Spring is in the air! Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, but your office is probably an unholy mess!! Make 2018 the year you make your life simpler! Check out how Anne keeps her computer clean and synced and how Gabby keeps her sanity with her office space. Declutter your office, phone, computer, and everything else with super tips from the VO Bosses!
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Take an inventory of things. If you don’t use it for 6-12 months, get rid of it!
When your office is cluttered, your brain is cluttered.
Consider this as your VO New Year!
Your productivity will increase and improve with a clean workspace.
Desginate a space where mess is allowed to happen.
Remember the digital cleaning! Don’t forget your computer and laptop(s).
Have a backup system in place.
Pinpoint something that’s wasting your time and find a digital solution.
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
VO: Today’s voice over talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voice over talent has to be a boss, a VO BOSS. Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with your host Anne Ganguzza along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS.
Gabby: Hey, guys. It’s Gabby. So… I’m hijacking Anne’s intro.
Gabby: Before we get started on today’s show, we want to tell you a little bit about all the ways that you can live the BOSS life, right?
Gabby: Heck yeah.
Anne: VO BOSS has amazing classes that can help you to self propel your goals and increase your business and your bottom line. So for both beginning and advanced VO talents, we have our BOSS University so you can select from different classes at different levels.
Gabby: This is like our podcast on steroids, guys. This is me and Anne at our best, doing what we do, putting our boss brains together, right, because two boss brains is totally better than one –
Gabby: — and giving you all kinds of webinars and ways that you can improve your bossness and bossibility and make more money.
Anne: Go to voboss.com and just click on the shop tab.
Gabby: And now, on with the show.
Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I am your host Anne Ganguzza along with my lovely BFF boss bestie, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby! How are ya?
Gabby: Hi, Anne, I’m good! Hey, you know, spring is in the air, right? The birds are chirping.
Anne: It is!
Gabby: It’s Easter.
Anne: My allergies might be kicking up. I’m not sure. [laughter]
Gabby: Right! We got… that goin’ on, it’s April fools’, and guess what else?
Gabby: Your office is a – mess.
Gabby: — because I know mine is! [laughter]
Anne: Isn’t that the truth? You know, Gabby, I think it’s a great time to do a spring cleaning –
Anne: — of our businesses, a spring cleaning of everything for our VO biz.
Gabby: Yeah, I mean, I actually do this every year. I think it’s – I think it’s really important to take some time when there is a little bit of downtime, you know, with things like spring break and the kids being out of school. Ok, if you are a parent, that may or may not be the best time, but definitely at some point in the spring to go, “you know what? I’m gonna to de-clutter. I’m gonna organize.” What do you do when that’s – when you need to buckle down and de-clutter?
Anne: Well, you know what I think brings it on for me is tax time, right? So talking about decluttering, I’m usually getting things in order from the past year, and that’s a really great idea or a great kind of uhh springboard to… you know, “OK, I finished off last year.
Now we’re gonna start this new year, you know, fresh, and, you know, all my records are intact.” I mean, that’s one of the first things I do is making sure that my accountant has all of the information that she needs for tax time or whoever, if you’re doing your own taxes. You know, everything is organized and kind of put in the right places. Um, either it’s folders on your drive or folders, you know, physical folders where you keep all of your receipts and all that good stuff. That really, for me, it gets put into the folders because I do have — I actually do have, you know, physical receipts. Can’t really get away from all of it, although I’d like to…be able to just have digital receipts. Um, I put that in folders, collect it all, get it to my, my accountant, make sure my taxes are submitted, and then I put that folder physically into my file cabinet which is downstairs, which is away from my office, and that gives me fresh, clean folders, believe it or not. It seems like a silly concept, but it works or me.
Gabby: I love that you called it a springboard, right, no pun intended.
Anne: Oh yeah, right? [laughter]
Gabby: So – I’m with you, and I think that we’re – we’re kind of in a really weird time right now for entrepreneurs about the digital versus tangible.
Gabby: I think, you know, definitely for the younger folks, they’re, they’re very much about all of keeping everything digital, the least amount of stuff, not having the clutter, but –
Gabby: — there’s also some folks who are still kind of clinging to the paper ways, and there has to be a little bit of a balance. So one of the things I really enjoy doing, and this was a piece of advice that was given to me like what seems like a million years ago from an old boss, he said never pick up the same piece of paper twice.
