Time Management Tips for Virtual Assistants
There are many benefits that come with working as a Virtual Assistant. For one, you have the convenience of working from the comfort of your own home or home office. Another upside is avoiding that stressful rush to get ready for the commute to the office. We’ve all been there – rain, hail or shine – doing our best to arrive on time and praying that there won’t be a traffic jam, car breakdown, or that your bus simply doesn’t stop to pick you up! (That’s a long story – and don’t get me started on that one!) There is also our favourite upside for being a Virtual Assistant: not needing to worry about complying with office dress codes. (Unless of course, you do a lot of video conferencing with clients!)
Often, you have complete control of your own time as well. An upside? For sure! However, this can easily become a disadvantage if you do not have an effective time management system in place. Here are a few time management techniques to help you stay on top of your tasks and projects.
- Schedule your to-do list
Before starting your day, make sure you already have a list of everything you need to do for the day. This allows you to plan ahead. Set a timeframe for each task, including meal breaks. You can also breakdown your to-do list into smaller, manageable tasks and set ample time to accomplish each of them. This way, you get a clear vision on what needs to be done for the day.
- Stick to your plan
Once you already have your plan set, stick to it! Block out all potential distractions such as social media, television and unnecessary phone calls. It is work time now – and your goal is to follow your plan and get through your to-do list today.
- Work on high-priority tasks first
If you have urgent or high-priority tasks, make sure you put them on top of your list. Work on the most urgent at the beginning of your shift and make your way down through the rest of your to-do list. That way, you won’t have to worry about the priority not being done by the end of your shift.
- Create a designated workspace
When you’re working from home, it is important to create a designated workspace that is conducive to productivity. Think of it as your own office or cubicle as if you were working in a traditional work setting. Make sure that your space is free from any noise and distractions. If you can’t totally shut these out – because the truth is, even professional offices have noise, whether it be other work colleagues or traffic – adjust your environment so you can minimise the distractions and focus on your goal for the day. It might be as simple as turning off notifications for social media feeds on your phone or computer. And if unnecessary noises cannot be avoided, consider using headphones while working to limit the noise.
- Take time to eat and rest
Taking a break in the middle of a busy work day is very important. Make sure to eat during lunch break and have snacks throughout the day. It’s also okay to do some stretching and take a quick breather to recharge. You need to fuel your mind and body in order for you to be able to finish your to-do list on time.