The key to maximizing your income as a virtual assistant is making effective use of the hours in each day. If your workspace isn’t organized and you don’t have time saving systems in place, then you’re wasting precious time that could be billed to your clients.
Make Your Frequently Used Apps Run on Startup
Wouldn’t it be nice to turn your computer on in the morning, head off to make coffee and come back to a workspace with all your apps open and ready for use?
Your word processing suite, browser, graphics program, email and more can all be set to run on startup.
Having work apps ready to go also prevents you from slipping onto Facebook or wasting time catching up with the news when you should be working.
Mac Users can follow these instructions.
In Windows follow this path, replacing username with your username –
Leave the startup file open–you’ll need to paste app shortcuts into this file.
Next, find each desktop app that you want to run, right click it, select show in folder, then copy the highlighted shortcut and paste it into the startup file. Next time you start your computer your apps will start with you.
For apps that run in your browser, simply use your browser settings to add each one to your browser startup.
Make Good Use of If This Then That (IFTTT)
Virtual assistants involved with running blogs will love this free service. IFTTT connects your apps and saves you valuable time each day.
If your tasks involve pinning images on Pinterest and then sharing them on Twitter, you can use IFTTT to automate the process.
Whenever you upload a video to YouTube, IFTTT can automatically create a video post on your blog as well as share it to all the relevant social media channels.
Need a steady stream of quick posts for a blog? Use Pocket to save interesting articles, then have IFTTT create a blurb and share the article for you.
More IFTTT Ideas
· Keep track of hashtagged tweets by adding them straight to a spread sheet.
· When you label tweets with a specific hashtag, have them become LinkedIn status updates.
· Automatically upload Gmail attachments to any Google Drive folder.
· Sync cover image changes on all social media accounts so you only have to fiddle around doing it once.
There are thousands of pre-existing IFTTT tasks, but if you don’t find what you need, you can easily create your own.
Save Time Handling Inventory
If your VA work involves packing and sending customer orders, it’s easy to get into a time-consuming muddle when stock and packing supplies overtake your home - good labeling practices are one of the most important aspects of keeping this stock organized.
Print labels from your computer, or use the Dymo XTL label maker to create clear and easy to use labels for your packing supplies.
Labels should include the name of the item and its reference number. If you handle orders for more than one client, make sure that everything is labeled with name of your client or their business. Having different colored stickers for each client will be a big help too.
If you’re responsible for ordering packing supplies, don’t forget to sort them and label them with the information you’ll need to make reordering a snap.
Cutting out some of the small but often repeated tasks in your day can save you hours of time each week. Meaning you can “clock-off” earlier and have more family time, or add an extra client to your schedule and earn some more money.
Automating tasks and keeping organized are simple ways to reclaim your time.