Time management hacks you need to practice as a Virtual Assistant

Among the many challenges VAs face in their career, more than developing skills and booking projects, is time management. Yup, we are all guilty of keeping work schedules that is out of whack! Not to mention that if you are a work-at-home parent, there is also the family and children that you need to equally attend to. Sometimes work gets too overwhelming (even if they aren’t, really) you no longer know which ones to prioritize.

If there is really one skill we all need to master, it is time management. We all know what this means and the benefit it brings to our work efficiency when we have mastered it. Not only that, you reduce the amount of stress in your work and life when you apply good time management, most especially when you wear too many hats.

There are just too many time management hacks out there, but what does work for a VA like you? I’ll discuss some that works for me as a coach and active virtual assistant.

Get enough sleep. This is one of the best foundations for making time management work. Your body needs that energy to get through the day. If you deprive yourself of sleep just because you’re busy finishing work, in time your body will wear down and will just force yourself to sleep right in the middle of an important work.

List down your tasks for the following day before you sleep.  As you do this, categorize each and set priority codes base on what is urgent or important. Also, set a time for finishing each tasks. This saves you time thinking about what should be done first when it’s time to work on these tasks.

     Use a timeblock method. Timeblocking is a method used by most freelancers I know wherein you simply block a specific no. of hours to finish off a task. With this method you are strongly discouraged of multi-tasking because you will obviously lose focus and just end up extending time to finish off your given task.

Don’t overwhelm your day! In as much as you think and feel that you can accomplish more than 3 big goals a day, don’t! Even if you aren’t multi-tasking working on big goals requires undivided attention. If you have other big goals in mind within the day, your attention will drift on those and it will have an overall effect on your efficiency.

Take a break. Just as sleeping is necessary, so is taking a break within the day. Taking a short break help manage the build of stress in your work as well as the body aches you may be experiencing from sitting for too long.

Learn to say no to intervening tasks. Intervening tasks may seem related to what you are currently doing but if it is not in any way directly related, or that the result of doing that is not connected to what you’re currently doing, then cordially decline to do that task until you’re done with the major ones. The idea behind staying in focus with your task at hand is all about building a momentum; once you break that it might take a while again to get yourself on track when you have to.

     Integrate your work across your mobile devices. This may seem an advanced time management hack, but if you’re a VA this is necessary especially when you are always on the go. Making use of apps that can help manage your work remotely sans your laptop will allow you to be “reachable” to your clients.

Always remember that as you manage your time, you are also managing your work-life balance which is the most important thing. There is no such this as being effective at work yet out-of-whack at home or in your personal life. Sooner or later something’s got to give that you may not be prepared for.