The emergence of the gigging economy has given rise to the virtual assistant, resulting in quite possibly the most convenient marriage of work-life balance and productivity imaginable.
Freelancing is a popular career stepping stone for many, yet with this form of work comes a raft of responsibilities that such people are unlikely to have contended with before. Invoicing, call handling and basic office administrative duties are essential when you work for yourself, but can be nothing more than a distraction when just starting out
Enter the virtual assistant, another freelancing venture that is geared towards assisting micro business owners with these vital tasks.
Due to the number of responsibilities virtual assistants have, and the need to distribute their time across multiple clients, maintaining high levels of controlled productivity is vital. In this post, we’re going to explore how that can be achieved.
1. Find a dedicated working space
Virtual assistants typically work from home, but, unfortunately, homes are full of distractions.
To avoid them, choose a dedicated working space - and stick to it. Be it the spare room, dining room table or converted garage, your chosen work space will become a haven of productivity by putting you squarely in ‘work mode’.
2. Get the right tools
We’re surrounded by excellent, low-cost productivity tools. Here’s three that work brilliantly for virtual assistants:
Failing that, the humble to-do list notebook and accompanying pen will always work!
3. Learn (and use) keyboard shortcuts
An old trick, but one that is still relevant today.
Keyboard shortcuts within apps and operating systems save a huge amount of time. Make sure you learn as many as possible and put them into practice throughout the working day.
4. Achieve Inbox Zero
Email is a productivity killer. Make sure it doesn’t ruin your day by working to achieve Inbox Zero.
This is a technique which forces you to deal with email systematically and in a way that ensures you’re never deluged by unread messages. It’s a brilliant tactic, because it removes the mess and stress associated with email that slows us all down.
5. Work to a schedule
A common mistake made by those who work for themselves is to put in more hours than is strictly necessary. Just because you work from home as a virtual assistant, doesn’t mean you need to be available 24/7.
Devise a work schedule, and stick to it. Do all you can to start and finish work at defined times every day and take regular breaks (including that long, traditional one called ‘the weekend’).
6. Turn off distractions
As previously noted, the home office is full of distractions, but as a freelancing virtual assistant, you have the power; you can turn them all off.
Switch the TV off; if music distracts you, turn the radio off; do notification chimes soundtrack your day? The fewer distractions you have, the more time you can invest in the process of deep, productive work.
Being a virtual assistant isn’t easy, with multiple clients demanding your attention and countless tasks to keep on top of. However, being more productive will make your work much easier and help you accomplish more.
Izzy is an SEO specialist and Marketing and Advertising graduate from the UK. She likes everything about marketing, promotion, PR and advertising. As for other interests :) She also likes photography and dance.