I was perusing through some comments on LinkedIn the other day in response to the need for a virtual assistant, and ran across this little eye catcher.
Now at first glance it is quite the eye catcher, and I can definitely vouch for the feeling that at times we must be able to go from zero to sixty in a flash, but stop on a dime when necessary, all while being detail oriented, and so on and so forth. Here’s the problem though … being to multi-tasking is really not a good thing for anyone. It’s not good for the VA, and it’s not good for your business.
Multi-tasking takes focus away from projects, and causes delays and mistakes. It is better to set time for each project, and then stop take a quick break and refocus your energy to a new project. Now, in reality this is not always possible. There will be interruptions and things that sidetrack the project. It just happens, and it has to be dealt with. I find when there are distractions it’s best to break and refocus then come back to the project. When multiple projects are going on at a time, learning these 3 skills can be helpful:
(1) importance – learning what’s most important will aid in understanding how and what to delegate
(2) delegation – learning to delegate allows freedom to focus on what’s most important right now
(3) focus – learning to focus / refocus when necessary will help projects get completed and get completed properly
Avoid Distractions in the First Place
It is also important to set some boundaries in order to avoid as many possible distractions as you can. For instance. I work from a home office as many of you do. I have chores, children, pets, neighbors, family, phone, email, and social media all beckoning for my attention just like you do.
(1) Set a work schedule and let children, neighbors, family, and friends know when that is so there are not any disturbances during those times unless it is important.
(2) Set a chore schedule so that chores have a time and place and won’t be a distraction during work times.
(3) No phone / email rule while working on client projects unless it is specific to the project. Some client’s may be adverse to a VA not being available during these times, but it really is better if the VA can work undistracted. Know that the VA will respond to phone calls / emails periodically during the day. I have a rule that I respond within 24 business hours to all calls / emails, but I typically return them the same day. Here’s the thing, I give this same attention to all client projects including yours. So, waiting for a returned phone / email for an hour or two really shouldn’t be a concern unless it’s an emergency in which case you can always notify one of my team members.
(4) Set a routine with your children. Schedules are important for them anyway. So set one that works with their schedule as well as your schedule and be sure to schedule in one-on-one time with them. That special time will help to eliminate the mommy or daddy I need you calls. It even works with older children. LOL!
Just following a few simple rules and having a few skills will make managing projects easier for any VA, but if the client is expecting the VA to be another them then … well, the reality is that is probably not going to happen very often. Yes, I have clients who say I’m in total synchronicity with them, and I have clients that I see myself being in total sync with … but the reality is no two people are exactly alike and will not always do everything alike, but a good VA that is a good match will be able to fit right in if you don’t expect them to be exactly the way you are or do things exactly way you do. Also, we don’t read minds … 🙂