Remember the early days in your career when a simple to-do list was enough to keep your virtual assistance business on track? Over time business picked up until you soon found yourself juggling several clients’ tasks. Business is booming! Great news right? Not always.
When you have a full workload, it is very likely that things will begin to slip through the cracks, time management skills will deteriorate, workloads will drag long into the night, and clients will become angry when work is not completed as promised….or forgotten about altogether!
So how does a virtual assistant keep it all straight? Time management. VAs need to learn to work smarter and not harder in their business in order to thrive. Here are four tips to help any virtual assistant keep their sanity intact and keep clients happy at the same time:
- Plan your time and find a calendar system that works for you such as Google Calendar. Many calendars are “cloud” based applications that can be accessed from your computer or mobile device from anywhere at any time so you always know what is planned for the day. Virtual assistants can schedule events, appointments, phone calls, and tasks so they never miss a thing. The best part is: cloud based calendars can be shared or viewed by multiple users so everyone is onboard.
- Know there are bound to be interruptions throughout your day. It happens… all the time. Even with the best laid out scheduling, there will be distractions, emails to answer, questions from clients, and yes…problems to resolve. Plan time for interruptions – it’s a natural part of your workday so don’t overbook yourself with scheduled tasks. Here’s a tip for answering emails: don’t leave your email tool open all day. It’s too tempting to click in and out several times a day and waste valuable time. Open your email only at designated times during the day, process the emails, and then close your email tool. You will add several minutes or even an hour or so to your day.
- Forget about multi-tasking. You actually accomplish more when you focus on one task at a time. Trying to multi-task several projects at a time can reduce your quality of work and leave projects half finished or incomplete. According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, you actually spend between 20 and 40 percent more time when multitasking than if you just completed each task as they arise. It just makes sense – if a task doesn’t have your complete attention, important details will be overlooked.
- Take a break and give your mind time to recharge. Go for a walk, get a snack, or just get up to stretch…and don’t forget to take lunch! No one works well when the stomach is rumbling. Stepping away from your home office or workstation gives your brain a chance to switch gears, rest, and ultimately increase creatively when you return to tasks at hand.
With these tips, virtual assistants will find they can become more productive throughout their day. With state-of-the-art scheduling tools, elimination of distractions, keen focus, and recharging time, a VA can take their business to the next level of productivity and profit.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.
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