How Do You Keep From Becoming Distracted?

How Do You Keep From Becoming Distracted?

Kitty and Me #4

Today we are talking about distractions.

Do you ever find yourself getting distracted when you know you are supposed to be focusing on a task or a job?

It happens, and I think it happens to everyone at one time or another.  For me, it is most likely the task.  If it’s something I have little interest in, or I find it uninspiring, I do admit… I can wander.  I might throw on a video, or suddenly find a urge to check on my little cat, who is usually curled up contently, nearby.

This being said, when I’m in the zone… when my creative juices are flowing or I’m on the edge of a breakthrough on a project – nothing can distract me.  Not even Kitty!

My suggestion to you, should you find yourself easily distracted when you know you need to be working…  take a break.  Get up, walk away…  perhaps do some stretching or better yet go for a quick walk.   Even if all you do is push away from the computer for a few minutes, close your eyes and do some deep breathing…  You will be better off!  Now, drink a glass of water and get back to work!

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My Most Important Business Tool?

Tools-1.5

Today I was asked us to consider the Number ONE  tool that I use and cannot do without, in my business.

This challenge has had me a bit stumped.  Just when I identify one, another comes to mind.

First, I cannot do without my computer.  My MacBookPro has become my right hand, so to speak.  Without it, I cannot gain access to the internet, or the other tools that I use daily.  I’d always been a PC girl until I finally decided to give the Mac a try… and this was based on all the rave reviews by other Mac users.  They are especially well-liked by creatives who use it’s built-in suite of tools.  I don’t actually use many of them… as I have my own and have had my favourites for years… but back to that shortly.

Next, I cannot be without a camera.  The camera in the graphic above is my older Canon  Powershot SX40, an awesome little ‘instant’ camera with an amazing optical zoom and great effects built in.  Lot’s of fun, easy to use and very portable.  When I first got it, it was top of the line for instant cameras and I’d been looking at it for a while… and no regrets.  I also LOVE my Canon T5i, DSLR.  What a beauty. It never leaves my side.  I use cameras to capture my day, sometimes thoughts… to create images I need for my business or clients.  I cannot be without a camera.

Another important thing for me, in running my business, is planning and although I do use a couple of online tools, first and foremost, I use a whiteboard (because I am definitely a VISUAL creator – I need to see what I am doing and what I’ve got planned) and I have my Daily Planner and notebooks…  I use the dollar store notebooks to make notes whenever I speak with new clients…  Then, later I can gather my notes and thoughts and type them out into Notes on my MacBookPro.

Adobe Creative Suites… Creative Cloud!  Where would I be without Photoshop or Illustrator?  These are tools I use every day!  Great for manipulating images, cleaning images and creating new graphics.  Love me some P.S. & Illustrator.

So the next important tool for me, actually, would be Notes.  I have an iPhone, a iPad Air, and my Mac Computer and Notes syncs seamlessly between all three.  With all those online tools out there (there are some great free to use tools like Asana & TeamworkPM), I still come back to my Notes.  They are always right where I need them.
Notes-Screenshot

Another favourite tool for me, is Pocket.  I Love Love Love Pocket!!  If you haven’t heard of it, check it out!  It’s an awesome little tool for grabbing websites and webpages and holding them for you.  If you log in to Pocket, you can organize the pages you’ve put in pocket and you can use tags as well… but it has it’s own handy little search and it works like a charm!  I save and organize videos and tutorials, websites I’d like to check out… If I’ve read something somewhere about a new program or tool and want to look at but don’t have time to, there and then… I just Save to Pocket.

So, there you have it. I’ve failed the challenge. I could not come up with just one tool… It is like raising a child. It takes a village and these tools are my part of my personal arsenal.   There are several other tools that I do use, but more on them later.

I would love to hear from you.  Let me know if you use any tools I’ve mentioned and what your favourite is!

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New Year, Fresh Start 2017

Today is a fresh start.  Just 15 days in to the New Year and our friend Natalie (the Suitcase Entrepreneur), has us thinking about all the changes we want to make in our lives… including, for me, beginning to blog again.
In the past my blogs were very personal.  I didn’t do it to bring attention to myself or to my business… it was much more of an exercise in rambling.
Now the end goal, for me, is to gain the attention of my potential clients as well as my peers, friends and even family.  Family might be the biggest challenge and in fact (I’m sure there are others who would agree) that if I can succeed in having a few key people in my family read my daily blog then I will consider it all a great success!
I expect my routines to change as I blog, and as my circumstances evolve.
Right now I live in Ottawa, Canada’s capital and one of the coldest capital cities in the world.   Ottawa is a beautiful city located in one of the prettiest places on the planet, especially in the summer time!    For those who love skiing and skating and all those other winter sports and activities it is an awesome place to be right now.  For me though… I can’t stand being COLD!
SIDE NOTE:  My father was on the Canadian Ski Team when he was a young man and by the time I came along he was coaching high school students in the Giant Slalom.  Our winter weekends were spent on the Ottawa area ski hills (or skating on The Canal… the worlds largest skating rink).  My feet and fingers were always FROZEN!
For me, this was a odd torture my otherwise loving parents placed on me.  Even when the first insulated ski boots came out, my feet froze!  Keep in mind, when I was a little girl, skis were literally strapped on and boots were leather and laced up.

  As a child, my fondest memories were sitting in the ski lodge drinking water hot chocolate.

