Generally speaking, I’m not fond of multitasking. It seems like a poor way to get things done, and sometimes you drop the ball. At the same time, virtual assistants must multitask. Without it, we would get little done. The trick is in having an efficient system in place.
While the following is how my day began, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I began this morning with a blog post that must be written, some SMM for another client, and move to my inbox. There I find a tour that needs to be organized for one of my two most organized clients. How is this accomplished? It’s very simple: through multitasking.
USE YOUR OUTLOOK CALENDAR OR GOOGLE CALENDAR
While it’s true that virtual assistants must multitask, it’s also true that professional VAs can’t afford to make mistakes. It can cost them a client, not to mention their own frustration when they aren’t as efficient as they like to be.
How are they able to care for the many tasks that come their way? When I’m assigned a task, I do two things: add it to the appropriate folder and add it to my calendar. I move the task into my current project’s folder under the label with the client’s name. It will stay there until it is completed, and then it will move to a completed project’s folder. The flag feature is also helpful when the timeframe is especially critical.
If it’s recurring, I add the task on my Outlook calendar. With it properly noted, I will be reminded of it every time that I open my Microsoft Outlook program. The layout that I’ve chosen helps to make me more efficient. I have a 3 column set up in Outlook. On the left is my accounts and the folders in each account. In the center are my emails, and to the right of the screen, I see current and upcoming tasks.
It’s particularly important to consider each client because virtual assistants must multitask. Every morning, take a look at each and what might be coming due in their case. Looking at their folders for current work will help to create some organization with each of them.
Project management systems are great to have, However, when you find that you have two or three systems to check into for different clients, your calendar or inbox will be just as important. That is unless you want to check each of your project management systems every morning, and at present, I have four clients with different project management systems that I must check. Virtual Assistants must multitask, therefore, think clients.
Take a Break
This is arguably the most important feature when your day gets hectic. When you are busy with one thing after another, it’s easy to tell yourself that you simply don’t have the time. My theory is that you can’t afford to skip a break. This is when foolish mistakes happen. I’ve seen other virtual assistants who work until late into the night skip this step and it sometimes costs them in the way of mistakes. So take your break. It makes multitasking feasible.
It’s very possible to multitask. So take the time to mark it on your calendar, think about each client, and take a break. You won’t be sorry, your clients won’t be sorry, and everything will run effortlessly.