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Welcome To Small Biz Magazine For Entrepreneurs!

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DESIGNING A DISTRACTION-FREE WORKSPACE By Paul Moses

Hi and thanks for picking up this months addition of the Entrepreneur Biz News.

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RELAXATION FOR BUSY WOMEN By Cath Hopkinson

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YOUR VALUES AND BELIEFS VS THE WORLD By Louise Linsell

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21 IDEAS TO WRITE WORDPRESS BLOGS FAST!!

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TOP TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES FOR POWERHOUSE PRODUCTIVITY By Paul Moses

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FOCUS ON FACEBOOK By Julia Brooksbank

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TAMING THE EMAIL MONSTER By Paul Moses

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SOCIAL MEDIA: THE GREAT TIME SUCK By Paul Moses

Each month there will be loads of difference topics, tips and advice to help you find different ways to effectively run your business online. Also look out for guest articles in the future from guest experts giving advice on their specific niches. Enjoy Paul moses CEO Hans3.com

Shortlisted for best Virtual assistant 2014 award

About the Editor Hello, my name is Paul Moses virtual assistant, online marketing specialist based in London and creator of Hans3.com 

I work with entrepreneurs, small business owners who typically struggle with time, motivation, long working hours and social or family commitments, and would like to stop doing the things in their business that take up too much time so they focus on the things they love i.e. paying clients!

Cover Model: Alexandra Wilson

FITNESS & NUTRITION EXPERT, BIKINI ATHLETE, FITNESS MODEL, ENTREPRENEUR and Creator of the www.fitnessmodelfinishingschool.com

You can check out my social media profile at: /Hans3support /Hans3VAsupport Or check out my website www.hans3.com

Photos by Eva Simon

What separates my service from other virtual assistants is that I know the stress of running a business, I have supported my wife and plenty of other people like you through all aspects of business and I know what I takes to make a go of things. I’ve have been there and understand that at times it can be a lonely place especially when things get overwhelming and you desperately need support. And because of this my clients get someone who understands their business, focused help and is able to deliver great results!
 And ultimately they increase income, have more free time and dramatically improve their work life balance instantly.

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DESIGNING A DISTRACTION-FREE WORKSPACE By Paul Moses

Virtual Distractions You Can Do Without Of course, just having a nice quiet office with a door won’t eliminate all your distractions. There’s plenty of them right on your computer waiting to suck away all your work time. How you deal with those will depend largley on the type of work you do.

Ask any work-at-home professional or small business owner what her biggest hurdle is when it comes to tackling her to-do list and she’ll likely tell you it’s the constant distractions. The kids need attention. Email demands to be answered. The phone is ringing. The dog needs fresh water. The list goes on. It’s no wonder she – and you – can’t get anything done.

For example, many writers find it beneficial to block out all other applications while they work. Tools such as ByWord and OmmWrite eliminate the disSo how do those “have it all” type entrepreneurs do tractions by offering full-screen text editors that it? They start by creating a distraction-free zone. also lack all those formatting bells and whistles of a typical word processor. A Place of Your Own Plenty of entrepreneurs get their start working from Does the Internet call to you? Consider installing the kitchen table, stealing a few minutes here or an browser software such as LeechBlock (for Firefox) hour there when the kids are napping or during or Concentrate (for Chrome). Both let you block lunch. But when the business begins to grow, it certain sites (Facebook, for example) for specific pepretty quickly becomes clear that a laptop in the liv- riods of time. If you want to get in a solid 3 hours ing room is not an efficient way to work. It’s time to of work before embarking on another Candy Crush find a real office. tournament, just turn on your timer and you won’t be able to access Facebook at all until your work That doesn’t mean you have to go rent space in a day is done. You can do the same for any site that high-rise downtown, though. If you run your busi- commands your attention, but keep in mind that if ness from home and want to keep it that way, you you have more than one browser installed on your just need to carve out a space you can call your own. computer, you can always click over to the unlocked For some, a spare bedroom makes an ideal office choice to sneak a few minutes of play time in. space. For others, a corner of the basement or even a closet will do. The key is to create a place where, The important thing to remember here is that your when you’re in it, you know you’re working. And environment is only the beginning. You need to work perhaps more importantly, when you’re not in it, on building up your self-discipline as well, so you can you can leave the work behind. say no to distractions and get the work done. >

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Relaxation

For Busy Women

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As busy entrepreneurs, wives, mothers, etc, it is easy to see how we can get stressed, and having quick, effective and simple techniques to reduce our stress levels is a must.

