9 Time Management Tips

As a Virtual Assistant, my most important 9 Time Management Tipsintentions wrap around time management.

When you own your own business, there is no lee-way for lack of organization.

I juggle multiple clients, and various types of projects, and this is what I am mindful of with my own time management:

  1. Have a system in place. I love Trello for project management and general list making. I also use this app when I have ideas for personal and business growth—I list the action steps out as a checklist. I use a paper planner as well. There are just so many needs that run off in different directions, and sometimes paper is better. Whatever works for you—have a planning and tracking system in place.
  2. Schedule your time. Use a digital calendar or a paper calendar, either way. I schedule time off, time for production, and I separate my time by client.
  3. Schedule the completion of tasks or projects in a manner that is most productive for you. Schedule difficult items for the time of day, or even the day of week, when you are most alert. Knock out the most complicated of projects when you are at your optimal speed—full of brain power.
  4. Do not allow interruptions! Make sure your loved-ones, co-workers, whoever, know that your work time is blocked off for production.
  5. Do not slip off to social media when you have task or project time on the calendar. Social media is a whirlpool that that can suck you down under. Time can never be retrieved once it’s pulled away!
  6. Keep a note-taking system on hand at all times. I love to leave verbal messages on my phone for myself. I also carry a small notebook with me. Once a day, transfer your ideas to a planner (or an app, Trello, paper planner, etc.). This allows you to brain dump these ideas, allowing them to remain fresh—to be used at a later time or day. You don’t have to remember everything!
  7. Identify your time wasters. What do you do that you can do more efficiently, or eliminate?
  8. What can you delegate? Who can help you at home, at work, or in your business (an on-site assistant virtual)?
  9. Plan off-site time for yourself. Pencil in your break, and stay away from your desk, social media, studying, thinking about work or your business during your time! This is an absolute path to rejuvenation of your mind.

What are your time management tricks? Share with us!

Virtual Assistants are Powerful Team Members

What is the difference between one time task management  in comparison to the role of a Virtual assistants are powerful team memberslong-term virtual assistant (VA)?

I see my role as a virtual assistant as a team member, so I will base my answer to this question on my personal thoughts and opinions.

A team member consistently has their eyes focused on the betterment of the business (both their own business and the client’s business). This equates to looking beyond the task at hand. The VA role is better defined as an off-site manager. A valuable manager does this:

  • Personal Proficiency – Possesses personal qualities that make him/her effective. Possesses and uses social skills, ethical behaviors, and emotional intelligence.
  • Strategy – Adjusts to varied business needs as needed. Properly responds to challenges and/or emergencies. Prudent decision maker. Involves and asks for the client’s involvement with grace and precise common sense.
  • Executes – Delivers as promised. Makes things happen. Backs up their own word with actions taken.
  • Manages People – This depends on the VA’s role, but, every VA must be razor sharp with the handling of clients, customers, and this is reflected in verbal and written skills.
  • Accountability Model – Always present. Now, this doesn’t mean a VA is present 24/7 — no, no and no — but the VA is reasonably present and always responsive. When a VA is contracted in, they aren’t simply a paper or online spreadsheet pusher (for example), they become a thinker, and this goes beyond the task at hand. Open eyes, open ears, and (hopefully) a client that is open to hearing recommendations.

So, there are the qualities of a virtual assistant (VA) beyond the one-time task at hand. There’s plenty enough VA’s that work for the completion of one-time tasks. They are out there – available. Many of us, though, have the drive to go beyond!

Related post: Defining Virtual Assistant Roles

Defining Virtual Assistant Roles

Virtual Assistant Roles

By now, most of us know what a VA (virtual assistant) is. Still, let’s spell out the basic definition: A Virtual Assistant is a team member who happens to work remotely.

Virtual Assistants complete work under contract:

  • by a single task or project
  • by the hour
  • by the week, month, or year

Virtual Assistants are not employees—business owners hire VA’s under contract. The business owner is not obligated to pay employment taxes, nor are they required to provide benefits. Office space and equipment falls to the sole responsibility of the VA, a plus for any business owner.

