Time Management: The Key to Getting Things Done

 In VA Work Tips and Best Practices

Alice:How long is forever? White Rabbit:Sometimes, just one second.

                                             ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Do you ever find yourself wishing there were more hours in a day? 24 hours seem sufficient, but for busy people with so many obligations both for work and family, this can pass in the blink of an eye.

For virtual assistants who work from home, lack of time is a common cause for concern. The endless juggling of priorities can be overwhelming. In reality, a virtual assistant must take care of a family, a home, and a client’s business — and his or her personal needs notwithstanding. Adulthood comes with a lot of responsibilities, and to be able to handle these responsibilities well, every adult must learn effective time management. Before you brave another day, consider these tips to help you manage your online work and other duties.

  1. Plan ahead.

    Starting your day without a plan is a quick way to waste time. If you start the day by figuring out what tasks you need to do and which one to do first, you can create a schedule that covers everything. Before a work day, make a list of goals that you intend to tackle the next day. This could be done using a work diary or by simply writing your tasks down on a piece of paper for you to see during the beginning of your work session.

  2. Create a timeline.

    This is the best way to organize your tasks. By making a timeline, you create a deadline for each task. Delegate which tasks are meant for the week and which ones should be tackled on the next. This will create a seamless flow of tasks that you can easily manage as you go along. Putting a bit of pressure on yourself can do wonders too. Always make it a goal to keep all your deadlines.

  3. Prioritize.

    Your daily list of tasks must be in order of urgency. Which ones are needed as soon as possible? Which of them can wait? Write down your priority tasks using red ink so that you’ll be reminded to work on them right away.

  4. Don’t get stuck on one task.

    It’s so easy to get stuck on a task especially if it’s difficult, stressful or entails a lot of effort. Avoid ruminating though because you might end up getting stuck on a single task throughout the day. When you feel like you’re taking too much time on a task, set it aside for a moment, and work on easier tasks. This way, you can accomplish more.

  5. Avoid distractions.

    Having a legitimate work from home job means you are exposed to all distractions that happen at home. Make your work time count by minimizing your exposure to your social media accounts, the television set, the radio, an overbearing relative, a noisy neighbor and basically anything and anyone that can distract you. Make this a discipline and you will immediately notice how much you can accomplish in a single day.

  6. Focus.

    Live in the moment and focus. Discipline your mind not to cater to thoughts about your personal problems or other stressors that can pull you away from being in the zone. Bury those thoughts with tasks that you must finish and know that there is a right time to deal with everything.

Mastering the art of time management is one of the best skills you can develop as a virtual assistant. Making it a discipline is no easy feat, but it can be done. Having it injected into your work dynamic will enable you to achieve your goals and will ultimately give you time to cater to both your professional and personal endeavors.


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