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|Valerie a Blog These Are 8 Productivity Boosting Chrome Extensions You Need To UseIf you're a Chrome user, you're going to love this post.There are many great extensions that are great for boosting productivity. If you're aGoogle Chrome user, do you take advantage of the extensions out there? I've put together a list of some of the best Chrome add-ons to help make you a more productive person.ADBLOCKOne of the most popular extensions for Chrome is AdBlock, which does exactly as its name suggests: it blocks out the ads on the webpages you click on. It makes surfing the web so much easier because it eliminates all the unnecessary junk that you don't want to see.STREAKIf you're someone who always has a full inbox, check out Streak. It's a customer relationship management tool that integrates with Gmail and keeps all of your emails nicely organized. Streak also includes the ability to send emails later, "snooze" them until a later time, view tracking, and more.Evernote Web ClipperHave you ever been surfing the web and wished you had a quick and easy way to save something you see or have read? Evernote Web Clipper can do this quickly and easily and it stores everything you save right into Evernote.LastPassIt's easy to forget or lose track of passwords and other personal information, but LastPass can keep track of all that information for you, and if you add it onto Chrome, you can access it with the click of a mouse. (LastPass also has a great mobile app!)Google URL ShortenerGoogle URL Shortener is a great way to condense those down before sharing. Not only can you copy to your clipboard, but you can share the link directly via Facebook or Twitter through the extension. You also can also log into the website to see when each link was created and how many total clicks it's received.MailTrackFor someone who would be interested in tracking email, but doesn't want to use something as elaborate as Streak, MailTrack is a great alternative. It allows you to see when your emails have been opened by the recipient.TodoistTodoist for Chrome is a simple extension that allows you to keep a to-do list at your fingertips at all times, keeping you focused on what you need to get done. It gives you the option to add subtasks and you can also add emails as tasks directly from Gmail. If you're on-the-go, you can view your to-do list from any mobile device.WEBSITE BLOCKERThis one is specifically for those people who get easily distracted by social media. Website Blocker can help with this. It'll eliminate the temptation to visit to Reddit or Facebook that's keep you distracted from your work. You can even choose to only block access to any websites during certain times of the day. There are so many different extensions out there for almost anything. If you're a Chrome user and you've never taken the time to check out the web store, you should give it a try and find some add-ons that work for you.Do you use any of these extensions? Let us know about some of your favorites.SubscribeSign up with your email address to receive news and updates.Email Address Sign UpWe respect your privacy.Thank you!Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog 5 Tips for Better Work-Life BalanceIf you're feeling overworked and finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you're not alone. In today's society, many of us find it more and more difficult finding balance in our daily lives. Feeling more burnout in discovering ways to devote more time to the activities and people that matter. Here are five ways to bring a little more balance to your daily routine:1. Build downtime into your schedule.When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends and activities that help you recharge.Be proactive about scheduling. If a date night with your spouse or a coffee date with friends is on your calendar, you'll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don't have to cancel. Remember that scheduling downtime for yourself ("me time") is just as important. Make t a point to schedule at least an hour for yourself, whether it be going to the gym or yoga or even a stroll -- it's important to have me time.2. Ditch activities that zap your time or energy.Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value -- for example, spending too much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting and gossiping. Stop taking stock of activities that aren't really enhancing your career or personal life and minimizing the time you spend on them.You may even be able to leave work earlier if you make a conscious effort to limit the time you spend on the web and social media sites, making personal calls, or checking your bank balance. We often get sucked into these habits that are making us much less efficient without realizing it.3. Rethink your errands.Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands.Could you order your groceries online and have them delivered? Hire a kid down the street to mow your lawn? Have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office? Order your stamps online so you don't have to go to the post office? Even if you're on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you'll save will make it worth it.We help many of our clients in scheduling in-person task-based service like getting groceries with InstaCart or TaskRabbit to pick up dry cleaning. By outsourcing their to-do list to us we are freeing up time and mental energy. We've signed up many of our clients with Laundry Locker, an eco-friendly laundry service providing green dry cleaning and wash and fold services, making it a convenient choice for those looking to free up time.4. Get moving.It's hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but experts say that it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.Research shows exercise can help you to be more alert. Personally, I've noticed that when I don't exercise because I'm trying to squeeze in another half hour of work writing proposals or answering emails, I don't feel as alert.5. A little relaxation goes a long way.Don't get overwhelmed by assuming that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. I recommend setting realistic goals, like trying to leave the office earlier one night per week.Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you. Maybe you can start by spending an hour a week on your hobby of carpentry or planning a weekend getaway with your spouse once a year.During a hectic day, you can take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. Take a bath, read a trashy novel, go for a walk, or listen to music. You have to make a little time for the things that ignite your joy.Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog 25 Tasks to Outsource to a Virtual AssistantOne of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs these days struggle to expand their businesses is because they are merely wearing too many hats.They do everything in their business.They ARE the business! It's a slippery, downward spiral that most entrepreneurs are suffering from, what I frequently refer to as 'Superhero Syndrome,' will ultimately face - if they don't change the way they are doing things. Fast!Hiring a Virtual Assistant to off load the low hanging tasks that burn up your mental time an energy will allow you to focus on the things that matter most - the growth of your business. By hiring the right people, this will allow you to build an amazing product or service. Virtual Assistants help you 'buy more time' in your work day, alleviating entrepreneurial stress and allowing you to start working on your business, instead of being trapped, working in it, instead.25 Tasks to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant1. Email Management/Filtering2. Setting up Autoresponders (Aweber, Mailchimp)3. Booking appointments with clients4. Following up with clients/customers (sending thank you and happy birthday emails)5. Receptionist duties (answering occasional calls)6. Calendar Management7. File Management (organizing files using Dropbox etc)8. Database building (eg. updating email or contact lists on your CRM)9. Research on certain topics for blogposts, newsletters or others10. Personal errands (purchasing gifts for loved ones / family members online)11. Hotel and Flight Booking12. Transcription (transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)13. Taking down minutes of meetings14. Creating basic reports (reports on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales)15. Preparing Slideshows (Powerpoint Presentations)16. Liaison between you and other team members17. Recruitment (source for other team members like writers or graphic artists)18. Set-up Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube)19. Manage and update Social Media Accounts20. Manage your Blog (Basic WordPress Skills)21. Publish posts on your Blog (content you provided)22. Filter and reply to comments on your blog23. Answering support tickets (with the use of Zendesk)24. Blog commenting (to increase links to your site)25. Participating in discussion forums or message boards (more promotion!)Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog How-To Eat on the JobDo you pay attention to what you eat while on the job?Certain foods boost productivity. And others, they impair the same.Your food has a direct impact on the efficiency of your day and the food that you intake in the middle of you day affects how the rest of your day will turn out. Similarly, if you're providing food to your employees and hoping to create a more productive workforce, then carefully planning out the plate might be one step towards boosting work ethic on a daily basis.Did you know that worker's who ate healthy had a 25% boost in job productivity? And a regular intake of fruit and vegetables lead to a 20% increase in job performance?It's not an uncommon feeling -- feeling lethargic, or unwilling to work, after a heavy, carb-filled meal. However, it's an avoidable feeling.Sugary foods. Soda or candy, can make you feel spaced-out, weak, confused, or nervous once the glucose in your brain drops, known as a sugar crash.Heavy, calorie-ridden foods. Foods like hamburgers and fries will make you sleepy and slow you down at work.Eating too little can make you process information more slowly, take longer to react and have more trouble remembering sequences.While sugary carbohydrates are often eaten as a reward for a "job well done" at work, a the real reward may lie in a healthier collection of foods like almonds, carrots, berries, and bananas. Companies like Graze and NatureBox offer great, healthy snacks on a subscription basis, which makes it easier to provide healthy snack options. What type of snacks do you reach for to keep productive?Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog How-To Maintain Motivation At WorkBuild momentum and maintain that momentum to boost motivationSo many of us do things not out of personal pleasure or enjoyment, but because we just need to. In that case, how do we convince ourselves to successfully finish the task at hand? Moreover, how do we make ourselves put in our best effort?Maintaining motivation is the trade to be learned. Here are some simple ways to hold up that motivation for the long-run.Be Forward-LookingIf something is tedious and difficult to do, there's absolutely no reason why you should spend your effort thinking more about it than you need to. The key is to keep reminding yourself to look past the present, and concentrate on the future.Whether it be fitness or work, the difficulty in completing todays task will amount to something better later on. It's all about acknowledging a trade-off. By constantly thinking about your goals and what you want your ideal future to entail, you might find it a tad bit easier to work through your task list.Work a To-Do ListA To-Do List can be daunting, as it acts as a reminder of all the things that you need to complete through the course of your day. But, do you remember that