6 Ways to Manage Your Time Better Every Day as a VA

6 Ways to Manage Your Time Better Every Day as a VA

If you are a Virtual Assistant who is working early mornings, late nights, or both trying to get it all done, it’s time to look at how you manage your time every day.

As a VA, we preach to our clients the importance of not working all hours of the day. But are we taking our own advice?

How is your VA business running? Are you finding you have enough time in your day to do your client work and your business admin?

Or are you struggling every day to get it all done?

If you constantly run to keep up, or get to the end of your day and your task list is not complete, it’s time to look at a few ways you can better manage your time.

Being in business doesn’t mean you have to work all hours – we tell our clients all the time that they shouldn’t, and yet we sometimes don’t take that advice to our own hearts.

Here are 6 tips to help you become more productive (or figure out where your time is going!):

Assess your To Do List

When you start your work day, look at what it is you need to get done. How does it look? Do you immediately know that this will be a very busy day – that you might not get it all done? That’s okay if that happens occasionally, but if it’s happening every day, you need to assess what you are putting into your calendar and how you can adjust it.  What you plan for the day needs to be manageable.

Work During Business Hours

When you are running a business, you have to pick and choose what to do – and your billable work should come before everything else. With no client revenue, your business will not survive. Working during business hours instead of doing the groceries or going to Johnny’s school is important. You don’t have to work 9-5 every day, but you do need to set business hours that work for you and work during them as much as possible.  Trying to work around family needs will lead to burnout faster than if you just hold certain periods of time for you to be working on business.

Block Out Your Schedule

Blocking out your schedule helps you to identify what you should be doing at what time. That doesn’t mean rigid and boring routines – but it does help you stay focused and let others know when you will get to things. Put start times and stop times in your calendar, so you know when it’s time to move on to the next task. Advise you clients what your turnaround time is for their projects. Block out personal time like meals and breaks – no eating at your desk! You will get more done, and still be able to do everything you want – business and personal.

Limit Distractions

One of the biggest issues with working from home is distractions. Sometimes it’s because there are others home with us during the day, and sometimes it’s just that no one else is watching us. We can do whatever we want! If you are not being as productive as you need to be, try switching off all distractions – notifications, social media, Netflix (!) – and see just how much you can get done in a short period of time. It’s really effective – trust me!

Get Support When You Need It

If you are working all hours of every day, look at why that is. What is taking up your time? If it is billable work, it may be time to hire a sub or two to lighten your load. It’s a great to build your business and bring in even more clients, when you get a couple of people to help you with the client work. When you are working alone, you will eventually max out the amount of work you can produce for clients. If you are underwater with bookkeeping or marketing tasks, consider getting help with those. Support is something we tell our clients is essential to grow their business, and the same is true for our own.

Use Checklists

Even if you think you know what you need to do, a checklist is an indispensable tool in our businesses. When you have a a repeatable task, set up a checklist for it so you don’t have to think about what to do next. You will free up very valuable brain space when you just need to consult a checklist to complete your tasks. And you can use a checklist when you bring in other support to help you.

When you work alone, no one is there to make sure you get everything done and don’t fall off track. You need to do it yourself.

By implementing simple things like scheduling, focus and checklists, you can help yourself get more done in a shorter period of time.

When you are starting your VA business, time management seems less important because you don’t have a full client load. As you get busier, you will need to manage many more tasks every day.

I always find myself dropping balls when I have less to do, not more. When I have lots of things to get done,  I manage my time much better.

Setting up good practices now is a good habit to get into, so when you get really busy you already have great habits!

If you want more lessons on time management, check out my Productivity videos on my YouTube channel. There are more than 50 free training videos for Virtual Assistants there! 

How to Know If Being A VA Is Right for You

If you come from an administrative background and you are considering starting your own business then being a VA is a good choice.

It’s a service that is in demand. And the demand seems to be growing.

More and more people are realizing the value of outsourcing their administrative needs.

It’s a career choice that promises variety, daily challenges and the freedom of being your own boss.

However, it’s not the right choice for everyone.

Here are a few questions to help you determine if being a VA is right for you.

Are You Good at Managing Your Time?

As a virtual assistant you’re going to have to balance a lot of tasks. You’ll balance client work. You’ll balance managing your business. You’ll also want to market and grow your business. And of course the day to day responsibilities like laundry don’t go away either. There will be a lot of demands on your time, energy, and attention.

If you’re good at managing your time, then great. If you can focus and be productive you have what it takes to be a VA. If time management isn’t your strength, there’s still hope. Start adopting habits right now to better manage your time. Learn to schedule and prioritize. Learn how to focus and be productive.

Are You Motivated and Enthusiastic?

Being a VA takes a lot of positive energy. You’ll want to be able to get up every morning and be able to focus on your business. Of course there will be low energy days. Everyone has them. However, in order to succeed as a VA, you’ll want to be brimming with energy and enthusiasm to start, grow, and manage your business.

Are You Organized?

In addition to organizing your own business needs, tasks and information you’ll need to organize your client’s. That’s part of your job. Your clients need your help getting and keeping them organized. And the more organized you are, the more productive you’ll be. Not organized? Start creating systems right now. You can still be successful. However, you’ll have to pay careful attention to your systems and practices. Make yourself be organized.

Are You Social?

Okay, so you don’t have to be a social butterfly to succeed as a VA. However, you will want to be easy to communicate with. Clients and prospects will communicate with you via email and the telephone. Make sure you’re comfortable talking with strangers. Also, the more social you are, the more clients you’re likely to meet online and off. It’s easier to build your business when you’re delighted to talk about it with others.

If you don’t have all of these skills or personality traits, it’s okay. Most of them can be learned. You can even learn to be motivated and enthusiastic. If you want to start a VA business that desire is the first step. The rest will fall into place.

For more information on how to start your own VA business, pick up our Start Your VA Business Checklist. It walks you step-by-step through the things you need to do to get your business foundations, services & rates, forms, and marketing pieces set up correctly so you can get your VA business open and running smoothly. And if you business is already open, you can use the checklist to ensure that you have all the foundational pieces in place to be more successful. Pick up your copy here!