By Cath Hopkinson

What is Stress? There are many definitions, but the one I live with is this… If it makes me happy and makes my heart sing, I do it. If I feel a pang of ‘oh no’ I don’t do it. Are you thinking I’m selfish?? You could say that, but I believe it’s my body and my mental health, and if things I can control are making me stressed then there are step I can take to alleviate the stress. There is enough in our lives that we can’t control to give us stress, so why add to it…? There are many ways of de-stressing and relaxing, but what about when you are busy at work, in a traffic jam, delayed on the tube...? Below are two effective and very discreet ways of reducing your stress. When you do them no one will even notice – but your stress levels will reduce... >

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1. Diaphragmatic Breathing Taking the air into the bottom parts of your lungs is vital. All too often we breathe from the top part of our lungs – which is not good! Taking the breath into tummy begins a chain of events that will calm your body and mind down in seconds.

2. Hand Reflexology There are many ways reflexology can help release stress, and hand reflexology can be done at anytime, without getting strange looks!

How to start: Sit tall, with one hand on your tummy and one hand on your upper chest. Shoulders are relaxed.

Relaxation sequence: • Relax the diaphragm. Keeping them flat, fold your fingers down to a 90’ angle to your palm. With the thumb of your opposite hand, starting under the index finger, press and move into the creased area, (this is the diaphragm line), moving along the width of your hand; finishing under your little finger. This helps ease the body and helps breathing become steady. • Press into the middle of your diaphragm line (this is your solar plexus point). Do this three times, whilst breathing in and out. • Gently press up and down the top parts of your fingers and thumb on your palm side. These represent the neck and brain. • Bonus Point: you can help to relax tension by massaging the web between your thumb and your index finger on both hands. Easy and effective to do!

Below is a routine to help you relax and de-stress:

The sequence: • Place one hand on your upper chest and one on your stomach, just below your ribs. • Breathe in through your mouth or nose; allow your stomach to rise. • Pause for a moment. • Slowly and evenly breathe out, feeling your stomach sinking. To slow the out breath right down, breathe through your slightly parted lips as if you were breathing out through a fine drinking straw. • Aim for the out-breath being longer than the in-breath. • Pause for a moment or two before you take the next breath in. • Breathing Tips... • Imagine the air by-passing your chest going down to your tummy. • Relaxed breathing doesn’t mean deep breathing – let yourself breathe at your natural pace and frequency. • Keep breathing at a pace that feels natural to you. • Find 5-10 mins daily to practice this way of breathing.

Repeat on both hands.

When you feel you’ve got it, try it anytime there is a natural pause in your day. Use when you feel you are getting stressed and you will notice the calming effect it has on you.

Whether you are held up, het-up or just need to have a short break, these are easy-to-do relaxation techniques that can be done anywhere!

My name is Cath Hopkinson and I am the director of Experience Wellness Ltd and the creator of Pilates to H.II.T your Mojo, Stress Less Pilates, Restore the Balance Within and iMF Pilates. I work with people who are in some form of pain or discomfort and who struggle to manage their pain on a daily basis and would like to be able to control and reduce their pain with self-help techniques. I combine a comprehensive range of therapies from Pilates and Biomechanics to massage, relaxation and energy healing; all of which can be continued at home. As a result, my clients have reduced pain, increased function and a better quality of life and happiness, and therefore, they Experience Wellness. Website: www.experiencewellness.co.uk /experiencewellness >

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I work with Small Businesses and entrepreneurs with a service-based business who really love what they do, but are overwhelmed with all the tasks that involves in social media, off & online marketing, These are the types of clients we work with: • Business coaches & mentors • Health & wellness professionals • Personal & virtual assistants • Life coaches

• Small business owners • Teachers and therapists • Authors • Speakers

For your free guide “ 6 strategies to help reduce overwhelm and get organised now”…

Go to

www.hans3.com >

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YOUR VALUES AND BELIEFS VS THE WORLD By Louise Linsell

I have many beliefs, they are mine because I created them. Some from way back when I was about seven years old and the rest Ive made up along the way.

be. Who makes these non-sense rules that clothes on the washing line should be hung this way and not that way or that roast dinners should always be on a Sunday? Am I alone here in feeling pressured by the older generation? I don’t think I am! Don’t get me wrong I do like a bit of tradition, but I don’t like things rammed down my throat. I won’t mention Christmas:)

One of my beliefs is that some of my family do not like that I want to evolve and re-invent myself because they believe a woman should be in the kitchen and looking after the children and not to become more successful than their husbands! Like I said- It’s my belief I created it! I believe they have such old-fashioned views and how they were bought up is how it should be, or the correct way to

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or just something that is made up, we can begin to move forward more positively, and more importantly without carrying around unnecessary baggage.

