How to Manage Your Passwords

How to Manage Your Passwords

Let’s talk about how to manage your passwords. It won’t be long until the next big data security incident hits the headlines, where personal information including usernames and passwords are hacked. Leaving cyber criminals to their own devices to do as they please with this highly sensitive information.

Never has protecting your personal information online been so important. The best way to do that is by using a password manager. LastPass is one of the best and most secure ways to manage your passwords.

Are You Making These Password Mistakes?

You probably think have a pretty good system in place currently, right? If you do you do any of the following, you might want to rethink:

  • save your usernames and passwords in your search engine, (e.g. Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer)
  • use your contacts or notes on your iPhone or Android to store usernames and passwords (including pin numbers)
  • keep a record of all your usernames and passwords in Excel or Word
  • use the same username and password for EVERYTHING

If you do any of these please stop. RIGHT. NOW.

It’s time to manage your passwords, the right way. Safely and securely.

Let’s take a look at what a password manager is, how you use it and why you should be using it.

What is a Password Manager?

Let’s have a look at what Wikipedia has to say on the matter:

“A password manager is a software application that helps a user store and organize passwords. Password managers usually store passwords encrypted, requiring the user to create a master password; a single, ideally very strong password which grants the user access to their entire password database.”

And this is exactly what LastPass is.

I was first introduced to LastPass back in 2015 when I was looking at setting up my VA business and its one of the tools that I could not run my business without. In fact it is the one tool I use EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I would be completely and utterly lost without it as I use it for my business.

I actually insist that all my clients create an account and then install the add-on to their Web Browsers. There is no need for me to see all their passwords, I just need them to share them with me securely enabling me to login, so I can help them run their business.

Did I mention that I don’t just use it for work, I use it to manage all of my personal logins as well?

4 Reason to manage your passwords with a Password Manager?

Here are my own top 4 reasons to use a password manager:

Increase your brain power

We live in a world of tech overwhelm. At times, it really is too much. Using a password manager is the fastest and most efficient way to log in to any website. You just click a button. We use so many tools to run our businesses today, using a password manager leaves you with the additional brain capacity to be creative, not having to remember a bazillion passwords (or worse, using the same one over and over again…).

Improved security

If you use a spreadsheet or write them all down in a notebook, imagine if both of those were compromised? What is you were hacked? Or worse, a client was hacked? Is it really worth it.

Life is too short to waste time on trying 5 different passwords to login, only to get really frustrated because you can’t remember exactly which one it is. You only need to remember the master password to login and access your vault. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Sharing passwords is safe and a breeze

Most of the top password managers will encrypt your data in a way that keeps you safe. The thing I love about LastPass is that they data you store in your vault is kept secret. Even LastPass don’t have access.

As I have already mentioned I get my clients to use it to share their passwords with me and then I can share those with any team members that may also need access. I have folders within my vault for each client so I can find them easily. I can’t see the passwords or edit them, keeping the clients login details safe and secure.

Affordable

The best part is the free version is perfect, you can do all the things you need to with the free version. The pro version only costs just £31 for the year and means you can use it on your Tablet and Phone too, great if you happen to be travelling. Winner.

Choosing a password manager

If you happen to be like me and work with multiple clients with multiple logins to hundreds of different systems, a password manager makes it fast and simple. Personally I love LastPass and like I said before I recommend it to all my clients. LastPass is the dogs bollocks in my personal opinion, but you really need to do your own research and find one that works for you and meets your needs. Just make sure you choose one with a good reputation, otherwise you could be unwillingly putting your data into the hands of cyber criminals.

Hey, don’t just take my word for it, PC Mag literally just wrote a blog post outlining their favourite password managers for 2021, you can read more here.

And if you are looking for other tech recommendations, check out our resources page here.

Do you use a password manager? If you do, let us know your favourite in the comments below?

P I N L A T E R

How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

Emma O'Connell

30th July 2020

Being busy for the sake of being busy is not going to get you where you want to go. You need to slow down and take a step back. We need to start accepting that taking time off is OK. The world won’t end, you’re business won’t collapse, social media will still be there.

The problem is when you fill your schedule up with busy work, you feel more valuable. Society has placed a greater value on being busy, because busy means productive and productive means worthy. I mean that’s what our ego tells us, so it must be true. Mustn’t it? But that is in actual fact a load of bullshit.

When you see other coaches and consultants produce a load of content, showing up everyday on instagram stories, hustling hard, winning, with loads of clients and a 6 figure business, you feel the pressure to do more, work more hours and then you hope that all of that will turn into greater results. But being busy just means you are being unproductive.

Being busy is impacting on your wellbeing

You are left scattered, lacking focus, mentally and physically exhausted and stressed AF. 

You are not super woman. So stop acting like her.

You need to slow down and take a step back. We need to start accepting that taking time off is OK. The world won’t end, you’re business won’t collapse, social media will still be there. Honestly!

You are not superwoman. Stop acting like her.

