Do you find that you simply don’t have enough hours in the day? Are you working long hours with no time for yourself or for organising your diary? Or is your career so busy that your personal affairs are falling by the wayside? If this is you, and your overflowing in-tray is making you wish for a magic wand to conjure up more hours in the day, then read on.
You don’t need a magic wand to conjure up more time – you need a Virtual Assistant!
We’ve shared the top 5 reasons why you need a VA in your life below.
Time – you need more of it
Time (and not having enough of it) usually plays a major part in someone needing a VA, regardless of the nature or size of your business, or whether you have a busy career and need help with your personal affairs.
Outsourcing tasks to a VA is the ultimate way to free up more time – because there will usually be some aspect of your business, or life, that you would love to pass on to someone else, and free the time up to spend on something else.
So, if life admin, accounts or emails are your bug bears, or you find that you’re losing hours to tasks that you can’t do or don’t enjoy, then a VA can literally take these tasks off your hands to free up more time in your day.
You need to get organised
So how do VA’s help release more time back to you? Well, we help you to get organised.
If you don’t feel like you’re on top of your in-tray, your inbox, or your diary, it can end up being a huge source of stress. Organisation is key to optimising your time and this is one of the most important reasons behind hiring a Virtual Assistant.
As experts in time-management and streamlining processes, VA’s can take control of paperwork, accounts and administration to ensure everything is filed accurately and that any deadlines hit accordingly. We can also help you to manage your diary, taking control of booking in all your meetings and scheduling travel so that it’s one less thing you have to worry about. We can manage the dreaded inbox too, whether that’s monitoring it daily to filter out the important from the spam or manning your inbox whilst your away or at meetings.
An experienced VA will take the time to get to know both you and your business and learn the areas in which you most need support, in order to kick start the organisation revolution!
You need flexible help
The magic of taking on a VA is that it offers you far more flexibility than taking on a full-time employee.
You may have a number of areas that you need help with, for example, a few hours a week on your accounts, and some on your marketing and PR - but this isn’t enough to offer a full-time employee, and finding someone who can do everything is, well, often impossible!
With a Virtual Office, often the team behind it can provide you with all the services you need on a flexible basis.
VA’s usually have their own offices and can work remotely, so you don’t need to kit them out with any gear, they can just hit the ground running from their own office. At KM Virtual Office we work flexibly with clients, with hours to suit their businesses needs and with a variety of support services on offer.
You need another brain on board
Tapping into the knowledge brain of a VA is something that clients love. This is because an experienced VA will have spent a long time both learning and homing in methods of client support and training their team to do the same.
There may be a whole host of tasks that are necessary for your business but that you don’t have either the knowledge or the experience to do, which is something the multi-faceted VA can help you with. From training and skills in HR administration through to accounts, book-keeping and even marketing, a virtual office can often offer you bundles of knowledge in the areas you need extra support with.
In addition (as well as being highly organised) VA’s tend to love to learn more about the latest systems and apps to streamline organisation. At KM Virtual Office we are always keen to explore new processes to see if it’s something that could benefit our clients. VA’s are innovative by approach and will always endeavour to find the very best ways of ‘getting things done’.
You need a supporter
Everyone needs to feel supported and if you feel like you’re in need of a dose of unwavering support, then look in the direction of a VA.
A Virtual Assistant will be your biggest supporter, constantly looking out for the best interests of both yourself and your company. Whether that’s nudging you to get things done, reminding you about important events or tasks coming up, or simply chatting through an idea on the phone, a VA often turns into a hugely reliable source of support.
Finding the right VA for you is key and, once you’ve built a relationship, you can start to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you can share the load. For example, imagine being able to go away on holiday and know that everything is taken care of, or knowing that all your travel arrangements or invoices have been organised!
VA’s are particularly good at reminding, prioritising and being one step ahead which means that however difficult your business journey may get, you’ll know that you aren’t on your own.
These are the top 5 reasons, but there really are so many more (so watch this space!)
Not sure on how you would use a VA to help with your business? You will be surprised to learn just how many ways a VA can prove to be a vital tool in the running of your business.
One way that a VA can help is when it comes to meetings. Meetings can sometimes be a bit of a headache. Particularly when you are working for yourself, but in the most part they are incredibly worthwhile and important.
So, how can you make meetings that little bit easier? With a little help from a VA of course! Not sure how they can help? Here are just some of the ways.
Arranging travel and accommodation
Surprisingly, one of the most time consuming parts of any meeting is the part before it. This is particularly true if the meeting is far away from you and will require travel and accommodation. Rather than spending all of your time trying to find the best hotel, or the best way to get there. Why not assign this task to a VA? They can arrange all of your travel and accommodation, and just let you know the details when organised. This takes one headache away from you?
