By Carlos Cabrera
Being a virtual assistant can be really exhausting when you’re not used to discipline when working from home or when you haven't developed skills that allow you to achieve organizational goals, especially when they depend on self-control. But don't worry, we have some amazing tips for you that will definitely help you increase your productivity as a virtual assistant.
In order to increase productivity, it's very important to have structure and order on the tasks that you must complete. For that, we recommend you to create daily to-do lists where you can write down the time you anticipate each task will take. Make sure you’re realistic about your daily tasks, don't try to pack it with hundreds of tasks that you definitely won't be able to complete in one day. Also, try to start with your most demanding duties first thing in the morning, that way you'll take some weight off your shoulders for the rest of the day. Planning is key as it gives us an overview of everything we must do, which will allow us to prioritize and better manage our time…you got this!
Having a good workspace plus all the necessary resources to carry out your activities can make you more efficient. Choose a place in your house that is far away from distractions and that has good lighting. Having a large desk and an ergonomic chair that facilitates proper body posture is a huge plus, but if you don't have this available, just make sure you feel comfortable with your resources. Electronic devices such as a computer and/or laptop in good condition, a smartphone and a good internet connection are a must for any virtual assistant. Physical calendars, agendas, colored pencils and markers, sticky notes, etc., can help you categorize and organize your to-dos, especially if you tend to feel more in control when writing things down on a piece of paper.
Sitting for a long time is a high risk to long-term health, in addition, concentrating on something for a long time decreases creative capacity and generates fatigue. Don't take your mind and body to the limit! Take small breaks every couple of hours to stretch out, exercise, go to the bathroom, drink water, or any other activity that allows you to recover energy and return to your tasks with a better mood. Normally, we lose focus after 90 minutes, so we recommend you to schedule a break at least every 90 minutes. This will definitely have an impact on your performance.
Remote work can easily blur the line between work and life. Don't let that happen! It's important to maintain limits with your work routine as well as your colleagues. This will make it easier for you to relax after finishing your workday, avoiding pressure to stay connected, attentive to respond or working overtime. Labor productivity is related to the quality of your personal life, so it's important that you can give the appropriate value to both contexts so that you feel comfortable and achieve optimal and stable performance.
Productivity is achieved when it's clear what is expected of you as well as your expectations from others, for that reason it's extremely important to maintain constant and clear communication with your peers and leaders.
Although it's not directly related to a work activity, your lifestyle can definitely affect your performance and productivity at work. Maintaining a healthy routine, eating well, sleeping enough hours, drinking water, exercising and having leisure time is as important for your physical and mental health as it is for your performance at work. Make sure you make room in your agenda for some “me-time,” your body and mind will thank you later (or now).
Although we all face greater or lesser resistance to change, being willing to assume new ways of working and even to innovate within your field can bring great benefits like creating more efficient processes, reduce workload and more, that can facilitate the achievement of objectives and enhance productivity. Be open to change!
As you can see, there's a lot you can do to increase your productivity as a remote assistant. Remember that at the end of the day, it all depends on you and your willingness to stay disciplined and maintain healthy habits. This won’t only help you become the best virtual assistant but will also have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. We hope these tips will help you improve your productivity and boost your performance...now, go out there and achieve your goals!