My December Challenge: Improving My Time Management and Organisation In 2018 – By T. Barkus
As a Virtual Assistant juggling several clients across 3 continents, 4 time zones and differing industries, it is vital to be organised. In fact, organisation is absolutely paramount if I don’t want to end up in a daily panic under my desk!
So when the VA Connect team was instructed to get to know a colleague in order to identify and set them a suitable challenge during the month of December; the challenge set for me by my colleague was well selected!
My challenge – to improve my Administration and Organisational skills by taking an online course.
With a wealth of courses to choose from, I took a while to choose one (I went on to learn that procrastination must be resisted!) and eventually decided on an Introduction to Time Management and Organisation course.
Here is a summary of the main points I learnt from the course that are most applicable to Virtual Assistants.
Create a daily plan: Plan each day in the morning with an overview of how the day should pan out. This forms a guideline and will help keep you focused.
Prioritize tasks wisely: For me, choosing a list of daily tasks and the order to complete them is dictated by deadlines and also by time zones. If possible I like to work on my US client’s work in the evenings when they are around (during their late morning) for me to interact with and ask questions if required.
Time box your tasks: For each task, it is advised that you allocate a set amount of time to work on it. This results in better productivity.
Use a calendar: Using a calendar is fundamental to staying on top of daily activities and looming deadlines. I use Google Calendar mainly and it is synced to my mobile phone so I get alerts and reminders wherever I am.
Aim to be early: If you target to be on time, you may well achieve your target but often will be late! It was suggested that if you schedule to be early, you’ll most likely be on time. A tip I am going to use for sure.
It’s ok to say no! Learn to say no sometimes (politely of course) rather than agreeing to do something that you will then not being able to fulfil or complete to your best ability. In my experience this is very wise advice and clients appreciate honesty.
Don’t procrastinate: A habit we are all guilty of I am sure but when you have a busy schedule of clients, procrastination can cause havoc! As a Virtual Assistant, the best way to avoid too much procrastination is to focus on one key task at a time and to check yourself when you realise your concentration is wandering. Time is too valuable!
Thanks to my colleague Chantel for the challenge. I am looking forward to a more organised and productive 2018.