6 Hacks to Improve your Virtual Assistant’s Productivity
Productivity is one of the main focuses of all companies and when it comes to remote workers even more so. Specifically talking about your virtual assistant’s productivity, there are some tips that will guide and support you to improve.
You see, there are several reasons why your virtual assistant’s productivity may not be at its best. One of the most common mistakes among employers is to assume that virtual assistants do not need an onboarding process. So let’s review the most important things to consider once you’ve hired your virtual assistant.
Laying the Foundation for your Virtual Assistant’s Productivity
In order to work efficiently as a team, you need to have good communication with your virtual assistant. This means that there are some necessary processes to make sure that everything is clear. Your assistant should know the corporate culture of your company, your objectives, and their functions in detail.
Thinking about establishing a good foundation for your virtual assistant, we suggest taking into account the following steps:
While it is true that virtual assistants are not employees, it is also true that they need to know your company. Depending on their functions, it is also essential to know your brand, corporate culture, among other details.
That is why the onboarding process is so important. This is where they are going to clarify details of functions, schedules, etc. What the company is about, what you expect from them, what they can expect from you, how they are going to communicate, and how often.
As necessary as talking about the corporate culture of your company, is to establish the objectives in which your virtual assistant is directly related. And when we talk about objectives, we are talking about having established a strategy that your virtual assistant will be in charge of executing.
Some entrepreneurs take into account their virtual assistants for the design of strategies focused on the objectives. If you opt for it, it is important that you are specific enough in the tasks she will execute for the achievement of results.
For tracking tasks and results we always suggest the use of specific tools such as time monitoring and project management. This way, everyone is on the same page and actions can be taken as they arise. Some of the most used tools are Slack, Time Doctor, Asana, Trello, G-Suite.
#4 Analysis of results
It is advisable to hold a weekly meeting to review KPIs and make any necessary modifications focused on achieving objectives.
These steps constitute a work routine with your virtual assistant that will lay the foundations for efficient performance.
Analyzing your Virtual Assistant’s Productivity
As mentioned above, one of the important steps to understand and improve your virtual assistant’s productivity is the analysis of KPIs.
If, when reviewing the performance indicators, you realize that you are not achieving your objectives, it may be due to two main reasons:
1. The strategy is not structured well enough to deliver the expected results.
2. Execution is poor. This may be because your virtual assistant is still learning and does not yet know how to manage her time efficiently. In this case, is when it is convenient to review the best practices to increase productivity and achieve the objectives.
Improving your Virtual Assistant’s Productivity
Some people are surprised when we talk about improving a virtual assistant’s productivity. Generally, this happens because there is a belief that virtual assistants are experts in time management. However, although one of the virtues of VAs is that they are organized, it is also true that any process of integration into a team takes time. And sometimes it happens that some VAs find themselves performing a new task or in a different way and it takes them a while to adjust. Other times it happens that the pace of work in a company is different from what they knew, so for one reason or another, there is always a period of adjustment that depending on the VA and the company, may take more or less time.
Thinking about that situation we wanted to share 6 hacks that have proven to be the best to help our VAs with their productivity:
#1 Set daily goals
Having a daily checklist allows your VA to identify the most important tasks to complete in the day ahead. For this, we recommend using project management tools such as Asana or Trello, so that you can check the fulfillment of each one throughout the day. And if necessary, the modification of any detail.
This also avoids having a lot of tasks in the mind that can lead to procrastination.
The use of matrices, such as the Eisenhower matrix, also allows you to establish priority tasks, an important detail for achieving daily results.
#2 Do the hardest thing first
With the above in mind, we can also add that “eating the frog” early in the day has proven to be key to productivity improvement.
“Eating the frog” refers to the book “Eat that frog” by Brian Tracy, where it is recommended to do the heaviest task at the start of the day. This brings benefits such as having put the focus on the heaviest task but that brings greater results.
At the start of the day, people generally have more energy and fewer distractions, which makes it easier to concentrate on difficult tasks.
One way to maintain this routine is to turn off all distractions. This means avoiding checking email, phone, or social media until having completed the most difficult task of the day.
#3 Isolate from all distractions
Have you ever found yourself focused on a project when your phone rings with notifications from friends? How long has it taken you to regain your focus after those interruptions?
Something similar can happen to your virtual assistant, which is why we always recommend the use of messaging tools such as Slack for project coordination. Distractions need to be kept to a minimum in order to focus on results.
One of the best techniques to decrease distractions is to work with the Pomodoro technique that suggests 25 minutes of concentration and 5 minutes of rest. It is also possible to do 4 Pomodoro sessions with breaks of 20 to 25 minutes.
This technique has proven to be effective enough to implement in all areas of life with excellent results.
#4 Identify the most productive time of the day
There are studies that suggest that for each person there is a most productive time in the day. You can even find several segments, depending on the circadian rhythm of each person.
By understanding how each member of your team’s organism works, you can set particular objectives.
Just as in school, not everyone performs the same way in every subject, so in the workplace, not everyone performs the same way with the same schedules. This is one of the least known hacks in the business world. This is usually determined by traditional work structures. However, now more than ever is the ideal time to try new strategies that will deliver the best results.
#5 Apply the 5-minute rule
This rule, driven by Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder of Instagram, has to do with the reasons why employees decide to procrastinate tasks. The fear of doing them wrong or not being prepared to execute them causes them to procrastinate. Once the employee takes the step to undertake the task, it is proven that he/she will solve it, even if it takes more than 5 minutes.
Procrastination is the enemy of productivity and we have found that by applying the 5-minute rule, our VAs have been able to overcome the temptation to procrastinate.
The main challenge is overcoming the laziness to start a task or the fear that it will be poorly executed. In these cases, we also feel it is important to emphasize that communication is key. If your virtual assistant doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you about the challenges that arise or vice versa, maybe it’s time to review whether it’s a good idea to continue working together.
#6 Review your week every Friday
As we mentioned earlier, we find it essential to have weekly meetings to review KPIs. This way you can check to see if strategies are working if there are any hiccups in execution, or if you need to do adjustments to improve results.
Scott Farquhar, CEO of Atlassian, says there are 3 main questions to ask at these weekly reviews:
1. Did I achieve what I wanted to achieve?
2. Did I personally need to be present at everything I attended?
3. Could I have accomplished the same thing in less time?
This is a powerful tactic to determine if your virtual assistant is really managing and spending his or her time wisely.
Hiring virtual assistants helps you efficiently with the productivity of your company. However, we think it is important to take into account the suggestions we shared at the beginning of this article.
Thanks to our experience, we have been able to confirm that an onboarding process is very important as well as establishing routines.
Productivity is something that all companies are always looking to improve and we are finding better ways to do it.
At There is Talent, we are happy to have teams of VAs and customer support agents that nurture us with every experience. We can also proudly say that our clients are leading sources of information regarding business process improvement.
If you still don’t have a virtual assistant to support you, but you are thinking of hiring one, we invite you to contact us through the form or book a strategic call with our director, Claudia, and learn about all the benefits that There is Talent has to offer!