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like having a mental spring-clean. It helps ground us and allows us to always move forward positively and confidently. Remember there is only one of you - you are a marvel and just to break it to you, you’re not even your mum or your dad!

I had a client recently in her 40’s who insisted she was the way she was because it was the way her parents bought her up. All I heard her do during her appointments was criticise herself or constantly apologise for minor unimportant things she did or said. I assured her she had nothing to apologise for and that she certainly didn’t need her parents approval or anyone else’s to do what she wanted in her life, which was to start a new career.

I must just say my parents are awesome, but funnily enough when I fail at something or stress about the bills, I blame them or my husband especially if its anything to do with money or the car because I think he is much more clever than me and just knows more about that stuff - more experience is my belief....(laughs)! Because for some reason we often find the need to make it someone else’s fault and excuses we shall find - Always!

For many of us our parents don’t always get things so perfect either, we all learn throughout our entire life. When we can step back and try to view things as if standing above a scene or situation, in that moment we can disconnect the emotional attachment for a while, while we try to see things from a different perspective. This is an effective exercise to do when we often feel lots of emotion or attachment to someone or something.

Here’s my motto ‘Get on and Get strong’. To make a breakthrough we often have a breakdown first, that is how it goes! Don’t listen to the nah Sayers, even if its your own family. If you believe you can do something in your gut, then that’s all you need to pursue your way to success.

Because we make new beliefs all the time it’s good to go over your values and beliefs regularly. It’s

Lose ego, Obtain confidence, find your ambition and always aim high!

Louise Linsell Hi, I’m Louise Linsell founder of the MOVE YOUR MIND formula. I help people to feel more confident and break bad habits. They are typically in their 40’s have a family to support and look after and never have time for themselves as they are busy looking after everyone elses needs. I’ve helped over 1800 people over the past 14 years working as a Holistic Therapist and Coach. I’m the only Wellness professional in the south east, that gives a money back guarantee that I will turn your situation around in 4 weeks or less! As a result my clients learn how to manage their stress and break their bad habits so they can feel confident that they are in control of what life throws there way. www.paragonfitness.co.uk

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IDEAS TO WRITE WORDPRESS BLOGS FAST!!

The more you blog, the quicker you’ll grow at writing effective, punchy blog posts. But in the meantime, here are twenty-one proven ideas for speeding up that process! 1. Eliminate distractions. Disconnect from the net. Close Facebook. Turn off the ringer on your phone. Shut your home office door, if you can. Try to pick your ideal time of day to write – for example, at 9:30, when you’ve got that freshly-made cup of coffee sitting on your desk, the kids are safely in school and the dog is fast asleep after his morning roller-blading session. And make that time slot sacred: You’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes to start writing creatively, when it’s a daily habit. (Think “Pavlovian conditioning”.) 2. Keep it short. One idea per blog

post will easily fit within 350-450 words. (If you find yourself passing 750 words, you’ve got two or more ideas – split them up!) 3. Re-use and Re-cycle. Do you have any old articles you’ve written? Reports? Blog posts that never got off the ground? Put them to good use and re-purpose them into new blog posts. Here’s how… • Go through your piece of old content and use a yellow highlighter to isolate individual ideas • Pick one • Write a short post (no more than 450 words) just on that single idea alone If you do this for an entire document such as a report or even just a longer article, you should have a nice batch of cohesive, coordinated blog posts in an afternoon!