feeling you got that day when you managed to check every last bullet off that list?Remember that feeling.Success is addicting. There is nothing wrong with being greedy with your potential. As long as you can maintain a sense of thirst of success, working through even the most difficult of chores becomes a way for you to get one step closer to meeting your potential.For the Loved OnesWhen things get tough and motivation falters, sometimes it gets easier to do things for others rather than to do them for yourself.It doesn't matter who it is. All that it matters is realizing that there is a person out there that is either directly or indirectly going to benefit from you completing that one difficult task at hand. There might be someone depending on you for it. Maybe there is someone who might be pleasantly surprised by your accomplishment!All that matters is that you finish your work with the realization that you made someone else a little bit happier.Everything's a +You've heard people say it before - having a positive attitude makes everything more enjoyable. It's clichéd, but nothing could be closer to the truth.It's easier said than done. It's easy to plaster pseudo-optimism and smiles over long-withstanding bitterness. But motivation is about convincing yourself that what you're doing is worth the extra effort. And then, it's about maintaining that belief.Build MomentumIt's like athletics. When you've built up that adrenaline rush, its hard to put down.Sometimes going through the struggle of maintaining motivation through the initial stress pays off. Build up the momentum and let your productivity take you farther. Put yourself on a roll so that backing off becomes the bigger challenge.Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog Is Hiring a Virtual Assistant Right For You?It's easy to ignore fingerprints and dust specks when staring at a single computer screen, but frequent screen cleaning can ease your eyesRunning a small business is a dream come true for many people, but as business starts booming, burgeoning entrepreneurs find themselves face to face with a nightmare: the overwhelming volume of administrative tasks involved in working for yourself. To cope with this reality, many of our clients have hired Valerie Assistants a virtual basis to help manage some of the day-to-day operations of their business.However, there's still much confusion about what a virtual assistant is and what he or she does for business professionals. To answer some of the questions you might and figure out if hiring a virtual assistant might be the best for you, check out the handy guide below.Who should think about hiring a virtual assistant? Running a business involves a lot of administrative tasks - preparing paperwork, answering emails and phone calls, keeping up a website. Many small business owners find this stuff to be unpleasant and become frustrated when it begins to interfere with other, more important facets of running a business. If you find yourself increasingly bogged down with phone and computer-based work that you could easily train someone else to do, it might be time to consider hiring a virtual assistant.What sorts of tasks can a virtual assistant help me with?A virtual assistant, as the term implies, is an office professional that works remotely. While this means virtual assistants are not physically present in your business, given the increasingly web-based world we work in, they often don't have to be. Virtual assistants do the same tasks as traditional assistants, such as:Manage your calendar and schedule meetingsFind and order products and servicesKeep your contacts list up to dateDeal with customer service, utilities, airlines, etc.Handwrite personal notes and cardsOrganize your photo libraryCreate digital photo booksOrder gifts online and have them shippedOrder lunch for you and your colleaguesAnswer emails and phone callsPrepare paperwork (invoices, payroll, etc.)Create employee schedulesInterface with clients over the phone or using SkypeCreate and maintain a company's websiteKeep up with a company's social media sites (Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc.)How do I hire a virtual assistant? Business owners and busy professionals have many options when it comes to finding a virtual assistant, but before beginning the search, it is important to figure out exactly which tasks you plan on having your assistant complete; it is probably also helpful to estimate how many hours you think this will amount to each week. This way, you'll be able to give the VAs you interview a clear picture of your expectations.Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to keep your business running smoothly - keep these tips in mind when considering whether a virtual assistant is right for you.Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog How To Make The Best New Year's Resolutions (And Actually Keep It)The new year is just around the corner. With a new year comes new goals. And with new goals comes the daunting task of figuring out what exactly you want from the 365 days ahead of you.Sometimes resolutions are accomplished. Most of the times they're tried and failed. Often, they're left behind with the piece of paper that they were written on and forgotten during throughout the year.Every year, I make a resolution with a determination unmatched by anything else but fail to realize what is realistically achievable and make resolutions that are practical.Resolutions are daunting, but not impossible. We can all make resolutions that are not only realistic and within sight, but also stretch our capabilities and challenge us to achieve more. Like with work productivity, resolutions need small goals to attain the bid picture goal. Here's how to make the best resolutions and actually keep them.ReflectHere's step one. With any goals - New Year's Resolution or not - reflection plays a vital role. Reflection provides a starting point for formulating your goals. It gives you the anchor you need to create goals that are both ambitious and realistically achievable. It's the key.Reflecting on the mistakes made last year allow us to make resolutions catered to fixing our weaknesses. It enables us to grow as individuals and realize what we have to strive towards to be better, happier, and more successful individuals. Reflecting also allows us to realize what we really want from the next year. Did we make the wrong resolutions last year? Did we strive towards something but not find any happiness once we reached our goals? Take a step back from the reality and look at 2013 in abstraction to discover what you really need to resolve.