It’s great to be busy right?

Of course – assuming that means you have plenty of Clients on the books and are making a decent living from your VA business.

But let’s be honest. Sometimes you’re busy doing … well you’re not entirely sure – but one minute it was 10am and the next it’s lunchtime.

Then it’s a mad panic towards the end of the day, which often results in working well into the evening. Missing out on ‘proper’ family time with loved ones, nights out with friends, or just some good’ole fashioned chill time.

If this sounds familiar, believe me, you’re not alone.

The majority of business owners at some point experience this. The key is knowing how to combat it before your relationships, and health, suffer.

So here are 7 simple tips to help you save time and work smarter …

1. Reduce your work day

That’s right VA friends! Reduce it, not increase it.

And yes I know, you have a ton of work to do. But seriously try it. It’s a super smart technique that top entrepreneurs and business people swear by.

If you work a 10 hour day on average, reduce it to 8. If you work 8 hours, reduce it to 6, etc.

By limiting your daily working hours, you get better at prioritising, work more efficiently and will stop wasting time being busy doing nothing.

2. Do less

Counter-intuitive?

Actually, no.

We all start the day writing out our To Do list, thinking we’re being super organised and in control.

Nothing wrong with that you might think.

Except that your list probably contains 10 or more tasks, right?

Now I know what you’re thinking, you have to get each task done for each client. So there’s really no way round it. Well yes there is, and I’ll get on to that in just a sec.

For now, reduce that task list.

Look at it again. What tasks absolutely must get done by you today?

Ideally you want to get that list down to just 3 tasks per day. No more.

By doing so, you’ll find you’re more focused. More efficient. And are using your time much more effectively.

3. Delegate

And what about those additional 7 tasks that you’ve just wiped off your To Do list?

Delegate.

Hire a sub-contractor. VA’s just starting out would love to work for an established VA. And they do so at a lower rate to gain experience.

Or find a specialist in that particular task who may cost the same as you, but will do the work in half the time – you can still bill as per your quote (and therefore make money if you wish), but most importantly you’ve saved yourself a heap of time and effort.

If a task can be done by someone else and it frees up your time, delegate it.

4. Work at your optimum

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

The beauty of running your own VA business is you’re in control.

You have no one to answer to. And as long as you meet all Client deadlines, they don’t care if you do the work at 5am or 7pm. Just as long as it’s done (and done well).

So figure out when you work at your best, head to your office, put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign out and get down to business.

5. Switch off

When working on an important task or a deadline is looming, switch off everything. Yes that means your smartphone, emails, social media accounts and even the doorbell if at all possible!

Then concentrate.

Give that task 100% attention and you’ll get it done better and faster guaranteed.

6. Use Apps

Technology works for us busy people – although at times we get so absorbed in finding the best apps that we end up losing hours out of our day!

But once you’ve found the best apps for your tasks, use them. They will save you acres of time.

Try Hootsuite, Buffer or Tweetdeck for social media scheduling.

Or for project management Asana, Teamwork and Evernote are great tools.

7. Say “no”

It’s hard to say no to clients. After all, not only do we want to please them and do a great job, we don’t want to lose them.

And I’m not suggesting you flat out refuse a task they send your way.

But it is possible to stay in control and push back when needed.

Try proposing a different delivery date. Or if it is as urgent as the Client makes out, could you delegate it?

Often, when you explain your position and provide alternative options, your Client will agree – but it’s up to you to think smarter in the first instance.

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