I do love living here in the summer but my intention is to become FREE of the ties that bind me to this place 12 months a year.  Within the next few months I expect to get rid of almost all my ‘possessions’ and keep only the things that I have a deep emotional connection to.  I hope to get this down to just a few boxes that I can easily store long term.  Then, Kitty and I will take to traveling this wondrous Globe.  The obvious challenge will be bringing my little buddy/office assistant with me.  

For now, I will share my days here in Ottawa and my life in my cozy bachelor apartment and life as it changes and evolves.

Getting back to where I am now, and my intentions…

We’ve been asked to consider our morning ritual and how it helps create the perfect day – a successful day.

  Right now I am working out of the house, half days.  I was asked by a former employer if I could come back on board for a couple of months to ‘help out’ and the hours work fairly well in to my day. The only issue for me is that now I’m back to rushing in the mornings.

Currently, when 

I wake up I spend a few minutes chatting with Kitty.  OK, so it’s just me talking and he sits in my arms purring… but I realize it is my way of setting my intentions for the day.  I tell him what I need to do and what my intended goals are and then after a few minutes I crawl out of bed to meet the day full on.

After feeding my now hungry cat, I pour my fresh pomegranate juice mixed with water and take my supplements and start to cook my organic, free-range egg in Ghee (clarified butter).  I can eat this while I get ready for my day.  Before heading out, I make my protein shake… a great Vegan Gluten-free mix, coconut water, Spirulina, and berries.  This makes a great lunch later on.  Luckily I’m home mid-afternoon and so I can have my home-made vegetable soup to warm me up.

MY INTENTION, once this special project is completed and I’m back to working 100% from home is to change my routine to reflect my previous one, as follows:

  • I will continue to wake up and spend a few minutes filling Kitty in on my plans for the day.  Basically setting my intentions.

  • Then, after I feed him, I will sit back down to meditate. I’m a big fan of Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge and have purchased a few that I love.  This always makes me feel refreshed and provides my spirit with good ‘vibes’ and positive energy.

  • Then I make my shake or egg and if the weather is good I’ll go for a power-walk or do my little fitness routine which includes balls, weights and bands.

  • Once I’ve freshened up, I’m ready to face my day!

I have a lot to share about my business plans, but it can wait for another day.


Go out, set your intentions and as friend of mine always says… ‘Shine’!

Back at it…

I’m back!  I haven’t blogged in a number of months, but the time has come.  I was writing quite regularly but something (I can’t even remember what), threw me off my schedule… and before I knew it I had stopped.

When I was writing before, it was a personal blog that I slowly tried to shift more to business but at the time I wasn’t confident about posting business related information, or tips and tricks because I really felt I was still in the development stage of my own new career.

Back then, I would wonder when I would turn the corner from feeling, almost, like a fake or a fraud.  Do you know that feeling?   Have you ever thought to yourself,  “who am I to tell people that I am a business owner?”?  I didn’t always see myself as a ‘Solopreneur’.

The key for me was not giving up on my dream.  That truly kept me going…  When I would let my mind wander, I would find self-doubt.  Had I made a mistake… giving up a pretty good job that I had had for over 10 years?   I’m lucky… I’ve always been the kind of person who is hopeful and that self-doubt never lasts very long.  I kept my eye on the prize by reminding myself EXACTLY why I wanted this career.

Now, here I am, a year and half since the launch of JenSheaVA and I recently realized that things really are moving in the right direction and in fact,  I have organically found my niches.

I’ve always known that what ever I do, I really wanted to be able to be creative and help people.  After a couple of recent conversations with another VA and friend, I realized I that I am doing both.

My business really is taking off…  people are finding me!!!

I am feeling blessed. I’ve met some wonderful people since starting this journey in the Virtual World.  Women who were starting around the same time as me… women (and men) who so very generously shared their time and knowledge  and others who became clients… and I feel confident in calling all these people, friends.

I will only look back now with a huge smile on my face, and look forward to all the exciting things to come.

2014 has already become my year!

Awesome…

Looking back at 2013, I realize it really was a year of transition.

I’d been planning to become a VA since 2010.  I took an 8 week course through Your VA Mentor, which was full of great information and tips to get my business started.  I was also working full time though.  So, I took the slow road to becoming a VA.  I continued to work as a lot of things were happening in my personal life, and in 2011 I left a job that I had had for a number of years, to take a one-year position covering a maternity leave.  It was a big step, and although I kept thinking I should be scared (or at least have my head checked), I never looked back.  I knew I could never just quit my regular job to start my business because I didn’t really make enough money to ‘save’ a nest egg.  With the Mat Leave position, I could. 

That brought me to the end of the summer of 2012, when I really got going.  Like most VA’s it took me some time to figure out what my niche was going to be.  I knew already what I enjoyed doing, but could I market myself with those credentials?  Then of course, there are the inevitable moments of self-doubt and concern.  But, I am really proud of myself… I persevered.

Certainly there was the occasional self-questioning.  Should I go back to work?  I made pretty good money but when I decided to take on this new life, I had to give up my apartment in one of my favourite parts of Ottawa, to move into a teeny-tiny room (with my cat) in my sister’s apartment.  That lasted a few months then went to stay with a friend (in her lovely large house). 

I stuck through it and gradually things came together, as they say.  I am doing what I love, and meeting fantastic people along the way.  I don’t miss working in an office…   I have made so many wonderful like-minded friends, from around the world.    Some have become colleagues others clients.  How lucky am I?

One word, I found myself saying a lot last year, was “Awesome”…  It’s true – so much seemed new and exciting and awesome!

I’m pretty excited about this year… for me, the year of determination.

Jen    🙂