4. Write about what you know. Your biggest problem, if stick to subjects you know by heart, will be keeping the word length down! (See Idea # 1.) 5. Write first, research later. This tip goes hand-in-glove with Idea # 3. When you’ve finished your post, re-read it. You’ll know if you need to expand on a statement with a line or two of research to add credibility to it. 6. Write first, find photos later. If you start looking for the right photo in the middle of your blog post, it’s far too easy to become distracted by portfolios full of wonderful visuals as you scroll through Google images or your favorite photo clipart site. (The inverse of this strategy – finding photos, then basing your >

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7. Share a gem. If you produce a really fascinating fact, helpful link, hidden shortcut or little-known resource, you really don’t need to write pages and pages about it! All people will see, want and grab is your golden take-away. 8. Use a screenshot. If your post sharing that wonderful hidden resource is only 250 words long, bulk up its interest quotient and value by adding a teaser screenshot, showing some aspect of the resource that is sure to make your reader want more. 9. Start at the end. One trick widely used by professional bloggers is to write their conclusion first. Then write the introductory paragraph and several bullet points leading to the conclusion. Cut your bullet points down to no more than five to seven, tops. Create paragraphs out of the remainder. (Choose the points you feel either require expansion or that are most important.) 10. Make your reader want more. It’s better to leave your readers wanting more than put them to sleep with pages of weighty research or – even worse – your unedited, in-depth opinion. (Think “teaser”). 11. Create a series. This is one way to break a lengthier subject up, dealing with it point by point. As long as your reader grasps the idea or technique you’re sharing, they’ll still leave your blog pleased – perhaps even excited.

And wanting more! 12. Dig out that never-used batch of PLR. If you’re like the seventy-eight percent surveyed in a recent poll, you’ve bought PLR (private label rights generic content) and never got around to using it. Now is the time to dig it out! Use it. Either do a heavy rewording, moving paragraphs around and deleting several… or just use it as an Idea Mine. 13. Keep an “Idea Jar” – either a literal one or a file folder on your desktop. Every time an idea for a blog post hits you, 14. Pick a keyword. Similar to the Idea Jar, keep a Keyword File or Excel spreadsheet. This numbered list should contain keywords that are evergreen – ones that will never go out of date for your niche. When you find your self stuck, either pick a keyword from your File at random, or (if you want to add spice and danger) roll at least three dice, add up the total and go write your post about the keyword that comes up at that number along your list. 15. Set the timer. If an idea hits you, just write the post! But before you begin, set your computer or kitchen stove timer for a short period of time (no more than fifteen minutes, max!) If the buzzer goes off before you’ve finished, save your post into an Idea Jar file called “In Prog-

ress” (or whatever works for you better). Go back to your regularly scheduled work. Much later – perhaps as much as weeks later – dig one of these semi-completed blog posts out, when you need to come up with a post for your blog (or for a client, if you’re a content writer). Finishing a half-written blog post is much easier than thinking up an entirely new one. It will feel like a delicious cheat – and you’ll gain lots of practice in self-discipline and increasing your speed by using the buzzer. (It can even feel like a really fun game!) Basing your post on one keyword can really help you focus and streamline each post. 16. Think “conversation”. You’re telling your story to your reader directly. And inviting a response by so doing! 17. Write daily. Nothing speeds one’s writing time up more than getting into the habit of writing. One post a day is better than none – but why not make it three posts? The key: Making them short (anywhere from 250-500 words) and never letting yourself go over that limit (builds self-discipline and reinforces structure). 18. Use a Template – especially if you’re writing reviews. It’s not always easy to write a short review post. In fact, many times you will get better results if you write in more depth: But using a template can help make the pro-

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blog posts on them – can also provide a fun way to perk up your idea-generation process.)

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cess relatively painless (as well as deeply grooving those neural pathways in your mind). 19. Stick to a basic structure. If you don’t want to use a template, make sure you learn the basic structural elements of a strong blog post: • A beginning paragraph that makes a statement and promises what the reader will learn • At least two or three middle paragraphs that expand on the premise • A summary, that brings your post to a strong conclusion • A call to action, enticing comments or click-throughs from your reader Do use sub heads and/or a few bullet points, if your post is over 350 words long. Sub heads and bullet points break up the text… and make the reader feel that your post is even easier and quicker to read! 20. Don’t edit as you write. Doing the latter is the surest way to: • Taking the fire out of your writing • Going off on a tangent • Losing the conversational feel and immediacy of your post • Undermining your own confidence • Putting how you say things ahead of your vital message • Stealing time away from your day and adding it to the writing process • Throw off your pacing (story flow) (There will be plenty of time to look for typos or worry about how to spell Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis later.) 21. Create a plan and use a Blogging Calendar. Brainstorming and

planning all your topics for the month ahead is a wonderful way to get you into the habit of writing, thus speeding up the process. Knowing your post topics ahead of time also helps you to: • Grab a great graphic if you come across one • Make note of useful research links • Mull topics over in your mind • Seize the opportunity to ask experts questions • Read related material And the beauty of it is, if you follow this method, all the fiddly stuff is done in advance. What does this mean? Well, say you are browsing the net, looking for graphics for today’s batch of posts. While checking out the “People” category in your favorite photo clipart site, you come across a photo of a small girl in a lilac dress, holding a posy of violets. You realize this photo is the perfect illustration for next Wednesday’s post on “Adding a Flower Girl to Your Wedding”. Copy it,

