Managing the work requirements of multiple clients can be challenging as a Virtual Assistant. Add in trying to manage your own business admin and things can get very busy.
Getting and staying organized is key to making sure that you are getting everything done that you need to get done and working efficiently.
If you struggle with getting organized, you need to find a system that works for you. Many VAs ask other VAs what they do to keep organized, and then struggle to use systems and processes that don’t work for them.
The way you work is very individual. You may not work like someone else, so that’s why you need to find things like project management systems that work for you.
But here are three things that you can do in your business no matter how you work, that will have you working more efficiently and being more productive:
Creating checklists for tasks that you do with multiple steps is a smart way to work so that you don’t miss anything. You may think that using a checklist for something you know how to do ‘by heart’ is silly, but that’s exactly when you need it most. When we are on autopilot, things can get missed. Checklists also help you to get better at everything you do. When you don’t waste time having to remember the next step, you can work more efficiently and know that nothing got left out.
Develop and follow procedures.
To work more effectively, write out the procedures for everything you do. This helps you see all of the steps necessary to complete any tasks and helps you to see where you can become more efficient if possible. Procedures also help you to ensure that you are doing things the same way every time – and they can also help you to bring on subcontractors easily when you get busy. Procedures also help you to identify how long each task should take you (or someone else) to do – because you can see every single step written out. This is excellent for calculating your package pricing when the time comes.
No matter what you are working on, eliminate all distractions so you can give it your full attention. Studies have shown that the brain is not meant to multitask (even if you think you do it well). You will get a lot more done in a short period of time when it is your only point of focus. Turn off your notifications for social media, put your phone away, and put 15 minutes on the clock. Everyone can wait for 15 minutes to hear back from you! You will be surprised to see how much you can get done when you are only focused on the task at hand.
What tips do you have to stay organized? Project management systems are a great way to keep your tasks organized, and to collaborate with clients. But managing yourself is usually the big issue for VAs who get overwhelmed when there is too much to do.
Your work habits and routines are important for your success. And your focus, and processes too. Try it for yourself. Build a checklist for something that you are doing regularly and see how it helps you to free up brain space that you didn’t know you were using! Create processes for everything you do – starting now, if you don’t have any yet – one task at a time. And focus, focus, focus – you’ll get so much more done in a short period of time that you will surprise yourself!
Tracey D’Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Tracey trains and mentors professional women and men who are brand new to the VA industry or who have been struggling to make their business successful. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to build and grow successful and profitable virtual businesses in the VA industry by implementing systems and smart principles. Contact Tracey for speaking engagements, group training or private coaching at www.yourvamentor.com.