Gabby: And I went, “how genius is that?” Right? Like, deal with it, in other words. Don’t procrastinate it, don’t put it off. Like pick it up, and deal with it, and just get it out of your life. And so whatever your processes or systems are, that’s a great way to kind of unbury yourself from the paperwork, really just resign yourself to going, “you know what? I’m gonna pick it up. I’m gonna deal with it. I’m not gonna keep just, you know, shuffling piles,” because sometimes we do that. And creative brains especially, like we’re the worst about that.
Anne: Oh my goodness. Yes, yes.
Gabby: Oh my God, we just start building like stacks. The next thing you know, we’re like an episode of “Hoarders,” and we’re buried under our own office.
Anne: [laughter] VO Hoarders. Well, you know –
Gabby: VO Hoarders? It’s real! Dude, it’s a real thing!
Anne: And just like a spring cleaning of your house, which I love to do – like, first of all the birds, I love birds for whatever reason. You kind of figured that out with the peeps thing. Anyway, I love the sound of birds, so when the spring birds start chirping, I really get motivated to cleaning the house. And so a big part of that is because I work out of my house, right, a big part of that is cleaning the office. And that is so, oh gosh, so monumental. If I can take a day — sometimes it takes a day, right, or two — to actually go through all those piles, as you were referring to earlier, in my office and clean them, clean them up, my whole mental state is, if I have not thought about in a year, it’s gone.
It goes away, in the circular bin.
Gabby: Mm-hmm. Interesting you say that. I also feel that what is really important is to take an inventory of items, of things, tangible things and go, “if I haven’t used in six months, get rid of it.”
Anne: Yeah, oh yeah. Absolutely.
Gabby: You know, and this goes for the audio files especially, right, because every studio owner, what do we — we have like junk. Like I have a drawer that’s nothing but cables. [laughter]
Anne: Oh, so true.
Gabby: Cables and widgets and adapters and power supplies. You know, there’s a point where you have to purge it.
Anne: You don’t even know what the cables are for anymore.
Gabby: Right! You have to go, “you know what? I just, I don’t need this,” or get it down to its bare minimum. And sometimes when you can, get somebody in there to help with that process because that fresh brain, that other perspective helps you to really determine, “do I really need this thing? Why am I holding onto it?”
Anne: I just found two… mice? Mice? the other day —
Gabby: Mices? Mices? Yeah. [laughter]
Anne: Mices? I found two mice the other day, and neither of them work. And I’m like, well, neither of them work.
Gabby: Why do I have these?
Anne: Why do I have them? I mean, and when you talk about those cables, I have so many cables, Gabby, uhh…
Gabby: Oh my God.
Anne: I don’t even know what they go to anymore. It’s usually if you buy equipment, they always come with the extra, you know, the thunderbolt, you know, or the, you know, the USB or whatever it is. I don’t even know where they go, but I haven’t used them. And so, I, I don’t even know what to do with them, so I — if I can figure out what it is, then I won’t be able to figure out what it is usually, and I probably I don’t need it.
Gabby: I think it’s important for us to really go through these processes with that mindset of, you know what, if I haven’t used it in a really long time, I don’t know what it goes to, I can’t squirrel it away. I can’t hold onto it just because I think, “Oh, maybe one day I’ll need it.”
Anne: “I’ll use it.”
Gabby: Ehh, it never works that way. And then you just got a mess on your hands. So, so really, yeah, it’s a, it’s a good thing to –
Gabby: — do a purge. Yep, I love that.
Anne: Do a purge. And I’m always – this is the same thing when I pack before a trip because it stresses me out, right, when I pack. And usually what happens at the end of it, when I can’t stuff anything else in my suitcase, I say, “well, you know what? if I forgot it, I buy it.” And I think that’s –
Anne: — that’s the same type of mentality you can use in your office.
Anne: For things that you’re holding onto and physical things that you’re holding onto. And –
Gabby: Amazon prime, people. One day delivery. [laughter]
Anne: Right? [laughter] Isn’t that the truth? And just consider that an investment in your business. Right? So it’s, it’s purging — and I’m a big believer, Gabby, that when your office is cluttered, your brain is cluttered.
