Virtual assistants are essentially project managers. They handle multiple clients, with varying, diverse, and evolving needs. We work from their home offices, so they are inclined to use breaks as an opportunity to catch up on chores around the house or yard.
Some of them are moms, who enjoy tagging along on a class field trip or taking the kids to the swimming pool on “no-school” days. And that’s just the daytime hours! Evenings have a schedule all their own.
All this juggling, combined with the all-to-readily-available distractions in the home (hmm, let’s go take a look in the fridge), can create a disaster if you are not armed and ready. Here are seven simple, yet highly effective habits, that help the virtual assistant stay focused and be more productive.
- Have a one-track mind – Many sources conclude that we have anywhere between 60-80,000 thoughts per day. That’s about an hour of just random thoughts! Pick a task, focus, go to town. If you have to write something for a blog post, check out this article!
- Keep a clear desk – Get rid of all the cute little trinket baskets, the pen cup, picture frames, and piles of papers. Keep your mind clear and focused on having only the task at hand in front of you. How many pens do you need at your disposal at a given time? Pick your favorite and put the rest away in safe keeping.
- Ensure good lighting – Choosing lightbulbs is almost as confusing as choosing cough syrup! There is nothing like the great star shining through the window at the perfect angle to increase motivation.
- Use a timer – Using a timer will help you get small chunks of work done for all of your clients, every time you sit down at your desk. It keeps things “fair” so to speak, and no project ever gets neglected. You will love this, and so will your clients.
- Create 1st draft in 15 minutes – Set the timer, and work for 15 minutes without questioning anything you are doing. Just get down everything that comes to mind. Let it be bad. Next time you set the timer, you are an editor. Go!
- Don’t stop! – if you get stuck on something for more than 30 seconds, move on. Keep moving ahead until the timer rings. You’ll be amazed how much more you get accomplished if you just keep that forward momentum going and energize your learning!
- Write short emails – Use bullets, ask concise questions, keep it brief. The more you think, the more you write, the longer the sentences and paragraphs get, the more you digress, the less you make sense. Make sense?
See if you can adopt a few or all of these simple habits, and you’ll see that they will make a difference in your productivity. What are your strategies for being productive? In a next blog post, I will talk about some of my favorite software tools for project management and productivity. Read also this article why you should hire a Virtual Assistant from the Philippines. Have a fantastic day!