Helping prepare any presentations
Are you making a presentation at the meeting? Perhaps you are a key speaker at an event? A VA is not only on hand to help with arrangements, but can also take on the admin that is needed for a meeting too. If you put together the details of your presentation then they can take this away and put it together for you to approve. They can also put together any notes or key documents that you may need, emailing them through for you to digitally read or print if needed.
Managing emails and calls whilst you are away
Do you work alone? Are you worried that your business will suffer whilst you are out at this meeting? If this is true for you, then this is another way that a VA can help. They will be on hand to answer any important emails that may come in during the meeting, or the travel, and can also field any phone calls (if they can be diverted) too. This gives you peace of mind that all is in hand whilst you are attending the meeting.
Getting in touch with new contacts after the meeting
Is there a good chance that you will be making some new business contacts at this meeting or event? If so, then why not ensure that your VA gets all the cards that you have collected and ask them to reach out to the people? It is always great to make new business contacts, and it is even better if you don’t have to spend time sending emails.
These are just some of the ways that a VA can help you and your business. Why not get in touch and find out the other ways that I can ensure that you can best use your valuable time?
Have a wonderful day!
Being a Virtual Assistant definitely comes with its share of stress. Even though this specific career choice is aimed at reducing pressure for the clients, the stress still has to go somewhere. Now the question becomes - how to manage stress as a virtual assistant? It's where the line ends in terms of shifting the pressure, which means virtual assistants need a good structure for coping.
Tend To Personal Needs
The first step to managing stress involves tending to personal needs. An Olympic athlete can't run if they don't have the necessary energy, nutrition and health. The same principle applies for virtual assistants.
When a person feels healthy, well-rested and confident there's no real room for stress to interfere. In other words, follow a diet that helps to stay energized and make sure to get enough sleep.
Find The Source Of The Problem
Stress is never one-dimensional. It comes in small amounts and gradually tears down the body and mind. In order to prevent this vicious cycle from repeating itself, it's crucial to find the sources. Yes, it could be one or two specific clients who have high demands, but personal stress shouldn't be left out of the equation.
After finding the main sources it's time to make some changes. If it is a specific client, then consider adapting a different frame of mind in terms of being a perfectionist. In many cases virtual assistants place unnecessary pressure on themselves, even if the client is easy-going. Nobody is perfect and sometimes a person just has to accept what they cannot control.
Get More Organised
Conditions associated with too much stress include strokes, heart attacks and even a weakened immune system. For many virtual assistants the center of their stress resides in too little time. Not having enough hours during the day can amount to severe pressure.
One of the most effective approaches to managing stress is to get more organized. When there is a set schedule to work from and the working space is arranged in way that things can get done quickly, it will automatically bring stress levels down.
For virtual assistants the job doesn't require too much physical activity. Instead, it's all about brain power and making the life of the client easier. This type of job also causes a serious imbalance.
Nothing beats stress quite like a good 30 minute workout. It has been proven time and time again that exercising two or three times a week dramatically influences the way a person perceives stress. Apart from restoring the balance, it acts as a critical relieve valve.
Regardless of how stupid it might sound, research shows that laughing is a "natural medicine". It literally releases hormones that soothe the body and mind. Whether it's done with a funny movie, friends or family, always make time to just have fun and laugh as much as you can.
Virtual assistants are people who don't shy away from the challenge of stress. It's part of the job and it's not suitable for everyone. But sometimes a little help is needed to cope with it all, and the above mentioned tips should help in steering the course.
Remember, nothing is worth stressing too much about! Especially the elements you can't control!
A virtual assistant can certainly ease the load for a busy executive, but how do you know which are the best tasks to hand over? A VA is typically a freelancer or contractor who works from their home office and helps complete administrative and executive support tasks for senior level managers. Every day, there are thousands of listings for virtual assistant positions on online job websites such as odesk.com and elance.com.
Virtual assistants can help managers and entrepreneurs with everything from customer service calls to coordinating with vendors and sending out thank you emails to new clients. It is very important that the boss trusts their virtual assistant, just like they would a permanent employee. Virtual assistants are team members who just happen to work remotely. Interested in getting started? Here are the ten best ways you can work with a virtual assistant.
This is one of the simplest tasks to assign to a virtual assistant. Bookkeeping includes following up on bills and invoices and ensuring all other bookkeeping matters are accomplished. A small business can share their system for bookkeeping with the virtual assistant and they can then take over tasks such as unpaid bills or outstanding invoices.