Your photo will be ready to instantly drop in and go. Even if you don’t use every one of these twenty-one speed tips for post writing, adapt as many as you can. Writing blog posts efficiently and quickly is mostly a matter of habit and practice. And the best part is… anyone can do it! Anyone can reduce their post-writing time. Try it and see! >

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format anything that needs to be formatted – the point at which most bloggers lose the most time – and save it.

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Top Time Management Techniques for Powerhouse Productivity By Paul Moses

You’ve no doubt heard the names a thousand times. Getting Things Done. The Pomodoro Technique. Time boxing. Stephen Covey’s urgent/important matrix. But which ones are best for cutting through the overwhelm and really managing your to-do list? Well, like most things, which system or technique works best is mostly a matter of personal choice. However, there are some things you should know

about each one that might make choosing easier.

decision to either do it, delegate it, file it, defer it, or trash it.

Getting Things Done Developed by David Allen, Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a system designed to help you know at a glance exactly what you should be doing right now. The idea is simple: For every item that lands in your “inbox” (which might be email, a phone call, a letter, or just a passing comment from a spouse) you make an immediate

Once you’ve made your decision (based on the task itself and the time it will take to complete) you either do the thing or note it in your “trusted system” for retrieval – and completion – later. Devotees of GTD spend hours developing their own trusted systems, which can consist of paper planners, expensive software, or just a few note cards and a pen. In GTD, >

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The Pomodoro Technique This method is a boon to those who find themselves easily distracted. The principle is simple: Set a timer, and get to work. Typically, proponents of the Pomodoro Techniqe use a simple kitchen timer (often shaped like a tomato – or pomodoro, in Italian) set for 25 minutes. During that time, they focus only on the task at hand. When the timer goes off, they take a 5 minute break, then set the timer for another 25 minutes. Each 25-minute set is called a pomodoro. Once you’ve completed four pomodoros, you take a 20 minute break, before beginning the cycle again.

Urgent/Important Stephen Covey’s brainchild provides an easy way to prioritize your work. Begin by dividing a piece of paper into four sections (two rows by two columns) and assigning a level of urgency/importance to each quadrant. The upper left is important but not urgent, the upper right is urgent and important, the lower left is neither urgent nor imporant, and the lower right is urgent but not important. Now take your to-do list and assign each item to a quadrant. For example, grocery shopping might be important but it’s probably not urgent. Fixing your client’s broken website is both important and urgent. Answering the phone when your mother calls for the fourth time is urgent, but not important.

By dividing up your task list according to these priorities, you can easily see what you need to be working on next, and what can wait until the urgent and important items are cleared from your schedule. There are dozens more techniques and strategies entrepreneurs use to manage their time and get more work done than many others do. In fact, these methods can (and should) be tweaked to fit your own needs and lifestyles. But the bottom line is this: you have to find a system that works for you, and that is compatible with your style. Otherwise, the method itself will become just another distraction that causes you to lose focus rather than become the productive business owner you know you can be. >

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the tools are entirely up to you, it’s the methodology that matters.

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FOCUS ON FACEBOOK

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By Julia Brooksbank

With an astonishing one third of the UK population logging in to Facebook every single day, it’s now a key medium for promoting your business that you ignore at your peril. This growth in social networking is linked to the increase in smartphone technology with 20 million UK smartphone users checking the site daily. If you haven’t set up a Facebook presence for your business yet, this article will help! Firstly, you need to have a page for yourself – so create an individual log in if you don’t have one already. Don’t worry, your business and personal pages are kept entirely separate on Facebook ! Once you’ve done this, it’s easy to set up a Page for your business. Just go to: https://www.

facebook .com/about/pages and follow the user-friendly Wizard. A Facebook Page is your Facebook shop front – you can customise it (to a degree!) and place posts. Once your Page is set up, visitors can ‘Like’ your Page, enabling them to see your posts in their newsfeed. They can also place posts of their own, share your posts and comment on them. This interaction with visitors is really important for two reasons. Google likes it – so if you have a website linked to your Page, interactions will help your SEO efforts. And Facebook likes it too

