7 Common Distractions of Every Virtual Assistant (and How to Avoid Them)
If you ask a virtual assistant what major problems he/she encounters when working, you’ll probably get distractions as one of the answers.
It has always been a challenge for VAs to get over these challenges the right way. For virtual employees who want to face and overcome these challenges, it’s essential to identify the particular problems first. To give you an idea, here are the 7 common distractions that virtual assistants encounter and how they can be avoided.
Being a VA means that you’re always online, so it’s easy to be tempted by social media. Generally, this is not a distraction if it’s done during your break time. However, time flies when you’re on social media and before you know it, you’re already spending more than 3 hours on social media instead of focusing on your tasks.
Even if you spend less than an hour on social media but it still distracts you from finishing your tasks on time, it would be better to avoid accessing them. The easiest way to prevent this distraction is by not accessing these sites at all when you’re working. It will take discipline, but once you get into the habit, social media will become a lot easier to ignore.
Working by the window can lead to numerous visual distractions like direct sunlight, moving vehicles, etc. Be it day or night, working beside or in front of the window is not advisable as it has easy access to these types of distractions. However, visual distractions can easily be avoided. Assigning a good location for your workstation is the key. Make sure you place your workstation to a location that is far from windows but still properly lit.
Working in the bedroom my not be a good idea. The sight of the bed might distract you and make you take a short nap that may lead to longer naps. This will cause inefficiency and will make you unproductive. One way to get over this is to place your designated workstation outside of your bedroom. This way, you can focus on working on your tasks and not thinking about sleep.
Living with children is a challenge and sometimes a source of distraction. With kids running around the house and making noise, it’s difficult to quickly finish the work you’re doing. One way to deal with this is to schedule your day with kids, entertain and play with them for a few hours, and when they take a nap, that’s when you can work without any noise. Another alternative is to assign a playroom for kids so the noise can be controlled.
A ringing phone is one distraction that’s enough to make you stop what you’re doing and get up from your seat. Since it’s always important to attend to calls because you don’t know if they’re urgent or not, it would be better to adjust the volume of the ringing to avoid being startled by the noise. If you really need to attend to calls, keep it short and simple and immediately get back to work once the call is done.
Working while the TV is on is tempting but also distracting. You’ll tend to lose focus on your work as you’ll have divided attention. Once you’re hooked on the TV program, you’ll end up not finishing your tasks on time. To prevent this from happening, simply don’t watch television when it’s time to work. Or transfer to another location where the TV’s visuals and sound won’t reach you.
Since it’s likely that you work at home, you’ll be tempted to clean instead of focusing on work. Before you know it, your house is clean, but you ended up not finishing your tasks. To prevent this from happening, you must first understand that it’s important to establish boundaries between household chores and paid work. Set a scheduled time to finish your paid work and then work on the household chores later on. Proper scheduling of your priorities is the key here.
Once you take note and learn how to avoid the seven distractions of VAs listed above, expect an increase in productivity and reliability. This will not only benefit the client you’re working for, it would also give you a big boost in your career.
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