve morale, from picnics and outdoor games to virtual summer-themed trivia.

6. Sip on the Lemonade of Mindfulness

When things get heated, take a moment to cool off with mindfulness practices. Mindfulness helps you stay present, reduce stress, and make better decisions. Start your day with a few minutes of mindful meditation or practice deep breathing during a quick shade break. Trust me; it's like a sip of lemonade for your mind!

7. Beat Burnout with Short Getaways

I know running a small business is demanding, but don't forget to take some time off for yourself. Plan short getaways or staycations to recharge your batteries. Whether it's a weekend at a nearby beach resort or exploring hidden gems in your own city, a change of scenery can do wonders for your well-being.

8. Delegate and Dive into Your Passions

Are you stuck in the office while summer days pass you by? Delegate tasks to your team members and free up some time to pursue your passions. Whether it's photography, surfing, or baking delicious summer treats, diving into your interests will rejuvenate your mind and keep burnout at bay.

9. Celebrate Summer Successes

Celebrate your achievements – big or small – with a summer-themed flair. Host an ice cream social after hitting that revenue target, or throw a luau-inspired party to celebrate a successful project. Recognizing and celebrating wins will motivate your team and keep the momentum going.

Summer should be a time of fun, sun, and relaxation. As small business owners, it's crucial to strike a balance between work and play during these warm months. By "summerizing" your work routine, incorporating self-care, and engaging in team-building activities, you'll be better equipped to prevent burnout and fully embrace the summer vibe.

Now go flip-flop your way through summer with a smile on your face and an unwavering passion for what you do.

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know the signs of burnout

Know The Signs Of Burnout

know the signs of burnout

Know The Signs Of Burnout

virtual assistant

Burnout is often mistaken for being overworked, burning the candle at both ends, all work, no play, you get the idea. And while yes, all those can and will lead to burnout, it's also important to know there are other factors, such as hating your job, your situation, or not getting the support or appreciation you need from others. Recognizing the warning signs of burnout is crucial to prevent it from spiraling out of control.

Before we dive into recognizing burnout, let's understand what it actually is. Burnout is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Small business professionals, like Accountants and CPAs, often find themselves working long hours, managing tight deadlines, and handling demanding clients, which can take a toll on mental and physical health.

Here are some common signs to watch out for:

Disturbed sleep patterns, persistent fatigue, insomnia

The relentless cycle of thoughts about work can disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you persistently fatigued. Don't ignore these warning signs, as they could be indicators that you are either experiencing burnout or approaching it. It's crucial to address this issue promptly to prevent further deterioration of your mental and physical well-being.

Get checked out by your doctor to ensure you don't have any physical reason that keeps you up at night. Then try meditating, or deep breathing exercises, twice a day. Five minutes in the morning and 5-10 minutes at night before bedtime. Also, ensure you get some physical exertion during the day - a 30-minute walk will help your brain turn off the daytime drama.

Frequent headaches, muscle pain

These physical manifestations are often a result of the body's response to prolonged stress. As individuals push themselves beyond their limits, their bodies begin to suffer the consequences. If you are experiencing frequent headaches and muscle pain, it is essential to take immediate action.

Seek support from healthcare professionals or contact trusted individuals who can guide you during this challenging time. Remember, addressing burnout is not a sign of weakness but rather a proactive step towards regaining control over your life.

Weakened immune system, frequent illnesses

The thing about mental and emotional distress, they can lead to physical illness. You can become more susceptible to colds and infections because your defenses are down. If you're suddenly getting sick for no reason, it could be a sign to look at your self-care routine.

Set boundaries and establish a healthy work-life balance. Ignoring or downplaying burnout symptoms can lead to further complications and hinder one's ability to function effectively in both personal and professional settings.

Difficulty concentrating and decreased productivity

This can be directly related to fatigue and insomnia. When you can’t sleep well or concentrate, it is natural that you may forget things, not work fast as you did before, and have difficulty making decisions.

