Virtual Assistants around the globe all face one critical challenge to their success. The ability to manage their time efficiently.
It can mean the difference between failure and success. Manage your time well and you’ll not only accomplish more, but you’ll also make more money. And we can all use that right?!
Here are some tips to help you manage your time as a virtual assistant.
Get a Calendar
One of the easiest mistakes to make is to assume you’ll remember the projects you have on hand, what’s due, and when it’s due. This can not only lead to a sense of feeling overwhelmed, you’ll also likely forget something.
There’s nothing worse than having to cram a project in. You’re left feeling like you couldn’t give the project 100% and perhaps have an unhappy client.
The solution is simple. Get a calendar, or calendar software, and use it. Schedule your projects, not only when they’re due but also when you’re going to work on them.
For my business, I created a week-at-glance calendar in Trello and this is how I schedule all my projects. Each Friday my last task is to go through and sort the projects for the upcoming week. I also added the Calendar Power-up so I can see projects on a true calendar.Manage your time well and you’ll not only accomplish more, but you’ll also make more money. And we can all use that right?!
Make Room for Changes
Some days just don’t go very well. Maybe you’d planned on writing a blog post and you wake with a migraine.
Well if you’ve scheduled that blog post to be written the day before it’s due, you’re out of luck. However, if you’ve made room in your calendar for bad days, rush jobs and other challenges life throws at you, then you’ll sail through the project without any problem.
Good communication with clients is important here too. You might be able to work a quick last-minute task (20 minutes or less) into your day, but be sure clients understand to give you plenty of notice for time-consuming tasks so that you can schedule and plan properly.
Stay Focused When You’re Working
Virtual Assistants have the ability to work from anywhere they want. They can work from their couch, the beach, the coffee shop or the park. This freedom also presents challenges. It’s tough to focus.
If you’re great at focusing rather than surfing the web, checking your email or tending your farm on Facebook, then great. If you struggle with focus, consider using a timer to help you stay focused.
If you’re working hourly, you’re probably already using a timer but even if it’s project-based consider still using one. Set the timer for how long it should take you to complete a project and work on the project until the timer beeps. If you’ve been focusing solely on your task, then it should be completed or nearly completed.
Calculate Your Hourly Rate
If you’re money motivated, this is a great way to help you stay focused and on task. Especially when you’re project-based, the more efficient and quick you are, the more money you make on the hour. But if you dawdle and take your time you’re losing money.
Set Aside Time to Relax
All work and no play leads to boredom, procrastination, and a complete and total inability to focus. Set aside time to do nothing, at least nothing work-related. You’ll be much better able to focus and manage your work time later.
Managing your time as a virtual assistant is generally a learned skill. Pay attention to your days, weeks and months. Are you successful? What challenges did you have? How can you eliminate those challenges from happening again? Use these five tips and you’re well on your way to a long and happy VA career.
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