Anne: That’s a feng shui thing. [laughter]
Gabby: So funny you say that because there’s like this meme running around on social media that says “a clean desk is a sign of insanity,” and I am like bull-freaking —
“A clean desk is a clean head.”
Anne: “A sign of insanity.”
Gabby: It’s, it’s literally like breathing room. It’s a breath of fresh air. A clean desk feels soo great. I get so weirded out by people who try to justify their messiness or their clutter by, you know, coming up with some logic like that which I feel like is ass-backwards.
Anne: I actually did take a feng shui course like years ago, and, and a big part of that was “clutter in the house is clutter in your head.”
Anne: And I think we all need to approach our spring cleaning and our businesses — consider it like a new year. It’s your, it’s your VO new year. And, and –
Gabby: It’s psychological.
Gabby: It really, truly is, and it can have such a freeing effect on your mind to not be bogged down by stuff, and your creativity will actually increase and improve by making room and making that space available.
Anne: I love that you said that. The creativity is super important because, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna relate this to – I’m a, I was a scrapbooker. I mean, like, lately I haven’t been because I’ve been really busy. But I used to be afraid of like, mentally, of taking out the supplies because I knew that I couldn’t pick it up, and there was gonna be a big mess. And so –
Anne: I actually — it took me a year before I could actually start scrapbooking. I had all the materials. I had – you know, I loved — I was like obsessed with, you know, paper and pens and inks, and so I actually had a ton of materials, but I couldn’t actually physically do a 12-by-12 scrapbook page because the mess of getting things out and then not completing the page and putting things back used to really hold me back. So –
Gabby: I… totally relate.
Anne: Right? [laughter]
Gabby: Because I always have like silly little projects, or little creative things, or things that I’m making or doing, but here’s the key. Give yourself a project space.
Gabby: Designate it. Specif — designate a space where mess is allowed to happen.
Anne: Exactly, and you can shut the door, and it’s OK to leave it there.
Anne: I think one part of your office should be that cr — that space where you can have that kind of insanity – [laughter] — insanity place, but for the most part –
Gabby: A little chaos, yeah.
Anne: Yeah, the chaos, but there’s got to be, I think, where you’re visibly looking, I think, needs to be clear, for your head to be clear as well. And that’s going to allow more creativity to flow.
Gabby: And so let’s talk real quick about the digital side of that too, right? So how many of us have desktops, Dropbox folders, uh Google Drives, external drives that are just a mess?
Anne: Oh my goodness.
Gabby: If you don’t take the time to go through your digital files, organize, make folders, it, it will make you so much better at your job because it’s so great when you know where everything is, and you can find it. Otherwise Dropboxes and Drives, they just become these black holes that stuff gets lost in.
Anne: Yeah, exactly.
Anne: And that is – and make sure — I like to have a plan in place for backup, so backup of everything. So I have — in case my audio, the – my computer that I use, that I record and do all my audio editing on, in case that goes down, I have another computer that can take over umm in a moment’s notice. I have another microphone. I have a backup of everything including all of the files that I work on are on an external terabyte drive, and that terabyte drive is backed up every night. So that — and all of my work goes there. So nothing on my main drive of my computer really, that is related to anything that I work on, accounting, or audio editing, or whatever it is, it all exists on an external drive which is backed up every single night, and it’s an identical drive, and I use a very simple, a very simple backup software to do that every night. It’s called Sync – Sync!Sync!Sync! And it synchs my one terabyte drive to the second terabyte drive. And now I’ve actually got four terabyte drives depending on what computer. So I’m always synching from my work drive to the backup drive, and that way, if the drives go, which they tend to do at the least opportune moment, right, when of course you need things, I can, I can magically switch to the backup because the last thing that’s been backed up was last night at 3:00 in the morning, or whatever. It has worked for me through, I wanna say, through five different drive crashes. So, you know –
Gabby: Oh my gosh.
Anne: Over the years. Over the years! So those terabyte drives, if you pay for a cheaper terabyte, external drive, sometimes they just don’t — they last a year, and then they’re done. So that is important that you have a backup system in place, and especially for those of you that are — that take a lot of photos on your phone, organizing those photos need — they need to have a backup place too. That’s kind of…
Gabby: Yeah, even, but even just again that that declutter process.
Gabby: Decluttering your phone can be such a freeing process.
