Supporting your business goals

07982 845966

Time Management – From the perspective of a Virtual Assistant

Posted on

“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing”. So said Miles Davis.

As a business owner, time is your most useful asset.  And how you choose to use it, is your greatest skill.

Time brings clarity, growth and efficiency. Time allows you to plan, to take a step back, and to control and re-evaluate your goals. Time allows you to become the person you would wish to be.

This all sounds great, but unless you’re Superman with the ability to spin the Earth backwards, or you’ve got a Tardis hidden in your back garden, how can you create more time? How can you achieve the impossible?

The short answer is – you can’t. You can’t “create” more time.

But you can manage the time available to you more efficiently. And here are five key ways in which to achieve this:

1. Have a clear strategy which, actually, you want to achieve.

You can have all the time in the world, but if you don’t know what to do with it, then it’s of little value. In fact, the bottom line is, people often don’t want to have more time; they don’t want to let go of what they are used to doing, because it leaves them a void which they don’t know how to fill. It takes them out of their comfort zone, and they are afraid of failing. Be clear of what you want to achieve. Hold on to your objectives and don’t be surprised that, with every objective, comes at least one obstacle. Your challenge will always be the actions you take to overcome your obstacles, the biggest being yourself.

2. Value and respect your own worth.

You need to recognise and act upon the true value of your expertise. Be clear on the tasks you are undertaking which reflect your value, and those which don’t. You wouldn’t spend £150 on something worth £25 in other areas of your life, so why do the same with your hourly rate in your own business? Delegate or outsource those tasks which are absorbing your time unnecessarily or which someone else could complete more effectively.

3. Set boundaries.

You can’t have more time, if you allow yourself to be absorbed by over-demanding clients who expect you to fulfil a role which goes way beyond your contract with them. Yes, it’s good to be flexible, and it’s good to nurture relationships, but for every hour you spend with one client, you are spending one hour less on securing more leads, or on building your relationship with other clients you may have.  You need to be clear with people on how you work, and what they can expect from you. Be clear with yourself on where you should give, or where you should push back.

4. Implement process-driven systems.

Project-management and CRM systems enable you to record and track your leads, your client-base and any current assignments where you are involved. The more that you can systemise, the less you are required to remember and the less that your business is exposed to human error.  Increased efficiency will undoubtedly save you time.

5. Diarise strategically.

Finally, within all of the above, plan your calendar, whether Outlook, Google, or some other format, so that you can achieve your goals.  Organise your time realistically and effectively, and then take your calendar seriously. Schedule time for business development as well as for appointments with colleagues or clients. Having prioritised and planned within your calendar, only allow for elements to be moved or cancelled, if your priorities change.

Time management isn’t easy, not because it’s rocket science, but because of conflicting and ever-changing priorities and demands. So often it can feel that you are too busy to manage your time and, instead, you find yourself in a place where time is managing you.

Please do get in touch if you would like assistance in areas of your business, where you feel a Virtual Assistant might benefit your greatest commodity – time.