You work to live... you don't live to work.

Whenever I stop blogging for a while, you know what that means: It's either I've been arrested or that I'm too swamped with work and that my life is actually doing pretty great! Obviously, it's the latter and what can I say? I live in the real world. 

Blogging and writing my heart out has always been my outlet. From the moment I saw Sarah Jessica Parker in SITC tapping away on her Apple laptop when I was in college, I thought that would be my future... 

And even as the show ended... and then came the movies, I still thought that'd be my future. 

And guess what? It really turned out that way! That's me.

Well, I don't work primarily as a writer or blogger anymore (just like Carrie Bradshaw, the character, moved on with her life as a writer and an author), and I have had several laptops and computers die over the years (because, yay, technology!). But really I'm still on my computer or whatever device I need for work, nevertheless, about 8-10 hours a day. 

It's always been like that for the past 18 years now. You know that I started at the call centers, then did home-based transcription, then became a virtual assistant. And again, like I always say, I wouldn't want it any other way!

When AI emerged as a perceived threat to human employees in 2022, I didn't feel the panic that many others did. I saw AI not as a replacement, but as a powerful tool that could enhance my capabilities. Early on, I learned how to wield it effectively and integrate it into my workflow.

With artificial intelligence, I've boosted my skills, streamlined my tasks, and increased my productivity. Instead of fearing it, I used AI to my advantage, making myself an indispensable online worker. With this technology, I've stayed ahead of the curve and delivered even more value.

What took me hours to finish back then, made it super simple and quick that in just 15 minutes, I'm done with my task. How's that for productivity? And what that means is now I'm able to take on more work and be super productive (kaching!) because of AI assistance. 

So, no, that doesn't mean AI does *ALL* the hard work. No one replaces human touch and my style may be imitated but I have the final say. It doesn't replicate my unique approach and skills, and I take pride in that. I stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies to ensure my clients get the best results. I stay true to my mission: Providing the highest quality work and delivering excellence.

But I can't emphasize it enough. There's no need to be scared of AI... because using AI has given me more time and freedom, which I think is the best kind of luxury. With ChatGPT, Gemini, Copilot, and all the others helping me out, I can finish my work faster and better. This means I have more free time to do things I love and spend with my family. 

It’s just amazing how these tools can make such a big difference. Now, I get to enjoy my life more while still getting all my work done. As my son keeps reminding me whenever I start getting stressed:

"Hey, mom.... relax. You work to live... you don't live to work." 

So, if you're on the same boat as me, keep in mind that there's plenty of fish in the sea. Let's not limit ourselves but instead, let's continue to strive to create something greater together. Let's be bold and fearless in our efforts. Let's cast wider nets and let's make it happen!

Maria Franco