#121: Time Trap #1 – Administrative Work

Oct 3, 2021 | Office Operations

The theme this month is Time Management Systems for Virtual Pros.

I know that many of you want to find ways to get more done so you can spend more time with your family while still managing a thriving business. That’s a struggle that all service providers face, and the most successful of you will find and embrace the strategies that help you be more productive and better manage your time.

So let’s talk about that for a minute. What happens when you don’t manage your time well? When you just kind of “go with the flow” or “fly by the seat of your pants”?

Well, first, your business won’t grow. You won’t be able to bring on the number of clients you want or need to maintain your income. You’ll probably be pretty stressed, trying to do too much in the time you have available. You may feel burned out or exhausted because you’re working long hours week after week without any downtime.

And you may even give up on your business dream altogether, thinking it’s just too hard or too much work.

Sound familiar? Well here’s the thing: You don’t have to work that many hours. You don’t have to be “on” 24 hours a day. You can—and definitely should—be taking time off to hang out with your kids / fur-kids and do fun stuff outside of work.

And your income does not have to suffer—not if you properly manage your time.

In this series, we’ll go over 4 time traps that destroy your productivity and how to eliminate them. Let’s jump in with Time Trap #1: Administrative Work!

Welcome to a new Systems Sunday! The theme this month is Time Management Systems for Virtual Pros. I am Lisa Wells, your Virtual Assistant Trainer.

I know that many of you want to find ways to get more done so you can spend more time with your family while still managing a thriving business. That’s a struggle that all service providers face, and the most successful of you will find and embrace the strategies that help you be more productive and better manage your time.

So let’s talk about that for a minute. What happens when you don’t manage your time well? When you just kind of “go with the flow” or “fly by the seat of your pants”?

Well, first, your business won’t grow. You won’t be able to bring on the number of clients you want or need to maintain your income. You’ll probably be pretty stressed, trying to do too much in the time you have available. You may feel burned out or exhausted because you’re working long hours week after week without any downtime.

And you may even give up on your business dream altogether, thinking it’s just too hard or too much work.

Sound familiar? Well here’s the thing: You don’t have to work that many hours. You don’t have to be “on” 24 hours a day. You can—and definitely should—be taking time off to hang out with your kids / fur-kids and do fun stuff outside of work.

And your income does not have to suffer—not if you properly manage your time.

In this series, we’ll go over 4 time traps that destroy your productivity and how to eliminate them.

Let’s jump in!

Time Trap #1: Administrative Work

This one is tough for a lot of virtual pros. This is the business of being in business, and includes everything from bookkeeping to email to project management. All of it is critical to keeping your business running, and none of it makes you any money.

Not only that, but many administrative tasks are high-level work that virtual assistants often feel only they can do. If your “type A” personality is preventing you from getting this admin work off your plate, then this first strategy is for you.

I’m going to help you move these non-money-making tasks off of your to-do list and right onto someone else’s. And if that’s simply not possible (as we’ll see) then we’re at least going to make them a whole lot easier and faster to do.

Step One: Keep a Time Diary

Chances are you’re spending more time than you think on these time sucks, so the first step to gaining control of your time is to get a handle on what they are.

Here’s how to do that:

Keep a notebook on your desk and start recording your time. This “time diary” will give you lots of clues about where you’re spending the majority of your time, and you’ll also see what can easily be cut.

Your time diary can be as simple as a list with your time spent, like this:
8:00-8:30 – Email potential clients from last week’s conference
8:30-9:15 – Phone calls
9:15-9:45 – Breakfast
9:45-11:30 – Writing social media posts
11:30-3:00 – Client work
3:00-4:00 – Email
4:00-4:30 – Plan tomorrow’s schedule

Can also use apps like Toggl or Rescue Time for time tracking

Step Two: Create Templates

As a VA, you’ll probably find that some of your blocks of time are dedicated to phone calls and email. You have potential clients to follow up with, past clients to reconnect with, and billing issues to manage.
For example, if you find yourself continually penning new emails to request payment or testimonials, or to reach out to potential clients, then it’s time to develop some all-purpose templates you can copy and paste and—with just a couple of edits—send off in seconds rather than minutes.

Step Three: Systematize

If you find you’re spending a lot of time answering client questions, then the time has come to set up an FAQ page.

Clients or prospects can answer many of their own questions simply by visiting the FAQ page, where you’ll want to include answers to such questions as:

• How do I schedule a call with you?
• How do I cancel my service package?
• How do I log into your website?
• How can I change my credit card info?
• How can I know if you’re a good VA for me?
• What kinds of projects/services can you help me with?

You can also create “canned responses” within your help desk to answer your most common questions. This will make it easy for you to help your clients find the information they need, and you won’t have to be involved at all. Just imagine how much time you’ll save when you’re not having to worry about retrieving login details or cancellation requests from clients!

I’ve made it super simple for you this week and have a free downloadable – Sample emails to grow your client base. It’s a collection of 6 sample emails that you can copy/paste. You’ll get emails for client reactivation, testimonial request, post-consultation call follow-up, post-event potential client follow-up, referral bonus letter for existing clients, and referral request letter.

All you need to do is scroll down and you’ll see the sign-up – add your name and email and it will be delivered to your inbox.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to take it further, grab my Business Building Action Kit – Time Management for Virtual Pros. These action kits contain a full done-for-you action plan to give you guidance, resources, and keep you on track with checklists and worksheets.

You can find a link to the product below or visit my VA Business Builder Boutique and click on shop.

Join me next week when I’ll tell you how to solve Time Trap #2, Technical Support. See you then!

 

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Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Grab this kit!

Time Management for Virtual Pros

$20.00

I know that many of you want to find ways to get more done so you can spend more time with your family while still managing a thriving business. That’s a struggle that all service providers face, and the most successful of you will find and embrace the strategies that help you be more productive and better manage your time.

So let’s talk about that for a minute. What happens when you don’t manage your time well? When you just kind of “go with the flow” or “fly by the seat of your pants”?

Well, first, your business won’t grow. You won’t be able to bring on the number of clients you want or need to maintain your income. You’ll probably be pretty stressed, trying to do too much in the time you have available. You may feel burned out or exhausted because you’re working long hours week after week without any downtime.

And you may even give up on your business dream altogether, thinking it’s just too hard or too much work.

Sound familiar? Well here’s the thing: You don’t have to work that many hours. You don’t have to be “on” 24 hours a day. You can—and definitely should—be taking time off to hang out with your kids / fur-kids and do fun stuff outside of work.

And your income does not have to suffer—not if you properly manage your time.

In this complete kit, I give you the step-by-steps as well as some tools, resources, and powerful strategies to put into practice today.

What you Get with Your Kit:

  • 13-Page Guide giving you the solutions to the most common time wasters
  • “21 Idea Blueprint” giving you twenty-one ideas
  • 4-week done-for-you calendar
  • Comprehensive action checklist
  • Resource Directory with links to tools and resources
  • Worksheet – Use this Worksheet to make sure you are taking consistent action to manage your time
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