Five Things To Help You Manage Your Time As A Virtual Assistant

timeYour time is your money and if you don’t manage it properly there’s a danger that you could let other people spend it for you. When you’re in any service related business (like a virtual assistant) you know that you’re going to have many distractions and “calls for your time.” People and projects are going to try and call you this way and that, so it’s up to you to set some rigid rules to help you manage your time effectively.

 

 

1. Determine what’s valuable to you. You know when you get that satisfied feeling – when you conclude a certain project or task and feel that you have accomplished something. Prioritise these tasks and treat them like goals. When you do this you will find that you feel much better about your progress during any given day. The better you feel about yourself and your productivity, after all, the more you’re going to get accomplished and the happier you’re going to be at work.

2. You need to avoid “switching.” Switching is very definitely the thief of time and productivity. This is the act of moving from one productive task to another – which may be productive or not, it doesn’t really matter. The whole point here is that the time you spend in winding down your thoughts and attention in relation to the original task right up until you really engage with the new task is dead time and totally unproductive. You can find yourself switching many times during any given day without actually realising it. When you find yourself doing this next try and calculate the amount of dead time involved and put a value on it. It’ll scare you. Eliminate distractions, turn off instant messages, put your phone on silent and close down your e-mail programme. If you do this you’ll be able to focus on the task in hand and keep that switching monster at bay.

3. Use the best tools available to you. Are you really being efficient if you just scribble some notes down on the desk diary, or even worse try to plot your way through any given day in your head? There are so many great tools available in the cloud these days, such as Evernote. Check these solutions out and they will help you to plan, prioritise and execute.

4. Delegate as much as you can. Even though you’re the “outsourcee” for your clients, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t outsource some of your tasks to other virtual assistants. Determine the tasks that are more difficult for you due to your unique skill set and don’t be afraid to bring others into the mix.

5. Set appointments for yourself. Allow time in your calendar for “me.” You have to look after yourself and your family. You have to enjoy some rest and relaxation time. It’s not all about work by any means and by achieving a balance in your life you’re more likely to be more productive on the job as well.

What’s the best way that you have found to stay “on task”?