Take regular breaks that involve some physical activity 2-3 times during the day, and try some stretching exercises or yoga.

Increased irritability or impatience

When you are experiencing the brunt of burnout, you may act out with hostility due to being disillusioned about business and life. You may micromanage your employees or show annoyance towards a client. If you are not enjoying it and feel like you never will, you may be in burnout.

First, prioritize stress management. Regularly engage in physical activity to release endorphins and combat stress. Take regular breaks and vacations to recharge and rejuvenate. Then work with your team. Delegate tasks and collaborate with your team to distribute workload effectively. Fostering a supportive work environment can significantly contribute to preventing burnout. Encourage open communication, provide resources for well-being, and advocate for policies that prioritize work-life balance and mental health.

Feelings of cynicism, detachment, or apathy

When burnout gets really bad, you might want to pull away from others due to not caring about anything. If you feel like your actions don’t matter, it can lead to hopelessness.

If you find yourself self-isolating or feeling like it will never get better, talk to someone. Reach out to colleagues, mentors, or support groups to discuss your feelings and challenges. Consider seeking professional help from therapists or counselors if needed.

Recognizing and taking action to overcome burnout is essential for accountants and CPAs to sustain their well-being and excel in their professional lives. Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Reach out for support, practice self-care, and prioritize your mental and physical health. By doing so, you can restore balance, find fulfillment, and continue to thrive!

If you feel depressed or find yourself idealizing death, please seek professional medical care. You can call the US National Suicide hotline to get help at 1-800-273-8255 or Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566.

Trying to do it all?  Imagine if you could get rid of all the time-wasting tasks that clog up your schedule, and just focus on what matters most to your business. Sounds good, right?

Contact me at Info@thetaskva.com for more information, or schedule a quick 15-minute chat.

Take our quiz and see if you need a helping hand

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vacation mood

8 Tips To Keep The Vacation Mood Going

vacation mood

8 Tips To Keep The Vacation Mood Going

virtual assistant

After a relaxing summer vacation, when it's time to get back into the swing of office life, it can be hard to get motivated. The days of fun in the sun seem long gone. My sister and I took a cruise a few years back and let me tell you, I could certainly become accustomed to that lifestyle. If I was hungry, food was there. If I wanted a drink, it magically appeared. We even got our beds turned down, and our towels turned into the cutest animals. Going back to the office wasn't an easy task. I remember trying to come up with one good reason why I should get off that ship! So, whether this summer found you enjoying the royal life, being waited on hand and foot, or family fun and relaxation, just because the vacation is over doesn't mean you can't continue to enjoy your life.

Follow these eight tips to ease back into the work week and keep that vacay feeling going for as long as possible:

Tip #1: Plan your time off

Just because you're back to work doesn't mean that you need to make your life all about work. You should still have plenty of free time that you can plan out and enjoy to the fullest. Plan a fun evening for yourself or your family. You can even plan for a weekend trip somewhere in the near future. Block out your time off on your calendar. And remember, make it a no-work zone – that means no cell phone or email checking!

Tip #2: Take it one day at a time

Sometimes, coming back to work can be overwhelming because there's so much to do. Your mind may race through all the things you'll need to accomplish over the next few weeks. That'll make your thoughts unbearable and you'll long for the vacation that just ended. Instead, focus on one day at a time or even one moment at a time. Your work will get done, no matter how overwhelming it seems. And there will still be time for fun, too.

Tip #3: Organize your life on the first day back

When you first get back to work, spend a day "spring cleaning." If you have a desk job, organize your computer files as well as your desk. Sort through your email and answer only the most important and urgent on your first day back. This can help you feel a sense of accomplishment, while also clearing the clutter.

Tip #4: Do a few half days if you can afford it

If you have a staff, you may be able to do a couple of half days to transition yourself back to work. This way, you can start slowly while getting back into the work mentality, and you'll have portions of your day that you can plan for yourself and your family.

