Okay, so you have this fabulous VA practice, your ideal clients are finding your website and ultimately working with you, you’ve handled the isolation of working alone, and have a good dose of work/life balance happening.
So why do you still feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? And why do you still feel so exhausted and stressed in every area of your life?
In some ways, you may be trying too hard. You may be working with technology or a system that doesn’t fit your needs. Whatever the case might be, let’s start by saying, ‘it’s not at all about time’!
Nope, time has nothing to do with it. We all have the same amount of time each and every day – 24-hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds. It’s what we do with that time that matters most, right? So rather than concern yourself with having some gadget or technology to keep track of your time, try several things and stick with the one that seems to help you be more focused on other things, rather than your time.
That’s what it’s really about, focus – staying focused on what’s important and being clear and effective in everything we do. Come on, you know you LOVE what you do, that’s the most important thing. If you love what you’re doing, everything else will flow very easily. Focusing on communication and being clear about your intentions (even with clients), will go much farther in helping you manage time effectively.
So how can we develop good communication skills? Here are several things I’ve found helpful in being clear in my communications.
- Figure out what’s really important – to you, and to the client (don’t get off track do only what’s important)
- Set reasonable deadlines. We all want to please people, but trying to meet unreasonable deadlines doesn’t help anyone.
- Don’t create a sense of urgency that may not exist. Sometimes we ‘think’ we know the project is urgent, even though the client may not have thought to say so – find out for sure before you create a panic.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help (delegate part of the project to someone else, or hire a sub-contractor), or talk to the client if the project has changed or grown.
- Don’t waste time by trying to think like the client, talk to the client and make sure you’re both on the same page.
- Avoid using the term ASAP (As soon as possible) – this means different things to different people. To me, ASAP means I’ll have it completed in about 48-hours, might mean something totally different to you, or your client.
Let’s keep the conversation going! Next week we’ll talk about planning and time management.
Jeannine Grich, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker, and VA Business Coach, specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). For her FREE articles, “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?” or “Finding or Expanding Your Niche”, Visit: http://www.VAbizcoach.com; or contact her at: http://vabizcoach.com/contact-us/.