Friday, March 6, 2009

Well after a mad week in which we transcribed two conferences plus all work for regular clients, I finally have a moment to breathe.

I am busy updating documentation for the group (which can be found at go along and take a look and group members can let me know if there are more documents you think it would be beneficial for us to host - I am looking at trying to get a draft retainer contract to put there, as retainer new contracts are the new trend.

I wanted to say that it's easy to become bogged down in the VA and transcription field, particularly at this time of year, when the Christmas holidays are past and it's a way to go until the next holidays, and work is picking up. I want to list here some coping mechanisms we can use (thanks to some TAVASA members for contributing)

1. Plan something small to enjoy every day. This morning, we decided we'd watch a movie and eat pizza with the kids for supper, which we did. Pick the thing you enjoy doing, and indulge yourself in looking forward to it. Switch off everything during this time and devote it entirely to what you are doing. You'll be surprised how rejuvenated you feel.

2. Take the help that is offered to you. The concept of the superwoman (or superman) is not sustainable. We can all, for a time, work all day, run the entire house, run the kids schedules, do the gardening - but it's a one way trip to burn out. If someone offers you help, take it.

3. Make a priority list. In our field, we can become completely overwhelmed by what has to be done. We can stop seeing the forest for the trees, become overwhelmed and too panicked to even attempt to continue. So make a list of things to be done, in order of importance, and do them one by one. This is the first thing I do every day. I've resorted to the concept of a school timetable. I figured if a school can get through an entire curriculum every year by breaking days down into half hour blocks, I can too. Allocate the item on the top of your list into however many half hour blocks of your day you think it will take, then the next one, etc. etc. And don't be too hard on yourself. If you over run by half an hour, so be it. You've still got the job done a lot faster than you would have if you hadn't itemised everything.

4. Live day by day, hour by hour and minute for minute. It's no good dwelling on things that might happen next week, when you have things to accomplish now.

5. Believe in yourself. You haven't come this far by not being able to manage - you CAN manage.

6. Vent. Before TAVASA working at home could become very lonely and frustrating. Ali and I realised that there were hundreds of people sitting at home, like ourselves, getting frustrated and having nobody to talk to. So that's one of the things TAVASA is here for. Vent it to us, we understand and can in all probability offer some advice, or at least, sympathise.

These are all strategies I use to help myself get through the day. If anybody has any others to contribute we would be glad to see them here!

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