To sit down on a chair in front of a computer or laptop is one of those things a virtual assistant does automatically and although it may seem a pretty safe thing to do, if you are not sitting comfortably you can compromise your health.

Have you ever calculated how many hours you sit in front of your computer every day?  Statistics show that the average person spends approximately six to seven hours in front of the computer.

The average person, yes... a virtual assistant... no! A virtual assistant spends approximately ten to twelve hours in front of the computer, it can be less, most times it is more.

 More and more virtual assistants suffer from wrist, back and eye problems or headaches, which can be avoided my making sure you are comfortable when you are working.

Here are 5 easy ways to ensure that you can do your work and still retain your health:

1.     Maintian good posture
Your three natural curves - the neck, lower and upper back - should always be aligned.

2.   Support your lower back
Your feet should be flat on the floor and if need be, use a cushion to support your lower back.

3.   Adjust the height of your chair
 Your arms should be at desk level and you should be able to shift your weight forward off your spine. Remember to change your position throughout the day and make sure your spine stays aligned.

4.   Keep your hand and wrists straight
If your chair is at the correct height then your desk should also be at a comfortable height. Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle. Touch the keys lightly to avoid repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome. Position the mouse as close to you as possible, do not grip it. Stretch your hands and wrists often during the day to release tension.

5.   Blink your eyes often
Long hours in front of a computer place considerable strain on a virtual assistant's eyes.  You can reduce the reflection and glare from the screen by blinking your eyes often to keep them moist.  A plant or desk calendar next to your computer screen will also help to give your eyes a rest if you look at it on and off during working hours.

© Copyright 2008 Dynamic Virtual Assistant Services.   All rights reserved


 
 

On Tuesday and Wednesday parts of my home town which included my house, were without electricity again. The previous week we had to live for 4 days without this commodity. It made me realise how absolutely dependent we are on electricity for all or rather,  for most of our needs.

As virtual assistants we work with computers on a daily basis and when the electricity supply is cut for whatever reason, most of us  are not able to do our work and supply our clients with their projects.

In South Africa we also had to learn to live with load shedding which disrupts not only our working hours but also our lives. It seems as if life comes to a standstill when there is no electricity. We grumble and complain about it, but should we not rather use these "quiet" times to do the things that we normally do not have time for?

During the first 4 days of no electricity, I did some much needed spring cleaning. When you sit in front of a computer for 18 hours or more to earn a living, house work tends to be put on the backburner. It is shocking to see what happened to your cupboards, drawers and even your wardrobes in the weeks and months you were in front of the computer.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I cleaned my office (I always have good resolutions to recycle all the papers and cardboard- I love handmade paper, have even tried it a few years ago, but in the end it is easier to just throw everything away). I am going to make a few document folders next year so that I can know exactly where the textured paper for invitation cards are, where I can find coloured cardboard, where, where.....

 I also took time to read a few of the e-books on internet marketing that I downloaded two years ago.  What a joy it was to actually understand what these gurus are talking about when they mention things like SEO, keyword search, niche marketing, content is king, "it is in the list", Google Adsense and Adwords.
One of these days I will put an autoresponder on my site and capture  the e-mail addresses of everybody who visits here.

I suffered from information overload for many months after downloading, reading and trying to understand all these things. A few quiet daylight hours gave me the chance to realise how much we actually learn without even being aware of it.

Another thing that I have learnt is that candles are really only romantic when you spend time with the love of your life. When you need four candles to be able to read at night, you know that your eyesight is deteriorating fast.

As virtual assistants we tend to neglect our health, the long hours in front of the computer are bad for our eyes, we do not eat regular meals, we drink too much coffee, do not get enough exercise and then we wonder why we feel tired all the time. We have pain in our necks, pain in our backs and many times our family thinks that we are one big pain!

Life without electricity is not so bad after all, it gives you time to do a lot of things, it gives you time to reflect on your life, it gives you time with your family and it also gives you time to catch up on much needed sleep.

It is now 12.45 am and if the electricity were still off, I would have been in bed sound asleep by now.  So, out with electricity, in with candles and natural living.

  © Copyright 2008 Dynamic Virtual Assistant Services.   All rights reserved.

 
 

Making the change from offering my services to the people in my hometown to offering my services on the internet and thus reaching a whole new client base, was a daunting process.

When you have spend 10 years typing all kinds of documents from letters to more complex business proposals, church programs with graphics, designing certificates for creches to high school diplomas, changing backgrounds on photos and transporting the people in a photo from their back porch to exotic island destinations, you pick up a lot of experience without actually realising it.

In a small town most everybody knows each other and your skills and competence are passed on by word of mouth. By offering your services on the internet you deal with clients who have no idea what you can do, how professional and competent you are when they commission you to do work for them.

The one most important thing you should realise when branching out and offering your services to a global market is to believe in yourself and in your abilities. Clients are quick to pick up your uncertainties and if you present yourself in a bad light, they will not make use of your services.

Believe in  yourself and in the things you can do and present a professional image to your clients whether you are talking to them on the phone, by e-mail or fax. The client needs to get the impression that you are in charge of the situation and can deliver what he expects from a professional typist/designer.

  © Copyright 2008 Dynamic Virtual Assistant Services.   All rights reserved.

 

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