For us as women, the best time to really slow down and take stock of our lives is during our inner Autumn and our inner Winter phases of the menstrual cycle, this is also know as the luteal phase (which lasts approx. 12-14 days) and happens immediately after ovulation and the menstruation phase. During this time, our critic and ego is at her most vocal, so instead of listening to her and just pushing through trying to find the energy you had a week ago (trust me, you won’t and you can’t, its hormonal), take the time to slow down and really listen to what she has to say. There is great wisdom in it, but you need to honour these phases and their request to slow TF down. Be more intentional with the things you spend your time doing. 

 If you don’t slow down and take some time to nourish yourself, turn inward, rest and restore your energy, you’ll just keep spinning around the ‘busy’ wheel until suddenly you collapse from burnout and that is not a place you want to be.

Busyness is procrastination in sheeps clothing

I should know, I used to be the champion of procrastination!

You see, we often use being busy as an excuse because we are stalling. Stopping ourselves from doing what we really want to do, something that is going to add REAL value.

Be honest with yourself, do you go to bed late too many times in a week? Do you spend far too much time scrolling through social media? Perhaps you spend your evenings binging on Netflix? How often do you say ‘yes’ to meaningless activities that just eat up your precious time? Do you keep putting things off because you are too tired?

I am guilty of all these things. I’m not perfect, I get sucked in to busy work every now and again. And this is exactly why being aware of how you spend your time is the first step to making a change and creating a more balanced life. Start by saying NO a lot more. Only say yes to the things that REALLY matter, that LIGHT YOU UP. 

Simplify, SIMPLIFY and then simplify some more

When we are constantly busy, it’s because things just aren’t working. We are saying yes to too many things, taking on too many projects, trying to do all the things and lacking structure in our lives and business.

It’s time to look at simplifying. Simplify your life by decluttering your workspace, your office, your bedroom, your house, your life! Get rid of the stuff that Marie Kondo says no longer “sparks joy”.

Simplify your business by doing the same – decluttering. Clear out your digital files, take the time to create and document your systems and processes, relook look at the million programmes and courses you offer and scale them back.

There is beauty in simplicity. Own it.

How you spend your time and energy starts and ends with you. What are you going to do today to stop some of the busy work and make a step towards creating a better balance? If you need some help and support, come and joined like-minded ambitious females over in the Facebook Group.

PIN THIS POST FOR LATER

Related Articles

Related

How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

Being busy for the sake of being busy is not going to get you where you want to go. You need to slow down and take a step back. We need to start accepting that taking time off is OK. The world won’t end, you’re business won’t collapse, social media will still be...

read more

Join

Join My Newsletter

The Importance of Rest During Your Period

The Importance of Rest During Your Period

The Importance of Rest During Your Period

Emma O'Connell

15th July 2020

Understanding the role your period plays in your energy levels and your ability to function might be new to you, but trust me it’s something you want to start taking more notice of. 

I think by now most of us know that getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night and eating a healthy balanced diet has a massive impact on how we feel and how we perform. There is an additional level to this. Your period. And if you don’t take the time during the first few days of your period to rest, recharge and reset, you are potentially affecting your performance for the rest of the month.

As entrepreneurs we have a tendency to think we need to constantly be taking action everyday to move our business forward. One of the biggest challenges is actually allowing and permitting ourselves to take time out. Our ego has this irritating habit of telling us ‘you are lazy’ and that you will somehow ‘fall behind’ if you don’t constantly work. Stop feeling guilty for taking time off, because here is the truth – living in tune with your menstrual cycle will actually make you more efficient and more productive, not less. Start rewriting that story everytime it pops up: rest does not = lazy. It is just a story, you get to choose if it becomes your reality. It’s one I am constantly working on.

Being permanently switched on rather than tuned in to your body and its natural flow, will inevitably lead to burnout at some stage. Now that is a place none of us want to end up. If you are resisting taking time off and resting, instead ask yourself ‘what absolutely needs to get done today?’. If you don’t have any urgent work to attend to, no harm is going to come if you have a digital detox for a few days. The world isn’t going to end and your business isn’t going to suffer, believe it or not!

Giving yourself the time and space to rest during your period takes practice and discipline. You may not always get it right, but that’s ok. Take time to surrender yourself in your inner winter and remerge in your inner spring, ready to take on the world with fresh energy and an abundance of new ideas.

Our ego has this irritating habit of telling us ‘you are lazy’ and that you will somehow ‘fall behind’ if you don’t constantly work. Stop feeling guilty for taking time off, because here is the truth – living in tune with your menstrual cycle will actually make you more efficient and more productive, not less.

How do you carve time out of being a busy mother or business owner?

Prioritise your Period in your calendar

If you track your cycle, you probably already know the date of your next period. Make sure you go and put it in your calendar, so you can start to create space for yourself to rest. Definitely don’t plan to see any clients during this time, especially for the first few days. 