Tip #5: Start planning your next trip early

Even if your next trip is far into the future, you can still dream about what it'll be like. There are many benefits to planning early. When you book a trip early, you can take advantage of early bird discounts. Those who know what they want early will be there to grab the best deals.

Tip #6: Go somewhere special for lunch

On your first day back, plan a special lunch for yourself. You don't have to delve immediately into the usual routine. Pack a special lunch or treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant you love.

Tip #7: Make a vacation scrapbook in your free time

Remember the good times you had on vacation by using your free time to make a scrapbook or write a memoir about your experiences. You can do this after work or on weekends. It's a great way to keep your vacation going in your mind.

Tip #8: Focus on what you love about what you do

If transitioning back to work is turning out to be more difficult than you thought it would be, it might be because you're focusing on the negative aspects of your job. Remember your “why.” Try to focus on the positive and on what you love most about what you do.

Vacation time will be here again before you know it. Learn to enjoy your life no matter what time of year it is. Make the most of each moment by seeking ways to sprinkle that vacation mentality into every ordinary day.

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The Power of Persistence


The Power of Persistence

virtual assistant

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had someone tell me, “you’re nothing if not persistent.” When I get an idea in my head, I’m like a dog with a bone. I just cannot let it go and will do everything possible to make it a reality. Is this the reason for my continued success? I believe so.

Sometimes the secret to success is simple: just keep trying.

Being highly persistent is something that can help you make all kinds of amazing things happen. Like the little ant that moved the rubber tree plant, truly remarkable things can happen when you just don't give up.

Personally, giving up is not an option for me, seriously. I have serious F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) and always wonder “what if.” Because of this, I simply cannot quit.

But the truth of the matter is that some people may simply be born more persistent than others – or they may have learned the behavior when they were very young.  So this bears asking, is it too late to 'decide' to be persistent right now?

Whether or not one's personality can be 'changed' over time is a matter that is contentious among psychologists. However, I believe there are things you can do to make being persistent easier for yourself. But before we can learn to be persistent, we must first understand why we are not persistent.

Why We Give Up

Oftentimes, we fail to stick at things after the first or second failure. Many become disheartened when something doesn’t work out just as planned or as quickly as one would like, and they simply give up.

Here are three of the main reasons we tend to quit:

Reason #1: Effort and Time

One of the biggest reasons we tend to give up and stop being persistent is that whatever it is we're doing takes time – too much time. If you're writing client proposals and getting no responses, this can often seem like a big waste of time; the same goes for starting exercise regimes that don't offer up fast results. The world we live in today is instantaneous, and we want the same with our results.

Reason #2: Our Egos

One of the biggest reasons we often give up trying is that it hurts our ego to fail. If you've failed a business start-up five times (raising my hand here), then you'll be putting your ego through the wringer each time – especially when you have to tell your family and friends. Thus we often make excuses to give up trying, so we can protect ourselves.

Reason #3: Politeness

In many cases, we don't persist because we don't want to "be a bother." While this might sound reasonable on paper, the reality is that you're actually giving up on your dream to be less of a nuisance. Like it or not, being a nuisance is often what you must do to make things happen for you!

Flip the Persistent Switch to ON

We're always told how we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it – how if we keep putting in the time and effort, we will eventually start to see our efforts pay off. It seems that the key ingredient to success in all its forms is persistence. So how do you flip that persistence switch on:

Increase Your Energy

Self-care is one of my favorite topics. Proper self-care keeps the body going. If you’re struggling with fatigue or frustration, you will also struggle to flip your persistence switch on. But having the right diet and exercise regime built around increasing your mitochondria count can do wonders for you. If you have more energy, you won’t have to rely on willpower to be persistent!

Clearly Define Your Goals

Being persistent is often a result of having clearly defined goals that you're willing to work tirelessly towards. If you know precisely what it is that you're trying to achieve and you know precisely how you're going to achieve it, then it's just a matter of executing that plan even when it's exhausting or daunting.