Another task, which is easily transferred to a virtual assistant, is online research. According to virtual assistant industry experts, the most common tasks handed off to a virtual assistant are researching information on corporate websites, vetting potential employees or business contacts, and exploring new products. It is important to always provide clear instructions and communicate well with the virtual assistant. This helps ensure the task is accomplished correctly and on time. Always include any user names and passwords the virtual assistant might need to access search tools or websites.
Another good task to hand over to a virtual assistant is database entries. The assistant can input information from business cards collected at a conference or update contact information on current clients. When you are interviewing a virtual assistant, be clear about your expectations and the duties to be performed. This ensures the virtual assistant understands what is expected and perform the necessary duties.
Virtual assistants who are versed in PowerPoint and Word can be a lifesaver when you need to create a data presentation. The assistant can save the manager a great deal of time by preparing the presentation or report ahead of time so the manager has time to review it.
Manage your emails
This is one of the best tasks you could hand over to a virtual assistant. Managers can really get bogged down in their email, which costs them time. A virtual assistant can filter your email and forward along only what is important for you to see. It is very easy for a virtual assistant to do this type of email management remotely. The manager must provide clear guidance on what is important for them to see and what the assistant can handle for them. It is a good idea to ask the assistant to copy the manager on anything they send out themselves.
Research travel information
Researching travel information and then booking lodging, arranging for air travel, and creating itineraries is something most virtual assistants can support on. This can be done for both business and pleasure trips. Virtual assistants can certainly take advantage of the many online travel research tools and review sites as they deal with travel arrangements.
One of the primary duties of a virtual assistant is often scheduling the manager's day. This can be one of the most important tasks that you hire a VA to support you on. This type of work can include scheduling appointments, answering meeting invitations and planning events.
Keep you up to date
Virtual assistants can help busy managers keep up with industry news and trends by reviewing the latest news and providing a summary to the manager. Many senior managers use these news items to send out on Twitter or post on LinkedIn. They can also provide interesting commentary for conversations with potential and current clients. Having this type of information at their fingertips helps these senior managers appear engaged and on top of the latest happening within their industry.
I hope this gives you more of an idea of what a VA does and what a VA can support you on.
Food for thought?
We all have a long list of things we wish we could do in life one day, maybe it’s going to the beach or something crazier like bungee jumping, but unfortunately none of us can seem to find the time for it all. Productivity starts with a balance of work and leisure; it is scientifically proven that workers who cram their day with work tend to work less efficiently in the long run then workers who have a good mix of both.
Taking time off allows your brain to rest and allow for much needed biological processes that takes place only when doing leisure activities. But the question here is how do we find more time in between our work hours to do the things we love?
Finding your essentials
Make a short list of what you would like to do, it doesn’t have to be long and complicated, just 4-5 things that you truly would like to invest more time in.
Finding what is wasting your time
Now make another short list of things that are wasting your time and are not in the essentials list. Most of these activities you can’t remove from your routine, but perhaps there is a way to streamline and reduce the amount of time consumed. Activities like surfing certain sites, watching TV, talking at the water cooler are all things that could use some trimming, instead use it to do something on your essentials list.
Wake up an hour earlier
It’s actually not that hard, all it takes is a little bit of effort and diligence. The key to success here is to start small, try waking up an hour earlier every day before work and do something you enjoy. Grab a book and sit on your balcony and enjoy a quick session of fiction before your day begins, with a nice cup of tea this can be a very therapeutic experience.
Schedule your day (and stick to it!)
You would be surprised how much time you will find if you schedule the day out accordingly. I’ve known people who schedule their whole year out to perfection and still manage to go on countless holidays. Sit down for a good hour or so and have a long think about your life, what you want to do versus what you actually do. Start with a blank weekly template and work your way through it slowly assigning one hour at a time to assignments. Do you want to do exercise? Perhaps a quick 30 minute session in between lunch break & afternoon hours, or shortly after work hour finishes. However, you can plan all day but if you don’t stick to it there’s very little purpose to having one, so be strict with yourself!
Hire a Virtual Assistant?
A little bit of shameless advertisement, but the reality is hiring a virtual assistant is a big step towards finding more free time. As a VA myself, I find that many clients hire me just for the sole purpose of finding more time in their day, I even had a client handling me full business responsibility so she could go on holiday. So if you are serious about finding more free time, why don’t you give my virtual assistant service a trial run?
Finding time to do the things you love can be a difficult task sometimes, but the secret behind is to be strict and know when to say “No”. Be careful with time-wasting activities and try to limit long, drawn out conversations at the water cooler, this is a great start to finding more time but there is still plenty of ways to increase it. Try cutting out meetings, consolidate activities, reduce travel time, and declutter your schedule and so on.
Most of all... be happy!
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