Does it seem like you spend every day crossing tasks off your to-do list, only to fill your list back up the next day?
Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and running in circles?
Is the concept of free time something you’ve only read about?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you might enjoy having a virtual assistant in your life.
As adults find themselves with busier schedules, VAs have become increasingly more in demand. These time-saving assistants usually work remotely and on an as-needed basis. They handle all the mundane, rote tasks that steal your time, allowing you to focus on more important things.
In short, they let you work smarter instead of harder.
So how can you employ the services of a virtual assistant to maximize your productivity?
Read these tips to find out:
1. Find a VA with the Software Expertise You Need
Before you hire a virtual assistant, identify the tasks you want them to do.
How can they help you clear the clutter from your schedule? What kind of software do they need to be able to use to get the job done?
No matter what type of job you need to be done, there’s a VA who can do it. Examples of common VA tasks include (but are in no way limited to):
- Tracking email campaigns
- Updating Excel files
- Publishing blogs
- Preparing reports
- Basic research
- Managing your schedule
- Booking your transportation and lodging
Depending on what you’re hiring for, the job might require expertise in any number of software programs.
For example, if you’re hiring someone to track your email campaigns, you might want them to be familiar with MailChimp. If you’re hiring them to manage your schedule, you might want someone who can use Google Calendar.
There’s a VA out there who is ready and willing to help you with any job. But you must find an assistant who has the skills to handle it.
2. Use Project Management Software for Training
The best thing about hiring a virtual assistant (besides having more free time) is that it’s a simple process.
It’s especially easy today because you can use a project management app to train your VA with step-by-step tasks. These programs also allow you to send in-app messages, too, which makes communication easier.
The hard part is choosing a program. There are several awesome project management software programs, including:
Most companies offer free trials, so you can test them before you subscribe. Don’t settle on one if you’re not in love with it. Keep testing them until you find the one that does exactly what you need it to, then use it to train your VA.
3. Set Milestones and Targets
When you hire an employee, they work set hours. This is good if you require certain tasks to be done by a specific time of day.
If your deadlines are more flexible, however, a virtual assistant might be a better option.
With employees, you have the typical employer concerns: taxes, benefits, overtime pay, insurance, and other federal requirements.
Virtual assistants, on the other hand, are independent contractors. They aren’t entitled to traditional benefits or overtime pay, but they set their own schedules.
To this end, many VAs are paid by the milestone or project rather than by the hour.
If you have a weekly project that needs doing, you set it as a milestone for your VA. They complete it when they can, making sure it’s done by the due date. They are paid one set amount, no matter how long it takes them.
This structure can be far more cost-efficient than paying an hourly employee. After all, if your employee spends 4 hours scrolling through social media feeds on the clock, then you’re paying them for wasted time.
By setting targets, you’ll get better results from your VA than you would from someone being paid by the hour.
4. Let Your VA Handle Your Communications
Dealing with clients and potential customers can be a headache. Answering emails can steal hours away from your day.
By hiring a responsible VA to handle customer service, you’ll open up more hours in your week. They can respond to emails and maintain your social media presence so you don’t have to.
Social media upkeep is a crucial part of business today. But it takes a lot of work. To save yourself time, train your assistant to identify and respond to negative social media comments.
Customer complaints are common, but it’s how the company handles them that truly matters. If your assistant can deal with complaints and make customers happy, they are more than worth their fees.
5. Help Them Grow With You
Not every assistant is one that you’ll want to keep long-term. When a VA doesn’t impress you, you can close their milestone or not renew their contract. No hard feelings necessary.
But a good virtual assistant, like a dependable employee, is hard to find. When you do luck into a keeper, they won’t want to stay at the bottom of the ladder forever.
A loyal VA can handle your entry-level tasks, but they can also grow with you. As they master each responsibility, introduce them to other ways they can help you.
Delegating more important tasks keeps them feeling worthwhile and appreciated. It also gives you the freedom to use your time in better ways.
Don’t feel like you have to spin your wheels in a never-ending cycle of responsibilities just because everyone around you is. You can save yourself a lot of time and stress by hiring a virtual assistant.
Traditional, 40-hour-a-week employees are becoming passé. These days, virtual assistants are a far better way to use your resources.
So, jump into the digital era and start freeing up your schedule. A whole new world awaits!