If you don’t already track your cycle, it’s time to learn. For some of us tracking our cycle can be a bit of a challenge, some of us have cycles that vary by a few days each month. Others of us have irregular periods, which can make things even more challenging. Whatever your personal period situation, now is a great time to get to grips with your cycle. To do this, I would suggest looking at the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) – which looks at tracking the changes in your cervical fluid and your basal body temperature (BBT) daily. I also highly recommend reading “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. This book is a complete game changer, it literally taught me so much about my body and enabled me to get pregnant.

I love knowing where I am in my cycle. It’s such an empowering experience and an amazing tool to have. If you suffer from irregular cycles, it really is a fantastic as it enables you to stop guessing when your period is due. It can also help to identify any health issue you may be experiencing too, hence why your menstrual cycle is often referred to as your 5th vital sign. 

Create Space For Yourself

As a business owner and entrepreneur you already have the luxury of being able to create your own work schedule. Bonus! So why not start blocking off 2-3 days at the beginning of your period, don’t schedule in client meetings or non negotiable deadlines. I would also suggest you create a bit of a buffer either side so you have enough space to reshuffle your schedule to accommodate when your period does actually arrive.

We are so conditioned with putting everyone else’s needs first and forgetting our own, but the reality is you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s a bit like the oxygen mask situation on planes, if you don’t put yours on first, you can’t help anyone else. So stop saying yes to everything and adding more to your schedule. This is the time when you need to practice saying no to anything that is not absolutely necessary (reschedule it to another time in your cycle if you can). 

Here are a few other ways you can lessen your load during your inner Autumn and inner Winter phase: order your groceries online, batch cook your meals, say no to that dinner, skip the gym and opt for sleep instead, organise a playdate for your children, reschedule your coffee catch up to the following week, you could even get a cleaner just for this phase of the cycle! Be brave, find the courage to put yourself before others and take this time to ask for what you need instead. It’s hard I know, I am terrible at looking after myself.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start small.

If you can’t take an entire day out of your schedule for self care due to work or life commitments, or you find the idea puzzling, it’s ok. Take a moment to consider what your self-care would look like if time or space was not an issue. Start with what feels achievable right now. 

Ask yourself – what can I do right now meet my needs? How can I put myself first?

Could you go to bed early? Could you switch your phone off? Could you take 5 minutes a day to meditate, instead of scrolling through Facebook? What about asking your husband, wife or partner to take the children out for an hour, so you get an extra bit of breathing space and some time to yourself to recharge?

The thing about self-care is this, the more you practice it, the more you make it a habit and part of your routine. The more it becomes part of your routine, the easier it will be to take a few days of rest without feeling guilty.

Stop letting your ego rule you. From rest comes growth and if you really want to bring your A game to your business you need to start taking time back for YOU.

PIN THIS POST FOR LATER

Related Articles

Related

How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

Being busy for the sake of being busy is not going to get you where you want to go. You need to slow down and take a step back. We need to start accepting that taking time off is OK. The world won’t end, you’re business won’t collapse, social media will still be...

read more

Join

Join My Newsletter

How to Systemise Your Business

How to Systemise Your Business

How to Systemise Your Business

Emma O'Connell

15th May 2020

If you’ve ever looked at another entrepreneur and wondered how she manages to get it all done, the answer might surprise you.

She’s got good systems.

It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.

No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you:

  • Work faster and produce more
  • Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes
  • Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do

The Magic of Templates

How many times do you answer email from potential clients? What about responding to customer complaints? Or mailing your JV partners about an upcoming launch?

All of these tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be repurposed for specific cases/people. Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows). You might even create a template document in Dropbox or Google Drive to house all your templates for easier access.

While templates will undoubtedly save you time, the real beauty is that once they’re created, you can easily outsource things like email and even sales. Simply instruct your assistant on the proper use of your templates, and you’ll be free to do other, more important things.

The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.

Checklists Prevent Mistakes

It might seem counterintuitive, but when you perform the same tasks over and over again, it’s easy to miss a critical step. You might think you paid your affiliates this month—you might even remember doing it—only to look back and see it was never completed.

But when you implement checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task.

You can easily create checklists for all your common tasks and projects using nothing more than a text document. If you’re managing a team, checklists in your project management system allow you to see exactly what tasks are complete, and which are still outstanding.

Templates and checklists turn smart business owners into productivity superstars, and it’s easy to get started. The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response. The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps. These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete, and best of all, you can hand them off to your assistant to do instead.

PIN THIS POST FOR LATER

Emma O'Connell

Emma O'Connell is an Online Business Manager and Business Strategist. She helps solopreneurs become soul-led CEOs, by implementing the right strategy, systems and support, so they can get back to making an impact. She firmly believes in working smarter not harder, setting yourself up for success and spending more time with the people that matter most.

Related Articles

Related

How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

Being busy for the sake of being busy is not going to get you where you want to go. You need to slow down and take a step back. We need to start accepting that taking time off is OK. The world won’t end, you’re business won’t collapse, social media will still be...

read more

Join

Join My Newsletter