Anne: Oh my goodness.
Gabby: I’ll also say this. There’s some great digital tools and products that are available to us right now. Um, our buddy George Washington is a big fan of Evernote.
Gabby: And he um actually, basically helps other actors to use it and kind of learn its, its value. But Evernote is amazing, and for a lot of people, Evernote has become a way to completely declutter their lives and get rid of paper. Um, the other thing are scanners, so umm NeatReceipts. NeatReceipts is a phenomenal company that has these great digital scanners, and there are, there are others like them. They’re just a namebrand I remember – that you can buy, and things like your IRS receipts, your business tracking, all of that stuff can be scanned and tossed, which is awesome!
Anne: I have a great app for scanning on my phone called Doc Scan Pro.
Gabby: Yeah, I have that one too!
Anne: Right? I love that one. I think it might’ve cost like $7.99 or $9.99, I don’t even know, but it’s so worth everything that I paid for it like over and over and over again because every time I have to sign a contract, sign a NDA, uhh scan stuff to send to people, you know, it automatically – if you take a picture with your phone, it converts it to a JPEG or a PDF, and boom, you can send an email. You can um string together the PDFs so that you can – like if you’re taking multiple pages, if you’re scanning multiple pages, you can string it together in one PDF document. It’s amazing, and it cost like next to nothing. I remember when I bought a printer that had a scanner built into it, you know, so that I could do things like that, and now it’s all taken care of by this one app on my phone. It’s amazing.
Gabby: And there’s another one too. There’s a free one called Tiny Scanner that’s also very, very good. There’s lots of them. So I want to leave you guys with one thought today on this, a little bit of homework for your spring cleaning. Another great thing to really think about is the processes or the thing in your business that is currently cumbersome and time-consuming. Because if you can pinpoint or identify a problem area that’s really eating up a lot of your life and time, I guarantee you, if you are willing to make some very minor adjustments and changes to a new format, you will now be able to find a digital solution that saves you so much time and makes that item, that thing, whatever it is, a thousand times easier.
Anne: Yes, that is your homework.
Gabby: Find it. Find that solution. Yeah.
Anne: Mmm-hmm, absolutely, and I will tell you, I’ve got a couple of those solutions that have saved me so much time. And it can be from, you know, the performance side of things, audio editing side, it can be from, you know, just a day-to-day, how do you manage your emails, whatever that is. You know, I remember the filters that I had built for me a long time ago umm from George Whitham. You know, I used those — they saved me a good percentage of my time in terms of editing.
Gabby: FreshBooks, which I talk about all the time for accounting.
Anne: Yes! Right?
Gabby: Changed my life. Yeah.
Anne: QuickBooks changed my life, and actually the hiring of my accountant changed my life too.
Anne: So if it’s that type of thing that is, is tedious, sort of a task that doesn’t cause you joy – again, we’ve had an episode on that – outsource it. And also, but also, get those digital tools that can help you become more efficient, and you know, get more work done.
Gabby: But that’s a, that’s a great, I think, ender right there is how spring really is, it’s a joyous time. It’s a time of joy. You should use that time wisely this year. Make 2018 the year that you find joy in your processes and make your life simpler and a little bit less cluttered.
Anne: There you go, and spring clean that VO.
Gabby: Heck yeah.
Anne: Good stuff. I’d like to give a shout out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can record like a boss and find out more at ipdtl.com.
Gabby: For all things BOSS, make sure to check us out on Facebook, iTunes, Twitter, Stitcher, YouTube, Instagram. We’re all over the place. We want to interact with you, and don’t forget we have a really cool feature on our website, on voboss.com, where you can leave us a message, leave us a voicemail, and interact with our show, and be a featured guest.
Anne: Absolutely, and one thing I want to notice we’re starting to roll out now is an Instagram takeover by VO BOSSes. So if you guys are interested, we have one day that you guys show us how you’re a BOSS. Take a picture of what’s happening throughout your day, and we will post it on our Instagram to show your bossness. Kind of a cool, new thing that we’re bringing out. Uh, any questions, if you want to volunteer for it, give us a shout out at info at – or thebosses, excuse me, at voboss.com. [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Gabby: Right on. Thanks for listening, guys.
Anne: See you next week!
VO: Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved, Anne Ganguzza Voice Talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.