How I work with multiple people and priorities
Some virtual assistants specialise either by client sector or the services they provide. I prefer not to have a niche as I love the variation of working with different clients on a whole different range of tasks. Plus I think I’d get bored doing the same thing day in and day out.
So how do I keep track of my different clients’ priorities?
I am really strict with my time. I plan what I need to work on as soon as I wake up in the morning. Because I work around my family commitments, I know that I only have a finite number of hours in the day. Ultimately my clients trust me to help them run their businesses so my day has to run with almost military precision.
I use my notebook to keep details of client conversations and use my Google calendar to set myself reminders or block out time to devote to a particular client or task. I’ve tried using other online list-making systems, but to be honest I find that leaves me with notes all over the place.
When I am doing transcription I have headphones on, my fingers are typing and my feet are controlling the pedal. I couldn’t physically do anything else at the same time if I tried! (Maybe play the harmonica but no one has asked me to do that yet!)
When I really need to focus, I turn my social media notifications off; I don’t want Facebook or LinkedIn pinging up all over the place when I am doing a client’s expenses or formatting a 400-page document.
I keep in regular contact with my clients to find out what their priorities are for that week or month. None of my clients use me full-time. My clients aren’t 9-5ers and they don’t expect me to be either.
Sometimes I’ll have multiple client deadlines all at the same time. Then I just have to plough through it – maybe sometimes doing it in chunks so it doesn’t become overwhelming. But it can mean late nights and early starts. A change of scenery often helps to clear my head so I’ll take my dog Annie out for a walk … plus I work from home so there is always something that needs sorting out!
If you think you might need some help to keep your plates spinning, let’s chat over a coffee!