One of the ways Facebook generates revenue is by giving you the option to place adverts and ‘boost’ posts – basically paying for your posts to appear in the newsfeeds of lapsed followers, their friends and people with similar interests. It’s easy to target these ads to the audience you want, selecting gender, age group, location and interests as options and it may be a great way to grow your ‘Likes’ quickly. Once you have ‘Likes’, it’s up to you to keep their interest. >

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– users who don’t interact with you or actively ask to have your posts in their newsfeed will find that your posts disappear from their newsfeed.

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Once your Page is set it, it’s important to visit it on a regular basis. Most Pages will at some point have spam posts and other inappropriate comments. It’s easy to remove these and to report offenders. You also have the option of only allowing posts with administrator permission but this can discourage visitors from posting. Remember, you want to encourage interaction!

a Page or a Group as Facebook will allow you to set up as many as you want , but it’s a good idea to keep things simple for users... and for yourself!

Another way to have a Facebook presence is by setting up a Group instead of a Page and this might be another option for your business. Groups can’t be advertised – although they can be tagged to help users with similar interests find them! They have additional functionality so that you can set up Events and invite Group members to them – you can also post documents for users to access. You can choose how open or restricted access to the Group is – for instance, you might only allow members to make posts.

Now it’s time to start posting! At first, you may worry that no-one is really seeing and responding to your posts. Don’t worry, your audience will grow! Posting is really an iterative process and a learning curve – you need to find out what sort of posts will bring you Likes, Shares and comments, so here are my top Do’s and Don’ts: • Do research competitors – see what similar businesses post and what responses they receive • Don’t be afraid to experiment as this is how you’re going to learn what works for you. • Do find your voice – your posts should be relevant to your audience. They could be fun, challenging and thought provoking. • Don’t stop – you need to post and check your page regularly

Think about which is appropriate for your business – you don’t necessarily need to choose between

My business, Nailtopia, is a very visual business so I regularly post nail art images, product images,

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tutorials, special offers and competitions! I share images from Pages that I follow – and these include suppliers and customers. Promote your Facebook page by making sure you refer to it in all of your communications – you can provide links to it on your emails and from your website. You can also use the Facebook logo on your offline marketing collateral so customers are aware that you have a Facebook presence and can search for you. Don’t forget to measure your success. Don’t just look at the number of ‘Likes’ as a metric – it’s just as important to measure interactions and Facebook will helpfully send you weekly reports to monitor these. Google Analytics users can also see if users have linked to their site from Facebook and even converted to sale. Above all, remember that Facebook is a social medium, not a sales medium, so users should find your page fun and informative – and hopefully you’ll have fun with it too!

At Nailtopia, we aim to offer the widest, most innovative selection of nail art products in Europe - and excellent customer service! We’re based in the UK and specialise in professional quality, easy-to-use, instant nail art nail stickers. Most of our nail stickers are made specially for us in Japan by the world’s leading nail art manufacturers, so the quality is second to none! Website: www.nailtopia.co.uk / juliabrooksbank

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Taming the Email Monster By Paul Moses

How much time do you spend reading and responding to – or simply deleting – emails? How much unread email currently clutters your inbox? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, the answer (in both cases) is far too much!

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In fact, if you were brave enough to actually time yourself, you’d very likely find you spend two or even three hours each and every day just dealing with email. Yikes! No wonder you feel like you don’t get anything done. Time to build a solid email system to help you tame that beast for good.

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Turn it off. In fact, turn off the automatic checking for email if you can. That way you can purposefully decide when to go read your email, rather than being notified of a new message every 5 minutes. Unsubscribe Chances are you’re on multiple mailing lists – and most of them you probably never read.

Auto-File Your “To Read” Emails We all do it. We open an email, realize it’s a newsletter we love, an important announcement, or information about an upcoming event, and we close it with a well-intentioned, “I’ll read that later.” The trouble is, when later comes, we either can’t find the email, or don’t even remember that we wanted to read it.

Click the unsubscribe button. Be ruthless. You can always sign up again if you miss the content, but for now, eliminating those emails from your inbox will save you a lot of time and trouble. Getting a handle on email is one of the toughest things for busy small business owners, but with a little planning and some self-discipline, you can become an email ninja, and start using email as the powerful tool it is, rather than letting it run your life.