(Source: hongkiat.com)Find A MediumAs much as we believe that we can hold on to coherent thoughts in our mind, sometimes the most effective way to make solid resolutions is to put them down. Whether you decide to type you resolutions, write them down with pen & paper, draw them out, tweet it out, post it on Facebook.The key is to have some place to refer to your resolutions throughout the year to keep you accountable.Keep Visual RemindersOur memory is hardly reliable. We tend to remember things different each time we try to recall a thought or retrieve a glimpse in the past. If you want to make a resolution that truly sticks, then having a place that you can refer to when trying to remember your resolution can make all the difference in the world. Create a vision board, set calendar reminders, post it on your desk or use and app like Nozbe or Habit List to help you reach your goal.Set GoalsResolutions don't necessarily have to run through the 365 days ahead of you. Instead, try breaking your goals up and assigning you own timeline through them. For instance, divide the year into trimesters and resolve to achieve certain tasks by the end of each trimester. If you find tackling a whole list of resolutions through the entire year difficult, this might allow you to achieve more systematically what you want.Figure Out The Baby StepsThere is nothing wrong with having big goals - but any big goals, it's important to have the right baby steps to go along with it. When drawing up big goals and ambitions, think about what the small things you need to do to achieve that goals to the best of your ability. Is there some specific skill that you need to improve? Do you need any extra resources than what you already have? Think it through.Sometimes, large vague goals are the most difficult to achieve. Not because the goals were too big to begin with, but because they're not thought out with a streamlined focus. For each big goal, try to put together an action plan, or a list of steps that you should follow in order to reach that goal with a deadline for each.Do that, and making resolutions that stick may become all the more easier.What is your New Years Resolution? How are you planning to stick to it?Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog 20 THINGS YOU CAN HAVE YOUR REMOTE ASSISTANT DOWhat if I told you that hiring a virtual personal assistant can help you streamline your success in work and life? By hanging off your To-Do List of menial tasks, your productivity will be supercharged. You'll be able to focus on things at work and in your everyday life. For example, your virtual personal assistant can check your calendar and send your wife flowers on her birthday, or make sure you aren't double booking yourself.A virtual personal assistant can also check out travel packages for you, and book your next vacation. She can buy basic necessities on Amazon and have them shipped to your door. What about finding a dog walker to take Fido out for a walk when you're busy at work? Yep! Virtual assistants can handle that as well.In fact, I can think of 20 things you can have your remote personal assistant do:Sort your email so you can finally try to reach the elusive Inbox 0!Answer your phone and deal with telemarketers for you.Take messages while you're away from your desk.Coordinate team projects to ensure milestones are being met.Search travel sites to find your next vacatio.Help find a hire a dog walker.Handle your calendar to ensure you don't overbook yourself.Order birthday/anniversary gifts for your wife/husband/mom so you don't look like an overly busy jerk that forgets important dates.Find a reputable dog walker to take your puppy out during late nights at the office.Schedule fun Facebook posts for your personal profile, so it looks like you are doing things outside the office!Schedule Facebook posts for your business so you can stay top-of-mind with customers and leads.Tweet on your behalf so you can become a respected online influencer.Make reservations for two at a nice restaurant and send you an email reminder so you don't miss dinner with your better half.Order things you need on Amazon so they arrive at your doorstep like magic.Finding NY Times best seller books on Audible so that you can listen to them in the car and tell people you always make time for reading.Provide support to your customers at all hours of the day and night so you can get some sleep.Make sure all information is entered into your CRM, so you don't miss out on sales.Handle small data entry tasks so you can stop beating your head on the desk knowing there are a million other things you need to do.Reach out to mommy bloggers to help promote your new product/service.Manage your Airbnb listing.Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog How To Deal with Cancelled FlightsIt's the first Monday in November. This means that it's almost the holidays. And, this only means that the holiday stress of travel will be looming over us. Dealing with cancelled flights and airline re-bookings can be a headache. Long lines at customer service desks. Never-ending phone wait times can make your seemingly-easy journey impossible to handle. And, unfortunately, we can't help you avoid this, but we can offer some advice on how to minimize the stress. Whether you find delays, cancellations, or re-booking problems at SFO or elsewhere, here are some simple tips to make you travel more manageable. Strive for efficiency!Think about it: if you were the customer service representative service hundreds of people in quick successions at the line, would you care about one person more than another? Maybe yes, maybe no, but better to not take the chance. Instead, if you've got some time at the airport to figure out your next option after a delay or a cancellation, go find the customer service or ticketing line with the least number of people. Oftentimes, this will be in another terminal and will warrant you passing security once again after you get rebooked. However, this may be faster than waiting in the line that you are told to wait in.Also, check-in counters are usually faster moving and better staffed than customer service desks. All the staff - regardless of which counter they are working at - should be able to direct you to the next possible option.Figure out several back-up plans.Airlines are unpredictable, but the way to beat the unpredictability is to be aware of your backups. Come up with several alternatives that you can take to get to your destination. Are there buses and trains available? Can you carpool with someone who might be driving? Is your destination close enough to rent a car and drive yourself? Weigh out your options and be ready to go with any of them at any point.Airlines also often offer several alternatives for passengers with canceled flights. While they will likely be willing to find you another booking on another flight in the same airline, in urgent situations they may also book you on another airline for no additional cost. If you are in a transit city, they will likely have partners in the airport hotels to find you cheap night stay options, and if you no longer want to take a flight back to your destination, they can refund you. Find out which alternatives are available for you and see what might be your best bet.Get comfortablePatience is difficult. I've never been one to be able to sit back and relax when chaos surmounts around me. But sometimes, patience is the solution to it all. In times are crazy cancellations and unpredictable weather delays, airlines are truly backed up and they may not be able to immediately find you another reservation. But airlines are liable to finding you an alternative, and that means all they need is some time.Grab a book. Download a new album. Sit back, and get comfortable. Be confident of the fact that the airline will eventually get to you. If there is something urgent, such as a meeting or an interview, that you need to get to, try to reschedule or conduct it via technology. If there is an important event that you wish you attend, let the airline attendants know and trust them when they said that they will try their best.Sometimes, it's the best you can do.Valerie a Blog|
|Valerie a Blog How-To Perfectly Customize Your Work SpaceThe way you work is personal. Think about it - the way you place the things that matter around you, the stationary that you use regularly to boost productivity, and the pictures and momentums that you intersperse in your surrounding, all play a role in making your work feel like home.Your workspace - whether it be an open community office, a cubicle, or your personal study - can go miles towards becoming your personal sanctuary with just a few simple steps.Workspace via Pintrest1. Light it upLight is as personal as it gets. We all perceive different levels of light to be pleasant, and the way you choose to light up your living space says plenty about your personality. Do you like colored lamps, or bright, fluorescent lights? Do you like a space with more natural light, or some place that's a bit more dim?Look at the way you light up your house to make it comfortable, and try to mimic that in your workspace. By using similar bulb tones and colors, you will bring comfort straight from your home to your work, and create a more comforting and relaxing work environment.2. Plug in some soundsLook around you. We live in an era where it's impossible to not stay plugged in and connected to music. If music is something that improves your productivity and your ability to work creatively and inspirationally, then adding music to your environment could be the trick.Find a playlist that fits your style. Do you like classical, or is something heavier more suited to your approach to work? Do you like more natural sounds or white noise as compared to actual music?While music isn't generally considered a large part of workspace customization, if it impacts the way you feel about work, it's important to take into consideration.3. Au NaturaleWhile adding a plant to your work space may seem like a clichéd approach to customization and decoration, some flora never did any hard. Plants proven to add optimism and positivity to a work environment.Whether you choose to stick to keeping a small lucky bamboo or potted plant on the corner of your desk or choose to adorn your work space with plants is up to you. At the end of the day, giving yourself a break from your work tasks by caring for a plant can go miles towards improving the levels of heartiness you have towards your work.4. Bring along homeIs there a coffee mug you drink from at home that you can't feel at home without? Do you hang a calendar by the door that you absolutely live by?You may try to avoid bringing your work back home, but that's no reason why not to bring your home to work. To make your work into your second home and to enjoy being at work as much (or almost as much) as you enjoy being home, work needs to feel like home. And the best way to truly create that feeling is to bring things to work that remind you of home.Valerie a Blog|
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Owler has collected 14 screenshots of Valerie a's website since Jun 2014. The latest Valerie a website design screenshot was captured in Mar 2018.
Valerie a's headquarters is located in San Francisco, California, USA 94107.
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