A dedicated and motivated virtual assistant works as an independent resource, offering administrative services to clients while working remotely, away from the client’s office. Thanks to virtual assistants, businesses across the world could safely continue their operations in the post-Corona world. So, there importance cannot be stressed enough. However, time is of the essence and time management tips for virtual employees could pose a challenge, especially when the client is in a different time-zone and the virtual assistant in another.
This makes it harder for the client in managing virtual employees. It could lead to missing important deadlines, poor quality work, higher stress levels, hurrying work-life balance and in extreme cases, harming professional reputation. And it would go both ways – the client and the virtual assistant.
So, consider incorporating these time management tips for virtual assistants:
1. Time Limit
If one takes 2 hours or unlimited time to complete a task that can be done within an hour, one invariably up ends up spending more than 2 hours trying to finish it. Make sure to look at the tasks that take longer than usual. So, this is an important time management tip for virtual assistants – put a time limit on duration of the tasks in order to prevent procrastination and distraction, which could decrease your work productivity.
Also, this includes scheduled breaks as that means one gets back to the task at hand within the stipulated time to avoid stretching the shift. However, if going beyond the time limits is still a habit, then it would be wise to examine the workflow and determine if you should set aside a longer time limit to these tasks in the future.
2. Prioritizing Tasks
Importance and urgency should decide the priority of each task. So, remember to allot time to every task and create a time audit, helping you adjust your workload. This way you won’t have too much on the plate at any given time.
So, if the task is important and urgent, make it a point to start right away. If it is important but not urgent, decide when you are going to start doing it. If it is urgent but not an important task for you, delegate the task to someone you trust, if possible. If the task is not urgent and also not important, you should set it aside to do it later.
3. Planning Ahead
As a Virtual Assistant, remember to start every day by drawing the list of things that you need to do. Also, at the end of each day, make it a habit to write out your “to-do” list for the next workday. This will save time and you can start working right away the next morning .
4. Organizing Tasks
Plan your calendar to manage work by writing down the deadlines and setting notifications or reminders for your projects. You can also consider creating a checklist that lists all the tasks that should be done in the run up to a project deadline. Finally, you can also allot the time to undertake each of these tasks.
5. Having a Designated Office Space
Most virtual assistants tend to work from home. This also holds true for most employees in the post-Corona world. There has been sufficient debate on both sides. For some, this has ruined their work-life balance but for some, this model has improved their quality of life. As always, there will be pros and cons but having a designated office space makes it easier to get in the workflow – it creates an ambience where one can peacefully work without getting distracted with kids and chores. So, make sure you have a workspace that is organized and gives you a peaceful environment. This is especially important for those who live in a small apartment as it will block out visual distractions. It is also important to note that one must have proper equipment to get work done, including alternative equipment to work in case the primary workstation fails.
6. Using Excellent Resources and Equipment
To reiterate, equipment plays a significant role when one is working outside the office. So, make sure that it is of top quality and in good working condition. Also, without backup, one could lose time and even work in the event of a system crash. So, the tools of the trade are as important as the tradesman and virtual assistants are not any different.
Also, on the vast space that is the internet, there are numerous free and readily available online resources for organizing work, be it administrative or creative. Many professions are already taking advantage of it. And since the virtual office space is more sophisticated than before, it is important to make the most of all the resources available. This will, undoubtedly, help a virtual assistant be more efficient and organized in accomplishing their tasks and it will also give them an edge in a very competitive market.
7. Self-Care Routine
Stress may be a motivator for many but it may not be the shoe that fits all. While too many workers wear the work grid as badges of honor, the bitter reality is burn out becomes inevitable when one doesn’t take care of their body and mind. As per a paper titled, “The Impact of Stress and Burnout on Employees’ Performance at Botswana Power Corporation”, cognitive, behavioral and physiological effects of stress and burnout meant that an employee cannot perform at their “optimum levels”. The paper concluded that the effect of stress and burnout are a “threat to productivity.”
So, why take pride in things that are actually hurting the work environment, including our productivity? Start setting aside some time to take care of your body and mind. This could be as small as eating well, getting enough sleep, taking short walks and doing meditation for a calmer mind. This will help one be at their best and give their best as well.
Time management is the ultimate way to save time each day and become more efficient at the workplace. It’s a win-win for all parties involved. So, manage time well and win at life and work!