5 Hacks for Virtual Assistants to Work Smarter

Virtual Assistant Life Hacks

This week I had planned to write about a particular software that I use for my Virtual Assistant Business, but when I sat down to write it...it felt sooooo boring and blah and I didn't feel like talking tech today.

Instead, I started making a list of 'hacks' that have helped me juggle dozens of clients and stay a successful, full-time Virtual Assistant over the past 10 years. What tips could I give new Virtual Assistants that are simple...yet veryeffective?

I narrowed my list down to:

The Top 5 Hacks that have helped me Work Smarter as a Virtual Assistant

1. Have a to-do list.  I use Google Tasks for this.  It's a super basic tool that lets you add to-do's, check them off when complete, write in some notes or sub-tasks if you want to...and if you set due dates, it will sync with your Google Calendar. You can prioritize tasks in order of importance by dragging and dropping them into whatever order you choose. I even use Google Tasks to 'share' some to-do list with clients.  I LOVE tools that are easy, useful and FREE to use.

2.  Communicate consistently with every client. Want to know the number one complaint that most business owners have about their V.A.? That they don't communicate enough!  There are a number of ways I consistently communicate with clients and it does depend somewhat on how much time they have and how much work they give me.  As a general rule - I provide an email update every single day that I've worked on a client's project or task.   I also try to have a weekly or monthly ZOOM meeting with every client to keep us both updated on what's done...and what's upcoming.  Oddly enough, pre-scheduled meetings will end up saving you time...because clients will tend to save their questions and comments for your meetings rather than sending multiple texts and emails every day.

3.  Create an Office Environment.  Yes - I totally get that one of the 'perks' to being a Virtual Assistant is being able to work from anywhere...and sometimes that means the couch in your pajamas.  But when you start to 'blur the lines' between work-life and home-life...you risk driving yourself crazy, working all hours of the night and day, and never feeling like you get to stop and let-go. For myself, I find it best to set strict office hours and have a dedicated workspace.  I even have my 'work clothes' (which care still jeans/leggings...but never pajamas for this girl).  Having defined office hours and a workspace keeps me more productive because I know when I'm at my desk...it's work time...and when I leave, at the same time every day, I can let my 'work thoughts' go and know that it's time to chill.  And there's no better feeling than slipping off my jeans and putting on my sweats after a long day. 

4. Eat that Frog. There is a famous idea that Mark Twain came up with which is:

If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
Similarly, if you do the WORST task on your to-do list, the hardest thing, the most daunting, the one you are dreading, FIRST THING every morning? Then you will feel more productive and satisfied all day knowing that you've already conquered your most challenging task.  This method of managing time has been a game-changer for me (a serial procrastinator) and has definitely had a huge impact on my life and business. 
 
5. Last but not Least...UNSUBSCRIBE. OK Let's be honest: How many people spend valuable minutes every day deleting newsletters from your email inbox THAT YOU HAVEN'T OPENED OR READ IN YEARS?  Yah - me too!  I've learned over the years that one of the best things you can do for yourself is hit that 'unsubscribe' button RUTHLESSLY.  Be a minimalist when it comes to your emails...ain't nobody got time to read 25 newsletters every morning!  Pick 2-3 that are the most valuable to you and let the others go.
 

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