It’s All in a Day’s Work: A Virtual Assistant’s Time Management Superpowers!
The working day of a Virtual Assistant often includes completing tasks for your Clients in a way that pulls you in many different, sometimes competing directions.
Personally, my first rule to tackling my day is: Do Not Panic!
Below are suggestions on some tools to incorporate into your day to ensure YOU beat the day, and that the day does not beat you: –
Awareness of “Your Zone”:
Beginning your day with a sense of composure and centeredness can really set a good tone for achieving your day’s tasks. Practicing some kind of self-awareness exercises to determine what gets you in “your zone” is a worthwhile endeavour as early on in your VA career as possible.
My personal preference for starting my day right is light exercise, stretching and a good breakfast – sometimes it’s the basics like energy levels and hydration that can make all the difference in our mental output and work performance – I’m sure we’ve all heard of the colloquial term “hangry” that humorously describes the phenomenon of when hunger meeting anger! I would encourage Virtual Assitants to find out whatever it is that gets you in your zone, as this is vital to ensuring you remain balanced and don’t burn out.
As independent consultants working in the VA field, we may have more than one Client to serve, as well as a home-work balance to fulfil, so it is important to spend a bit of time organising the daily, weekly and monthly needs of your Clients, as well as your own.
If you have certain tasks that are only due at month-end or mid-month, setting reminders a couple of days prior to those deadlines will give you the lead-time you need to prepare for the attainment of those goals. Tasks like invoicing and subscriptions needn’t creep up on you and catch you unawares if you’ve set up reminders ahead of time.
Good communication obviously cannot be over-stated, and part of this skill is learning the most opportune time to communicate with others, as well as the best method of communication.
- Communicating with Clients: Knowing when your Client expects you to check in with them or give them feedback on a task is key. Knowing when to use email, or make a phone call or send a text message is also very useful – this is usually quite personal to your Client’s individual preferences, so it doesn’t hurt to ask about this early on in the relationship.
- Communicating with your Client’s Contacts: Again, this is a skill that requires you to pay attention to the patterns of your contacts you engage with on your Client’s behalf. If you are dealing mainly with managerial and executive contacts that have limited availability during their day, a quick call to their office to find out the best time to phone them is best practice. In addition to this, find out the names and contact details of any PAs that can assist you with those lines of communication and create a professional camaraderie where you can reach out as needs be going forward.
- Communicating with Co-Virtual Assistants: Keeping in touch with your VA home-team and other VAs is vital to not feeling isolated and having access to priceless resources to help you solve challenges you may face in your daily tasks.
Determining and Working Toward Medium & Long Term Goals:
As Virtual Assistants, we are essentially entrepreneurs. And as such, we ought to set aside time in our calendars for on-going professional development to increase the basket of goods we can offer to the marketplace. Skills like basic and intermediate-level social media management, digital marketing and bookkeeping, can really raise your professional profile and workplace demand as a VA.
Keeping abreast of online courses and webinars to up-skill ourselves is vital, as continued and sustainable growth in any business should be a primary goal. This goes back to the importance of keeping in touch with your VA home-team, and tapping into the network right at your fingertips.
All in all as a Virtual Assistant, your job satisfaction, career trajectory and earning potential, is something that you play a central role in – and that should be an empowering and liberating thought and opportunity for all of us! Being a VA is being part of a technologically advanced and future-oriented career – and the lifestyle benefits it offers cannot be rivalled by most traditional careers! Go forth VAs, and be awesome!