Have a Support Network

go you

We derive strength from those around us. When we're at our last ebb, we think of all the people who believe in us and the people we don't want to let down. Just knowing you have people cheering for you to succeed can often be all it takes!


And you know what? Persistence takes practice. Even if you find you're prone to giving up, consistently trying to try can help you to develop the persistence you need. Don't give up on not giving up!

Persistence can really pay off. In all kinds of circumstances, you have nothing to lose by trying again and everything to gain if you're successful.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

The simple fact of the matter is that the more times you try, the more opportunity you have to win.

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looking for a fresh start

5 Questions to Ask When Looking for a Fresh Start

looking for a fresh start

5 Questions to Ask When Looking for a Fresh Start

virtual assistant

That's it. You've had it. Life is just not going as well as you'd like. It's time for a change, a Fresh Start! Sometimes starting over and cleaning off the slate is just what the doctor ordered. I should know; I'm the Fresh Start Queen. But how do you know where to begin? How do you know if you need a fresh start or maybe just a break?

It's simple. You start by asking yourself these five questions:

1. What Do You Really Desire?

Too often, what we think is a change in our life is nothing more than a dressed-up version of the old. To avoid falling into this trap, you must look at real and actual change.

Start by asking these hard questions:

  1. What do you want out of the change?
    • Probably the most important question, so spend some time with it. Be brutally honest with yourself. Even if it's only to spend Saturday morning watching cartoons as when we were kids, you must understand exactly what you want.
  2. How are you not getting this in your current situation?
    • Remember the saying, "You can't see the forest through the trees," and dig deep here. Take off those blinders and look around.
  3. What would you need to do to attain this?
    • Create your roadmap. Write out a few SMART goals and create your plan to make this change happen.
  4. And finally, what's one positive change you can make right now that will place you closer to this dream?
    • Declare your desires as if you have already obtained them. Speak affirmatively about your needs rather than focus on what you do not have or dissatisfaction.

2. How Many Risks Are You Willing to Take?

Fresh starts will demand a commitment from you, which manifests in how much of yourself you are willing to put into the project. If you are not willing to risk a new way of life or much in the form of change, you will not have much success.

I mentioned earlier that I am the Queen of Fresh Starts. I've never been one to shy away from going after what I want. About fifteen years ago, I made a huge decision to start a new life. As the Little Rascal's song goes, "packed what I could, sold what I couldn't, stopped to fill up on my way out of town," and my next verse was "start spreading the news…" and just like that, I left my job, my family, my home and moved to New York.

I didn't know anyone in New York, but I had accepted a contract position as a network administrator and knew this was the opportunity I had been looking for my entire life. So I took the risk, and those who know me will tell you, it was the best thing I ever did for myself.

3. What is Different About the Life You're Proposing

If you are looking for a new beginning, there must be something 'new,' or you are not starting over. Instead, you are merely continuing what you've been doing all along. So, what is the thing you haven't done before?

For me, it was freefalling. I didn't have a backup plan this time because I never once thought I was making a mistake. 

4. What Are You Giving Up?

A new beginning means something else is ending. So what are you leaving behind? 

I was giving up the stability of my family and friends, of knowing an area so well I could make it home blindfolded. I was giving up my comfort zone. 

Remember that this question doesn't imply you must abandon every aspect of your past. Sometimes we are leaving behind only a small part of our life.

5. Are You Truly Ready to Let Go of the Past?

This last question can be challenging because you might not know the answer until you have begun. Your fresh start will fail if your past baggage is weighing you down. At the very least, it helps to have a positive attitude about letting go and are willing to do the work to make this happen.

In the end, these questions will give you some idea of what to expect as you embark on this journey of letting go. After all, being prepared truly is half the battle.

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lifetime learning

Lifetime Learning is Essential

lifetime learning

Lifetime Learning is Essential

task virtual assistant

There is one thing that is certain in life, and that is change. If you are like me, you embrace change because it is another chance to learn and gain something new. I am an avid learner, a lifetime student if you will. I learned early on that if you want to succeed, you must stay one step ahead, and the way to do that is through learning.