What if you had a folder on your computer where all your “to be read” emails waited just for you to come by and discover them again? How empty would your inbox be then? Through the power of filters and folders, just about any email client can take care of this task for you. Simply set up a folder called “To Read” or something else equally clever, then create an email rule or filter (as Gmail calls them) to deliver certain messages to that folder when they come in. Make a rule for your favorite online newsletter, email from your college alumni association, your local chamber of commerce, or even your sister. But here’s the trick to it: You have to actually schedule time to go and read these emails. Don’t let them just pile up in there, because all that does is move the problem from your inbox to your “to read” folder. Make time to read them, then respond, file, or trash accordingly. Turn off Notifications Are you easily distracted by email? You’re not alone. That little red number declaring the number of unread emails, or the pretty little chime that announces the arrival of a new message is an invitation to click over and see what’s new.

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SMALL BIZ MAG

SOCIAL MEDIA: THE GREAT TIME SUCK By Paul Moses

You know they’re a huge time-waster, but somehow you just can’t pull yourself away from that Facebook game that has your attention, or the beautiful photos of yummy desserts you want to make. Even worse, when you make your living online, it’s far too easy to justify time spent on social media as being “work.” After all, everyone says you have to market your business on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, right? While it’s true that social marketing is a powerful technique that all online (and offline) business owners should explore, it’s also true that much of what we do on these sites is most definitely not work. But separating the two is tough. Schedule Your Day Not all social media is bad. It’s a great way to stay in touch with farflung family and friends, and yes, it’s an important business-building tool as well. So rather than try to eliminate it all together, why not make it a regular, scheduled part of your day?

For example, catch up on your Facebook feed over coffee, then log out and get to work. Or browse Pinterest while you eat lunch. For actual work-related social media tasks, schedule a time during the work day to log in, update your status, respond to questions, and check up on your competitors. The key here is to actually schedule this as you would any other business-related task, and not to let this “work time” turn into a chat with Aunt Sally about Thanksgiving Day plans. Segregate Your Tools One way successful entrepreneurs separate work from play is by the tools they use. When on the computer in the office, they avoid Facebook and the like because they’re working. Instead, they limit their use of social media to off hours by only visiting the sites on their mobile phones or tablets. By adopting this type of policy, you create a boundary in your own mind. After a few weeks of practice, you’d no more think of

Let Someone Else Handle It If you really can’t stay focused on work once you’ve logged into Pinterest or Facebook (they’re just so distracting!) consider letting someone else handle your social media accounts. You can create updates ahead of time, then simply turn them over to a virtual assistant to schedule. Then once a day or so (maybe from your iPad rather than your office) you can log in and respond to your followers. Finally, if you’re not using social media as a marketing tool, consider taking a sabbatical. Simply make a deal with yourself that you will not log in or check any social media site for a month or a week or even just for a day. You might just be surprised to see how much time you really do waste playing Candy Crush. >

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hopping on Facebook from the office computer than you would consider wearing your bathrobe to the grocery store. The two activities just don’t go together.

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Become a contributor to Small Biz News! Have an idea for an great article? I am looking for articles that are filled with howto tips for the entrepreneurs with a service-based business (e.g. coaches, authors, personal trainer, speakers, consultants).

Please read the following guidelines:

Here are the topics that I would love for you to write about:

• How-to tutorials (with actionable tips) • Must contain 400-800 words • High quality and written in proper English (no spelling & grammar errors please) • No affiliate links • Please do not send an article that you have already published on your own blog or elsewhere, and no recycled articles are allowed. • Articles must not be published anywhere else, including your own blog, but you can tell people about your guest post on my magazine • Include a short author bio with a link to your website and 1 social networking profile • All articles submitted are checked with Copyscape to ensure that they are original. • Must have a Hi res personal image, business logo and submit an image to complement your article.

• Search Engine Optimization • Social Media Marketing • WordPress tips and tricks • Tools and tricks for entrepreneurs running an online business • Online visibility tips • Time management • Client attraction tips • List building • Real-life lessons from solo professionals • Productivity tools and tricks for solo entrepreneurs • Anything mindset

Think you can write fabulous content in any of these topics? Great! Send me an email to paulm@hans3.com and I’ll get back to you whether it’s a good fit for my magazine! >

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The Small Biz Magazine