In business, time is a highly 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 in their schedule when dealing with a load of appointments.
The truth is, you can be productive with fewer than eight hours of work in a day if you have the right calendar management and task delegation.
It all comes down to how you manage your calendar. And the best way is with the help of a Virtual Assistant who can help with your calendar management schedule.
What Is A VA?
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 carries out work over the Internet.
A VA can do everything that a PA can do on a to-do list. 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 workweek. 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. One of the most important tasks that a virtual assistant has to handle is calendar management to help with your busy schedule.
Identifying Dollar Productive Tasks
Running an enterprise requires accomplishing a load of tasks. You can categorise these tasks into two: core functions and non-core functions.
The core ones refer to all activities that are directly related or relevant to the main goal of the company. If you are a consultant or company coach, then your core tasks would include the following activities:
- Meeting with clients and prospects.
- Conducting presentations.
- Reviewing company analytics.
- Providing one-on-one consultation.
- Conducting seminars and workshops.
- Calendar management/appointments.
- Attending trade shows, forums, and networking events.
Non-core functions are activities that are not directly related to the main enterprise of the company. 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 meeting requests/appointments.
- 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 main functions of your company if you had to attend to all of its non-core functions, such as dealing with multiple calendars?
The answer is “No”, and managing non-productive functions will take away valuable time from attending to all the details and tasks that need your immediate attention.
Email filtering alone will cost you one to two hours in your daily scheduling. 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 categorised as “non-core” or “non-essential,” they are otherwise important to your success.
The problem is they are time-consuming. As we mentioned, time is a valuable but limited commodity. You don’t have much of it, so use it wisely by using scheduling and calendar management wisely.
Manage Your Time And Calendars More Effectively
The best option for effective calendar management is to hire a Virtual Assistant who can organise your core and non-core tasks on your calendar.
Not only will this make it easier for the virtual assistant to keep track of your activities, but making changes to the schedule will be faster and more convenient. Scheduling meetings will be made easier by using calendar management software such as google calendar or other calendar apps to make appointments.
How A VA Can Effectively Manage Calendars
First of all, a VA can be trusted with calendar management 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 main objectives of your business.
As a business owner, you should allocate more time to your dollar productive functions because they contribute directly to the growth of your business.
Non-dollar productive functions are important, but they should be delegated to your VA.
Let’s go back to our hypothetical list of critical functions. A Virtual Assistant would plot down your activities on a calendar like this:
Even if you schedule appointments a week earlier, anything can happen. Your calendar has to remain flexible and open to accommodate changes to the scheduled meetings that have been made.
A Simple Example
Let’s assume your Virtual Assistant received word of the following scheduling conflicts:
Client A is not available for the Monday lunch meeting and wants to reschedule within the week.
Client B is not available for his one-on-one consultation on Tuesday, 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Instead, he is available on Wednesday, 9:00 am to 10:00 am.
Prospect A is requesting if it is possible to have an earlier meeting because their company needs it urgently due to busy schedules.
Before finalising 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-essential functions. The VA will make sure these are attended to promptly so that you do not lose track of what’s on your schedule.
As you can see, the VA can relieve you of tedious, time-consuming admin 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.
Calendar Management Tools
We just presented how a Virtual Assistant could schedule meetings effectively in basic spreadsheet format or even a paper calendar. They often won’t have just one calendar for appointment setting.
In reality, virtual assistants utilise software apps. Evernote, Fantastical, Google Calendar, Accompany, and Outlook are among the most popularly used. Other software may be available.
They know the best programs to use as calendar management tools. By using a calendar app, 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 about upcoming events.
By using the calendar management services of a VA to manage your calendar, you will be able to allocate more time to schedule core functions, have greater focus, and increase your level of productivity. You could even dedicate more time to your personal life and even fit family members into your schedule.
The Time Zone Advantage
Is it time to start delegating? Yes. So you need to hire someone to deal with your schedules outside your working hours.
The VA you employ is likely to be in different time zones to yourself, but they can still make meeting notes, phone calls, create and send meeting requests that will help to make your life easier keeping track of your business needs.
The VA carries out work while you are dealing with more creative and critical tasks, doing deep work for projects, or even enjoying leisure days while helping you to access and create more benefits for your company.
Contact Us Today
If you have decided that the best practice for your company is to hire a VA as a new employee to deal with all your scheduled appointments, meetings, and admin tasks, then contact us as we have all the tools you need to help your business thrive.
We have a large talent pool of VAs that are ready to take on your tasks. And if you have some very specific requirements, then we can take care of the recruiting, hiring, and training process.
This is a time consuming effort, but with our team ready to assist, you could be up and running with a VA in a matter of days.