Increase Your Confidence and Motivation

A lot of anxiety or fear stems from a lack of knowledge. If you strive to learn something new as often as possible about your niche and the world at large, you will empower yourself to do better, thus making you believe in yourself, and boosting your confidence while giving you the knowledge to be successful.

Keep Up with Your Competition

"The simplest way to learn business is to study your competition and improve what they are offering." - Ehab Atalla

"Study your competition", is exactly what Netflix did. Netflix saw a change in technologies and tried to understand and learn new ways to improve its business model as well as its biggest competitor, Blockbuster. They now lead their industry by streaming movies and television shows straight to your T.V. and have become a model for all streaming services.

Tawnya Sutherland, a pioneer in virtual assistant training and networking, fully understands the importance of studying your competition and dedicates an entire section on the subject in her signature, "Virtual Assistant Career training program"; from knowing your customer to introducing your business, she spells it out and walks you through it.

Fully Understand Your Potential

Learning unlocks skills and resources about yourself that you would have never discovered if you didn't make an effort to do so in the first place.

"Learning is a constant process of discovery - a process without end" - Bruce Lee.

I remember mom always saying, "you can't say you don't like it if you don't try it." Same idea here, if you don't continue to learn, you'll never know what you could be.  And you can quote me on that 😉

Be Successful

To be successful and keep up with your business, you must continue learning new technologies, software services, and social media platforms. And I can't think of a better "one-stop learning center" than Freelance University. Here you can hone a specialized skill, get live training support, attend workshops and learn the latest technology, all in one place!

But success doesn't stop with learning new skills. If you want to keep up with the crowd you need to learn new strategies. What worked five years ago, might not work today. As a business owner, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and news in your industry. This way, you can always be on top of what’s happening and address any issues as they arise.

Create the Job or Life You Want

Learning is an important part of our lives. We learn from childhood to adulthood, and it is never too late to learn something new. Learning unlocks worlds, ideas, values, and inspirations you never knew existed. When you learn, you create more choices in life to live the way you want. Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Check out LinkedIn Learning; whether you're looking for continuing education, or want to try something new, this is a great source to have. If you already have a premium account, then LinkedIn Learning is free, otherwise, it's a nominal monthly fee, and has a 1-month trial. 

Learning is a lifelong process that takes place anywhere and anytime - at work or at home, on the bus, or in the car. It can take many forms: reading a book, listening to a podcast, watching a video on YouTube, attending a conference or workshop - the list goes on and on. Education, knowledge, and experiences are fun and rewarding. They, together with practice, are vital for growth, understanding, and compassion for the world. Education and learning provide no consequences if you want to accomplish your dreams and be more productive. Keep reading, experimenting, and jump out of your comfort zone to learn and gain more knowledge.

"You'll never be bored when you try something new. There's really no limit to what you can do! - Dr. Suess

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mindset traps, 5 mindset traps, how to escape a mindset trap

5 Mindset Traps You Don’t Know You’re Stuck In

mindset traps, 5 mindset traps, how to escape a mindset trap

5 Mindset Traps

(You Don't Know You're Stuck In)

task virtual assistant

Today is the Lunar New Year, and it's the Year of the Tiger. The Tiger symbolizes recovery and growth so I thought this was the perfect time to talk about mindsets, or rather mindset traps.

What are Mindset Traps?
The term "mindset trap" is used to describe the ways in which we limit ourselves by thinking about how things are done in the past, or how they should be done. Mindset traps are not always obvious, and definitely not easy to escape. If you find yourself saying things like "I'm not good enough", "It's too late", or "I don't know what I want", you could be stuck in a fear trap, or living in the past. How about, "I can't do anything about it anyway", or "I'm not creative enough"? These are common thoughts of a self-saboteur.

