In business, time is a valuable commodity.
To be productive, you should allocate enough hours to manage the tasks that directly contribute to your bottom-line.
What makes time more valuable is that there are limited hours in a day. For some entrepreneurs, eight hours is not enough time to get things done.
The truth is, you can be productive with fewer than eight hours of work in a day.
It all comes down to how you manage your calendar. And the best way, is with the help of a Virtual Assistant.
A Virtual Assistant or VA is a person who is contracted to manage a specific set of tasks.
As the term “Virtual” implies, he/she works online; from a remote location, usually from home, and assists you in running some of the day- to- day operations of your business.
Another way to view what a VA does is to think of him/her as a Personal Assistant or PA who conducts work over the Internet.
A VA can do everything that a PA can do. The clear distinction between both assistants is that a VA is contracted while a PA is employed.
Why is this distinction important?
A VA is not obligated to put in a 48-hour work week. This is why they are hired to handle specific tasks instead of taking on a specific workplace position or designation.
Virtual assistants are hired to handle a myriad of tasks that are mostly administrative in nature. One of the most important tasks for VA’s to handle is calendar management.
Why You Need A VA To Manage Your Calendar
Running a business entails accomplishing a multitude of tasks. You can categorize these tasks into two: core functions and non-core functions.
Core functions refer to all activities that are directly related or relevant to the main enterprise of the business.
If you are a consultant or business coach, then your core functions would include the following activities:
- Meeting with clients and prospects.
- Conducting business presentations.
- Reviewing business analytics.
- Providing one-on-one consultation.
- Conducting seminars and workshops.
- Attending trade shows, business forums, and networking events.
Non-core functions are activities that are not directly related to the main enterprise of the business. However, they are likewise important to keep the business stable and running smoothly. Non- core functions for a business typically include:
- Administrative Tasks – email filtering, phone handling and appointment setting.
- Back Office Support – bills payment, human resources, and accounting.
- Technical Tasks – social media, customer service, research, and marketing and promotion.
Do you believe that you would be able to manage the core functions of your business if you had to attend to all of its non-core functions?
The answer is “No”, managing non-core functions will take away valuable time from attending to the tasks that need your immediate attention.
Email filtering alone will cost you one to two hours. Can you imagine working on an important project when your phone begins to ring off- the- hook?
How would you react when in the middle of an important Skype call, the transmission gets cut off?
As it turns out, you forgot to pay the Internet bill.
Although these tasks are categorized as “non-core” or “non- essential” they are otherwise important for your business.
The problem is they consume time. As we mentioned, time is a valuable but limited commodity. You don’t have much of it, so use it wisely.
The best option for expert time management is to hire a Virtual Assistant who can organize your core and non- core tasks on your calendar.
Not only will this make it easier for the VA to keep track of your activities, but making changes to the schedule will be faster and more convenient.
How A VA Can Effectively Manage Your Calendar
First of all, a VA can be trusted with your calendar because he/she understands the importance of time management for a business.
Most VA’s are self-employed; they run their own freelance business or are contracted by an agency to manage tasks for their roster of clients.
Virtual assistants can help you achieve productivity by removing all distractions so you can focus more time on the core functions of your business.
As a business owner, you should allocate more time to your core functions because they contribute directly to the growth of your business.
Non- core functions are important, but they should be delegated to your VA.
Let’s go back to our hypothetical list of core functions. A Virtual Assistant would plot down your activities on a calendar like this:
Even if you plan the schedule a week earlier, anything can happen. Your calendar has to remain flexible and open to accommodate changes in schedules.
For example, let’s assume your Virtual Assistant received word of the following changes:
Client A is not available for the Monday lunch meeting; wants to reschedule within the week.
- Client B is not available for his one-on-one consultation on Tuesday, 10:00am to 11:00am. Instead, he is available on Wednesday, 9:00am to 10:00am.
- Prospect A is requesting if it is possible to have an earlier meeting because their company’s need is urgent.
Before finalizing with the clients and prospect, the VA will clear the proposed schedule with you. He/she will discuss the possibilities.
For example, Client B may agree to a Friday consultation instead of Wednesday.
Once you have given your approval and discussed the courses of action, the VA can contact the clients and the prospect and iron out your schedule.
By managing your calendar effectively, you can stay on top of your daily and weekly commitments.
Also, you don’t have to worry about the non- core functions. The VA will make sure these are attended to promptly.
As you can see, the VA can relieve you of tedious, time- consuming administrative tasks such as email filtering, paying bills and writing and posting content on social media.
The VA can also assist you in supportive tasks such as conducting research and preparing your presentation materials.
The Virtual Assistant will mark each completed task and will give you a summary of everything that was accomplished for the day.
We just presented how a Virtual Assistant could manage your calendar effectively in basic spreadsheet format.
In reality, virtual assistants utilize software apps. Evernote, Fantastical, Google Calendar, Accompany, and Outlook are among the most popularly used.
They know the best programs to use as calendar management tools. With apps, the calendar is more multi-functional and designed for easy use and navigation.
The VA can include notes, to-do-lists, and other reminders to make sure you don’t miss anything important every work week.
By contracting the services of a VA to manage your calendar, you will be able to allocate more time to your core functions, have greater focus, and increase your level of productivity.