Your client depends on you to be available, capable, and most of all to keep your level of productivity high. It is vital that they see you as an integral part of their successful business, and more effective virtually than you would be in the physical office. We all want to be the best at our job and be viewed as irreplaceable. Sometimes, the lack of competition and recognition that comes with a conventional office setting can leave us wondering how we stack up. If being the most productive version of ourselves is the goal, how do we increase productivity as a VA? Here are 4 things to consider to keep your productivity high.
#1 – Excellent Communication
The most important part of increasing productivity as a VA is excellent communication. If you don’t communicate with your client effectively and regularly then you may be wasting a lot of time. You need to know what your client’s priorities are because those are your priorities. Giving timely updates on your progress, collaborating on strategies, and communicating your roadblocks as well as your ideas will keep you focused on the right things with the freshest perspective. It is important that you keep open communication with your client and always be transparent. If they aren’t hearing from you then they have no idea what you are doing, and if you aren’t hearing from them you have no idea what they want you to do.
#2 – Distractions Decrease Productivity
You should have some guidelines around your working hours. Those are either set by yourself or your client. It’s insanely important to follow those guidelines and not give in to temptation. The more time you spend distracted by personal duties, errands, housework, daydreaming, etc., the less work you are getting done. That seems like a pretty straight forward concept, but sometimes it isn’t always that simple.
A few minutes here and a few minutes there can really add up and put you off track. Make sure that the time you have allocated to work is for work only. That means prepare ahead of time by having your coffee ready along with all the tools and information you need to start your workday BEFORE the work day begins. Just as if you were leaving to go to an office, prepare to go to your workstation ready to work.
#3 – Keep Your Computer Updated
Your workstation is yours to manage and maintain and will help you increase your productivity. Schedule computer updates for after hours so that you don’t have any interruptions during your workday. Ensure that you have virus protection and that it is up to date. Keep your essentials in working order, whether it is spare batteries for your wireless accessories, missing keys on your keyboard, or a charged and working phone; make sure that your tools are working and that you have a backup plan if they do not.
One of the best productivity boosts you can give yourself is spending some time researching. Take some time to keep up to date on all the latest software and hardware must-haves. There are tons of tools and add-ons that you can use to help you with the systems that you are already using. If you are stumped on where to start looking, this list of plugins will definitely bring some efficiency to your day. Not using Gmail? Find the plugin that appeals to you the most and search for its compatible counterpart.
#4 – Stay Organized
You simply cannot increase productivity when you are swimming in a mess. The more organized you are the more time you will have to get things done. Find a system that works for you and stick with it. It’s your office so most likely you’ll be able to be as simple or as creative and complex as you’d like to be. Just make sure that it is something that you can keep up with. Clear your desk frequently and don’t allow your personal life to spill over into your work life. Keeping those things separate keeps down on the likelihood that something gets overlooked.
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