1. The Trap of Living in the Past
Living in the past can be a trap that keeps you from moving forward. Sometimes we get so caught up in what has already happened, that we forget how much potential there is for what can happen next. It is important to let go of the past and not allow it to control your life. I used to have a small wall plaque growing up, "We can't change the past, but we can ruin the future by worrying about the present". In order to live a fulfilling life, you have to let go of the past and focus on what lies ahead of you.

2. The Trap of Letting Fear Stop You 
The fear of success is a common emotion that many people experience when they are on the verge of achieving something great. We may doubt our own worthiness, be afraid we'll suck at it and we'll fail in epic proportions in full view of the whole world.
The first step in overcoming this fear is to understand that it's natural for anyone to feel some level of anxiety about success, especially if they’ve never experienced it before or if they have experienced failure in the past. Understanding that fear is natural will help you realize that there is nothing wrong with feeling some level of anxiety before accomplishing something new or difficult.

3. The Trap of Self-Sabotage
Are you giving yourself the wrong pep-talk? Instead of using some positive self-talk to get things done, are you by any chance using negative self-talk to keep you from trying? After all, it's very easy to convince ourselves that we're failures. Why do we do it? Because if we know it's not going to work out, we never have to try in the first place. The self-sabotage trap is a common problem, yet it's hard to identify and even harder to solve. The first step is awareness. You need to be actively aware of your thoughts all day, every day. When negative thinking tries to sneak in, stop it and remind yourself of all your strengths. Become your best friend!

4. The Trap of Doing What is Expected
In today's world, most of us have fallen into the trap of doing what is expected at least once or twice. Staying in this trap, and continuing to live your life doing what you think you should be doing and not what you want to be doing, can lead to emotional burnout. But this doesn't have to be the case. If you are not happy with what you are doing, then it's time to break free from the norm and do something different. Listen to your inner self, your gut. You'll find the answer.

5. The Trap of Being Overwhelmed
When we are constantly bombarded with information, we start to feel overwhelmed. When we feel overwhelmed, it is hard to focus on what matters. We need to learn how to manage our time and our energy so that we can stay grounded and balanced. Use a time management process such as the Eisenhower Matrix, the Pomodoro Technique, or the Pareto Principle - or develop your own from a combination of the processes. This will be your roadmap to follow each day as you focus on your tasks. Also, limit your time spent on social media, stop watching 24-hour news programs, and limit your podcast time to only programs that provide you valuable insight into your success. Declutter your mind and you will be more productive, less stressed, and more motivated.

You will stumble upon mindset traps often on your road to success. You can avoid stepping on them by developing a daily routine that includes meditation, and mindfulness activities such as journaling, deep breathing, and single-tasking. Stop being a perfectionist. We all make mistakes, learn from them. You will fail, and you will do it many times in your life. Embrace this as a gift rather than a burden. Don’t tell yourself you are a failure, tell yourself that you just learned what doesn’t work.

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mood lifter

12 Ways to Improve Your Mood

mood lifter

12 Ways To Improve Your Mood

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you these much-needed mood-lifting tips.

We set our clocks back an hour this coming Sunday, and, if you're like me, the shift back to standard time might leave you a little less than cheerful. I love Fall: sweater weather, vibrant colors of the leaves, eating pumpkin flavored anything, and not getting the strange looks, but I also love sunlight. Through the technology of Smart Home living, my living room lights are set to come on at sunset, and as it happens every year, they've been coming on a little earlier each night, and I can tell you that when it happens at 4:44 pm on Sunday, my mood will most likely go down with the sun!

Now I can't go through the next five months with a dark cloud over my head, and neither can you. So I put together a list of some of my favorite mood lifters and added a few others I've come across here and there. I can't promise you the daylight will last longer, but your mood will stay up long after the sun goes down.

1. Put some drops of lavender and orange essential oils in a diffuser. This is my go-to mood lifter. These oils have been shown to help with anxiety and promote calmness and positivity.

mood lifters

2. Have a snack. A handful of nuts or, my favorite, a square of dark chocolate will send endorphins flooding into your brain and lift your mood fast.

