5 Time Management Tips for Busy Virtual Assistants

5 Time Management Tips for Busy Virtual Assistants

Being a virtual assistant can be a pretty sweet gig. It offers a flexible schedule, the ability to work from anywhere, and the opportunity to pursue other interests and projects. 

It’s exciting to have control over your life and schedule, but as most virtual assistants know, it requires a lot of discipline and organization to work productively while having time to devote to other areas of your life. 

If you find yourself in this boat, we’ve got some tips for you!

Set Your Priorities 

Before we dive into practical strategies, we first need to figure out what you want out of your schedule. We can show you how to work efficiently, but you need to know your motivation

Maybe you want to be available in the afternoons to pick up your kids from school. Or you want a dedicated block of time each day to work on your passion project. Maybe you want a 4-day workweek. 

Your dream schedule won’t make itself, but knowing what you want will allow you to build that and, frankly, work more effectively because you have a clear focus. 

Time Management Techniques 

Now that you’ve established what you want out of your schedule as a virtual assistant, here are our time management tips for getting the job done.  

1. Lean into your productive hours

Do you know when you’re most focused and productive? (If not, here are some ways to figure it out). 

Since virtual assistants typically are not bound to a 9-5 schedule, we recommend using that to your advantage. We always encourage virtual assistants to work during their peak productive hours (as long as they’re still meeting their client’s needs). Don’t be afraid to venture into “off hours” like early mornings, evenings, or weekends if that’s the time when you’re able to accomplish the most.

2. Block your schedule

Switching back and forth between tasks is a huge drain on your productivity. Some research shows it’s as much as a 40% decrease. 

That’s why time blocking is so important for virtual assistants who want to work efficiently. 

Typically, time blocking involves breaking down your day by hours and tasks, but for virtual assistants, time blocking can be by type of task (writing, emails, creating social media content, etc.), by client, by task difficulty, and more.

Utilizing a time blocking strategy can help you structure your day and even your week. Some virtual assistants like to set a dedicated call day when they meet with clients or a deep work day. Remember that you get to choose how you build out your week. 

3. Have a set email time 

Studies show that the average professional checks their email 15 times a day. Your inbox can really sneak up on you and mask itself as productive work, but if it’s distracting you from the task you’re working on, it can be a major time suck. 

We know it’s tempting to keep your email open at all times, but we recommend allocating set inbox-checking times. For most people, 3-4 times a day should be enough to catch any important messages in a timely manner. (Check out more of our tips for managing your inbox here!)

4. Practice the two-minute rule

The two-minute rule is a personal favorite here at DPM. If you can get something done in two minutes or less, just do it right there and then. Too often, we put tiny tasks on a to-do list, and they clutter our headspace and interfere with more involved tasks. Look at the small tasks as an easy win to feel accomplished and keep the endless to-dos at bay. 

5. Keep things organized

Virtual assistants will know the special skill it takes to juggle all of the different client logins.

If you’re not organized, hopping around different tabs and accounts can quickly clutter up your workflow and, ultimately, your productivity. Pay attention to the accounts you repeatedly log into or websites you frequent and try to keep them as handy as possible. 

We like to keep all of our client logins in a password vault like 1Password. We love using separate Chrome profiles for each client and then organizing work for that client only in that profile. For your frequently used web pages and resources, we love to bookmark those into folders for each client. Browser tab gymnastics no more! 

And that’s a wrap on our 5 time-management tips for virtual assistants. We hope you’re able to try some of these tips to maximize your work time and get the most out of your working hours. 

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