If you’re struggling to manage your time more effectively, you’re not alone. It’s official; we’ve been living through a pandemic for an entire year now. We’ve had to change our routines, adjust our expectations, and realign our goals to consider these circumstances affecting our homes and professional lives. Since VAs have always worked remotely, many clients come to us in desperate need of help to manage their time and stay organized at work as the line between their home life and work has become blurred. Since VAs are veterans at creating healthy work/life balances for our clients, we are able to help you manage your time and your business more effectively.
Have A Plan Of Attack Everyday
When you want to manage your time more effectively, half the battle is taking care of tedious time-suckers. Thankfully, virtual assistants are experts in this arena. Make a to-do list in order of priority for the day ahead. This way, you and your virtual assistant will know exactly what to expect and already be in a good headspace to tackle the plan first thing. Even better, if your virtual assistant knows your schedule front to back, you can have him/her make the list for you. Consider how much time each task should take, and try to keep it confined to the schedule you mapped out. Procrastinating or dragging out tasks eats into time reserved for other things. A good plan should help you avoid this so you’ll have more time to do the things you look forward to.
Use A Calendar Or An Organizer App
Transfer that daily game plan or to-do list to your calendar to lock in your deadlines and the estimated time you’ll need for each task. This keeps your day on track and more importantly, holds you accountable. If you use an app, sync it to all of your devices. If you use a paper calendar that you physically write on, be sure it’s never far from your sight. Use a timer or alarm to set reminders and help you keep to the schedule, especially if you find you’re easily distracted. You can also have your virtual assistant hold you accountable by managing your schedule and sending reminders to you.
One Thing At A Time
Multitasking sounds productive in theory, but only if you’re actually good at it, and most people aren’t. Switching back and forth between tasks costs you time because with each change, you have to force your brain into a new train of thought. Not to mention, it can be tough to build the momentum to finish things that were left incomplete. Focus on one task at a time and follow it through to completion if you can. Remember to use a timer if there are other things you have to get to at certain hours. Having a virtual assistant deal with the daily operations of your business means you’re basically always multitasking, so you never have to feel guilty if you’re only able to take on one thing at a time. Focus on your strengths and allow yourself ample time to work through those obligations at a comfortable pace you can stick with. Leave the rest to your virtual assistant.
Get Your Messages Under Control
Like everyone else with an email address, you’re probably overwhelmed with messages pouring in constantly. However, if you never leave your inbox, you’ll be a slave to it. Have your virtual assistant set your inbox up for success. They can create filters so emails from specific people go into designated folders, allowing you to optimize when you read which messages. Labels also help prioritize what to respond to first and allow you to refer back to past message chains. Your virtual assistant can also take care of deleting and unsubscribing from marketing emails so you never waste your time on those. Lastly, establish a designated start and end time to check your messages. This helps you dive right in to what needs to be taken care of, alleviating distraction and streamlining the process.
When you’re creating your daily plan, try to organize your to-dos according to task categories if possible. For example, if you have phone calls to make, try to do them all at once. File receipts, pay invoices, or complete other bookkeeping and budgeting tasks at the same time. Similar to the struggle of multitasking, it’s difficult to switch your train of thought back and forth, especially if the tasks require different skills or you have to use different programs or websites. Categorizing tasks helps minimize the time and energy they take or that you spend thinking about them.
Creating a better work/life balance will equate to more productive, happier days. As a business owner, there are a million little things in the day that can bog you down so you can’t get any real work done. The best way to maximize your efficiency is to delegate as much as possible to your virtual assistant so you can focus on the bigger decisions or projects that require your expertise and finesse. A virtual assistant can help you streamline your daily systems and add measurable growth to your business by saving you time and money.
Lauren Gall is Co-founder of VaVa Virtual Assistants. This post is adapted from an article originally published at vavavirtual.com.