3. Get some natural vitamin D. Go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. Studies have shown that people who have significant exposure to light have less depression, fewer sleep problems, and are even more productive. If you can't make it outside, go and look out of a window.

4. Go for a walk. Even walking around the block will help to lift your heart rate and energy levels.

mood lifter

5. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Breathe in and out deeply three times. Focused breathing lowers your blood pressure and calms the mind.

6. Lift your shoulders up to your ears and then let them drop. Do this three times and feel the tension ebb away. It’s easy to hold onto a lot of tension and stress without realizing it.

7. If you’re feeling nervous before an interview or presentation, go into the stairwell or the restroom. Breathing in, open your arms wide, breathing out give yourself a big hug. It’s almost impossible to do this without smiling.

Mood lifter

8. And speaking of smiling, don't forget to smile! Smile and make eye contact with a colleague or the guy in the coffee shop or the person serving you at the deli. The physical act of using your smile muscles can genuinely make you feel happy. And it's contagious. Chances are you'll make them smile too and improve their day.

mood lifter

9. Stand up straight, lift your head and throw your shoulders back. Adopt a superhero pose and feel the change in your energy. 

(Cape is optional 😉)

10. A cup of tea or coffee will instantly lift your mood. You probably know that caffeine is a stimulant, but even low or no caffeine hot drinks will give you a boost or calm you down whether it’s chamomile or green tea, a chai latte or hot water, and lemon.

11. Listen to music that you love. You can choose custom mood music, or play your old favorites. Music has been shown to have a powerful effect on mood. 

12. Ask for a hug. Probably not from your boss, but a family member or friend would love to give you the instant comfort of an embrace.

If you’re feeling a bit blue, give these a try. You'll be back in better spirits before you know it!

Keep Smiling!

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purpose success passion

Are You Living With Purpose?

purpose success passion

Are You Living With Purpose?

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Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

Throughout history this quote or some version of it, has been used by many. Could this truly be the real secret to success? I certainly do not have the answer to that, but I know that I never feel like I’m working, and I love what I do! I sometimes feel guilty, wondering, am I working hard enough? I feel too good, too happy. I no longer have that toxic stress that plagued me so much in the Corporate world. And for that, I am truly thankful!

Ask yourself “Do I love what I’m doing?” Don’t worry, no one will know the answer but you. However, if you didn’t answer “Hell Yes!” without a moment’s hesitation, it’s possible you have misplaced your sense of purpose. Read on and see if you can find that excitement you once had.

Know Your Purpose

I suspect you want to be your best possible you. How will you know who that person is and what they’re capable of unless you know your purpose?  

Discovering and aligning with your calling means you identify and build on your talents. What is your passion? What do you love doing? Chances are you’re already good at it. Why not focus on your natural gifts and turn them into your greatest strengths?  

Know Your Priorities

Your priorities are shaped by your purpose. Once you know your purpose, it becomes easier to achieve your goals. This clarity means that saying no to some things and a hearty yes to others becomes more natural, and you’ll get ahead much faster.  

Balance It Out

Once you’re comfortable with your purpose, you will find some of the stress and anxiety ease up.  Those little things that added up to big things, no longer seem as important. You don’t have to work 24/7. You know how important it is to stay healthy, emotionally, and physically. People living with purpose make sure to connect with the people they love, and they don’t forget about self-care.  

Follow Your Passion 

Knowing your passion will help you find and nurture your purpose. Passion means energy and motivation; it means being really engaged with life and focusing on getting the most out of it.  A new day is full of opportunities and promise, and you’re ready to go for it! 

Be Happy

This might sound a little surprising, but knowing your purpose and living it,  gives you time to smell the roses. Knowing your purpose takes the anxious edge off things and allows you to feel grateful for where you are now, and to be excited for the future.  

