3 Techniques that Help You Get Things Done

 In VA Work Tips and Best Practices

Managing time wisely and getting things done are among the most important skills that any worker, not just virtual office assistants, need to master. But knowing that you need to handle your time better and actually doing steps to do so are two entirely different things.

As a home-based virtual assistant, you face more distractions than those who work in a typical office setting. The almost inevitable mixing of your work and home life can be challenging, and it can cause you to become unproductive and feeling out of your depth. The good news is, with time management being a universal work issue, many people have come up with their own tactics on how to conquer it.

Here are three proven techniques that you can employ to help you get things done.

Techniques that Help You Get Things Done

The Pomodoro Technique

How it works:

The Pomodoro Technique is a tried-and-tested time management approach that was pioneered by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It works by breaking your working hours into 25-minute (typically, but you can vary it) of focused work followed by short breaks of around 5 – 10 minutes. There plenty of web apps and mobile apps that help you put the Pomodoro Technique into practice.

It’s great for you if:

If you find it difficult to concentrate on tasks for long periods of time and you feel like you work well under pressure, the Pomodoro Technique is perfect for you. It helps you get things done by making your work habits work for you instead of against you. You don’t have to force yourself to work for a long time, your Pomodoro timer breaks down your work for you in a way that makes it easily digestible.

It’s not for you if:

Your schedule is unpredictable or you usually have sudden tasks or meetings than can disrupt your workflow.

The Bullet Journal

How it works:

A bullet journal combines a to-do list, a planner, and a diary in one easy-to-manage tool. A bullet journal makes use of quick notes coupled with special symbols that signify a certain task, that is, each symbol has a designation. For instance, a simple ‘•’ bullet point can be used for things you need to do, you mark it over with an ‘✗’ for things that you have already done, a ‘<’ symbol signifies tasks that have been scheduled for a later date, and so on. A bullet journal works by simplifying your to-do list and making it much faster to jot things down.

It’s great for you if:

If you have hundreds of to-do list apps and planners and can’t keep track of each one of them, a bullet journal is perfect for you. It also helps you stimulate your creativity because you can make use of nice journals and even color-code your bullets.

It’s not for you if:

If you tend to get planners and forget to write on them after some time, bullet journals are probably not your best bet. Ditto if you just dislike the idea of keeping a physical pen-and-paper journal.

The GTD (Getting Things Done) Philosophy

How it works:

GTD, or Getting Things Done, is a productivity philosophy and book crafted by productivity consultant David Allen. The initial impression of many people on GTD is that it’s much more complicated and difficult to practice compared to other popular productivity methods, but that’s because it doesn’t really have strict guidelines for you to follow. The key idea is that your brain is for generating ideas, not keeping them. Therefore, you have to write down your ideas, plans, and other thoughts so that you can organize, prioritize, and schedule them accordingly.

It’s great for you if:

If you want to completely overhaul the way you work and replace it with a practice that sticks, GTD will work for you. Sure, it takes longer than usual to get used to, but when you get it to work for you, the benefits are worth it.

It’s not for you if:

You are a stickler for steps to follow. GTD is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so you might not like it if you want a solid set of instructions for improving your productivity. If you don’t have time to invest in working the philosophy out, it’s best to steer clear of it for now as well.

 

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