Today, Virtual Assistants fall into different roles, or categories. Examples (which are fast-changing in today’s business world):

  • GVA (General Virtual Assistant)
  • OBM (Office Business Manager)

It is entirely up to the business owner to determine what needs they want or need to have met by a Virtual Assistant. These are some of the questions I recommend business owners think about when considering hiring a VA:

    • Do you need an assistant to help you get organized?
    • Do you need an assistant that has the ability to operate your back office—virtually?
    • Do you need an assistant to complete your administrative tasks?
    • Do you have specific needs, such as, video editing, podcast transcription, or email maintenance? Blog or email writing? Proofreading?
    • What tasks/areas do you not get done, persistently put off/cannot do yourself?

The types of work and roles that can be filled by a VA are nearly endless, and as I mentioned earlier in this post—similar to most things in business today (social media, for example)—virtual assistance is a fast-changing field. It morphs all of the time!

I hope I answered any general questions you might have about the role of a Virtual Assistant, and if not, I would love to see your comments!

Goal Setting Beyond the New Year

goal setting www/relianceoutsourcing.comWhere are you with obtaining your goals and aspirations today?

Are you where you want to be with your business, personal, or other intentions?

Many of us set goals at the end of the year—in an effort to begin the new year with a fresh start. This is a good starting point, but unfortunately unless there are solid check points in place, the achievement of our goals dwindle away as the months float by.

Specific goal setting must go hand-in-hand with exact planning and implementation.

For each goal:

  1. Determine an “achieve by” date
  2. Determine stopping points to review progress (monthly, weekly, or daily)
  3. Record these check-in dates (electronically—in an app, in a paper planner, in an inexpensive notebook…on paper)
  4. Commit to checking your progress as scheduled, and ensure action is being taken for each goal

So, let’s look at an example of a goal. You want to finish writing and self-publish your book in the next 4 months. This would be the outline of your steps in obtaining your goal:

  • Determine and record the “finish by” date
  • Record each specific step of the book that you must complete (write/proof/edit/obtain cover/submit to self-publisher)
  • Break the complete-by time frame down into monthly increments—which will be your check-in points. Ask yourself, where do I need to be at each monthly check in?
  • In order to obtain your  monthly goals, what do you need to do weekly? Daily? How often will you working on the book (especially if not daily)? How many hours/minutes can you devote to the book each day? Make a record of your weekly and daily goals.
  • Make yourself accountable. Who is your support person? Choose someone that will not let you off the hook. If you aren’t where you are supposed to be at your weekly or monthly check-ins, the person you have chosen (and has agreed to do this—ask them beforehand) must not sugar-coat their reaction to any lack of momentum you might share with them. On the other hand, celebrate some of the set points you successfully reach! Remember: when you are achieving your goals, celebration isn’t designed just for the end!

Where are you today with your goals for 2017? We are beyond mid-year (yes…already)!

Say Goodbye to Defeating Words

quit-2

Our lives are shaped by our thoughts, but our words speak volumes about ourselves.

Our words affect those that hear them.

Our words send us in directions we either do or do not want to go.

I quit. I give up. I retreat. I failed. No, no, and no!

When we quit, we move on to something new. Right? We never quit, we get better. We have revelations, we move towards our goals, and we march onwards.

I love to throw up my hands and wave to (whomever) is behind me, “See y’all later. I am moving forward.” This doesn’t put me on a higher level than anyone else, it simply means I am through with dragging my feet. I am through with sharing negative talk. I see a new path, and I am ON IT. Thank the good Lord for that insight. Adios amigos! See you later.

I remind myself when I am NOT ON IT:

  • I am enough (beyond God).
  • I am protected.
  • I am creative. I nurture my gifts and talents.
  • I shape my own destiny.
  • I am surrounded by love.
  • I great this day with curiosity and wonder.
  • I have the power to transform my life.
  • I am at peace.

This does become second nature. Concentrating on ability and self-worth is healthy, both mentally and physically, and it is catching.

When we stand firm and confirmed in peace, it spreads to others in ripples and waves.

Let’s do this together.