Live in the Now

Perhaps the best part of knowing your purpose is that you relish every moment. There’s no room in your life for regret because everything you do is part of the big adventure. Challenges and setbacks become easier to ride out because you’re not letting failure define you. Being plugged into the present allows you to feel the abundance that’s already in your life.  

Finding your purpose, the reason why you are doing what you do, can turn everything around. It can make your life and work immediately more meaningful, giving you a reason to bound out of bed in the morning instead of grouching your way to the coffee pot.  

And living with that purpose helps to make the tough times easier to deal with, and the good times even better.  


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1o tips to avoid burnout

10 Tips To Avoid Burnout

1o tips to avoid burnout

10 Tips To Avoid Burnout

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Burnout often happens when we end up disillusioned by something we are doing. Even if you love what you do, burnout can still happen. Most of the time, burnout is related to a feeling of mental and physical exhaustion and being unable to do all that you need to do to get to a place of rest.
Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually is vital to being a healthy person that can avoid problems with burnout. Eat right, exercise, see your doctor on schedule. Talk to a mental health professional or your religious leader if you need help dealing with something.
Follow these 10 tips to avoid burnout. Even if you think you’re already there, these tips can still help you because you can identify what you’re doing to cause it and stop doing it.


Sleep more
Sleeping enough each night is an essential component of ensuring that you live a life that will help you avoid burnout. If you are well-rested, you are going to perform at a higher level every single day, thus making you more productive. If you are tired due to a lack of sleep, problems will seem more prominent and less surmountable. P.S - Exercising every day is a big key to sleeping better every night.


Aim for 30 minutes of cardio daily. Studies show most people get the most benefit exercising this way within a couple of hours of waking, but a walk in the evening will help your body prepare for sleep. Try not to exert yourself two hours before bedtime.


Having downtime can help you avoid burnout. Meditation is a type of downtime that is very productive for most people. If you fear you are already experiencing burnout, starting a meditation practice today will help you recover. The good thing about meditation is that you don’t need anything special to do it.


Practice Positive Self-Talk
When you’re mindful, you’ll start to notice your internal monologue more often. If it’s negative, it can be a sign of impending burnout. Try to turn those thoughts around to positive thoughts. At the very least, try to make the thoughts more neutral.


Find Joy in Your Day
The best way to avoid burnout is to help yourself feel happier and more satisfied. One way to accomplish that is to keep a gratitude journal so that you can remember that sunrise you saw or your grandchild’s laughter on any given day.


Understand Your Limitations
It’s easy to compare yourself to others. If you see that other successful people are working 100 hours a week, it’s tempting to think you must. However, you really don’t need to do that, nor should you. There are 24 hours in a day, and you need to sleep at least 7 of those hours, exercise about an hour, and eat for about three hours a day and spend time with your family, friends, and yourself learning and exploring.
One of the keys to success in life and avoiding burnout is to learn how to make a reasonable and realistic schedule. Try various methods until something clicks for you. One of the best methods to help you avoid burnout is the block schedule. Another is using the Pomodoro Technique to get your tasks completed.


Know Your Priorities
When you look at your overall life plan and goals, what are your actual priorities? You have priorities for all the different areas of your life, including spiritually, personal development, health, romantically, socially, family, business, career, and so forth. Create one or two S.M.A.R.T. goals for each area.


Reassess Your Goals
The only way you can be sure that anything you do works is to test it and look at the data. Once you do that, you may discover that a goal you made was the wrong goal for you to be shooting for in the first place. After all, as you learn, grow, and change throughout your life, it’s normal for your priorities also to change.


Unplug Every Day Early
It might get old for night owls to hear this but turning off your technology a few hours before bed is essential for a better night’s sleep. Sleeping well improves your health in every way, especially mentally, giving you the strength to avoid burnout.


Let Yourself Get Bored Sometimes
One problem with today’s always-on society besides rampant burnout is that no one is bored. Being bored is a significant catalyst for invention. Spend an hour in a hammock without your phone, go on a walk with your five-year-old. Spend a day fishing. It’s okay to do nothing.

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