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Categoryproductivity

Time Management Strategies to End Procrastination

If procrastination is your friend, then you know sometimes the struggle with productivity is real. One common misconception about procrastination is that stems from laziness. The reality is not that simple; in fact, the true nature of procrastination for most people lies in feeling overwhelmed.

Luckily, there are ways to help you manage these feelings so that they do not control your life. The following tips will not only help you stop procrastinating, but will also eliminate feelings of being overwhelmed, making you feel more in control of both your professional and personal life. Prepare to cross those items off of your to-do list for good!

1. Clarify your goals.

It is so easy to become overwhelmed and start procrastinating when we aren’t clear on our goals. Whether it be personal, professional, or business goals, being unclear about the desired outcome often leads us to haphazard decision making without any long-term vision. When we set clear goals, we are able to hone in on a clear plan of action to achieve them. This minimizes procrastination by clarifying priorities, enabling you to get things done.

2. Break down big projects into bite size pieces.

When starting a big project, breaking it down into smaller increments helps us get started without allowing the bigger picture to overwhelm us. For example, if you build websites and you just dive into a project without a plan, you’re going to have a hot mess on your hands. You can solve this problem by first designing the layout of the website, then having photos taken, creating graphics, writing the copy, and so on. The key is to work on each of these tasks separately, allowing you to focus on one thing at a time.

3. Automate and Create Systems                                                                       

Systems and automation should be a way of life for all of us. You can get twice as much done in half the time. Yes, really! For me this means, automating my grocery delivery so it shows up at the same time each week and having automatic bill pay. These are things I don’t have to think about or spend time on–they just get taken care of. If you’re working with clients, you can use a system such as dubsado to automate the onboarding process. This frees up more of your time and decreases the chances that you’ll procrastinate getting the job done.

4. Try out a productivity method.

These are different than system automations or project plans. You need a system that you can follow that will allow you to be more productive while you’re sitting at your computer working. These methods range from calendar blocking, the pomodoro technique, and a new one I’ve been working with is the 5-3-1 method. This is where you choose 1 big, 3 medium, and 5 small tasks or goals for your day. In my case, the big one may be to edit a youtube video; the medium ones may be to wash my car, create a new client form, and write a youtube script; and the 5 small ones might be to make 3 phone calls and return 2 emails.

This method has been working well for me. I will sometimes combine it with the pomodor technique which is where you set a timer for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute breaks. You repeat this cycle a few times and then give yourself a 10-15 minute break. Using a productivity method really holds you accountable for the time spent on each task, so you will be motivated  to accomplish more.

5. Have an established routine. 

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” –Brian Tracy

Morning routines are huge in the online space right now because they help you start your day off on the right foot. However, I do not think that a morning routine is the only answer. The key to this method is to develop certain behaviors and habits that signal that it’s time to buckle down and get to work. So for some people that means establishing a routine for right when you to the office. Or, maybe it’s a routine after work that prepares you to work on your side hustle. Regardless of when you need it, what’s important is to have an established routine that signals it’s time to get into productivity mode.

6. Take a day off and practice self care. 

There are many entrepreneurs that preach work hard, 7 days a week. Then there are others that tell you that you can work 4 hours a week. The truth is often somewhere in the middle. I can tell you from personal experience that not taking a day off will come back to bite you. You don’t necessarily need a day off each week, but I do recommend at least one day every couple of weeks where you can unplug an do something nice for yourself.  This is especially important if you own your own business, work a stressful job, or even if you’re in college. Finding the right work-life balance is essential for preventing burnout.

We would love to hear from you! Comment below and tell me when you have been overwhelmed with a big project. For even more content like this, check out my YouTube channel where I create videos to help you achieve a life you love and a business that thrives!

How to hire a virtual assistant.

how to hire a virtual assistant

To much to do and not enough time to do it?  Need help but don’t know where to start, then keep reading to see how to hire a virtual assistant.

If you’re overwhelmed by everything you need to get done and there never seems to be enough time in the day, I have four tips that that will to help you to hire a virtual assistant so you  can start checking things off that ever growing to-do list.

Determine what you need.

The best way to do this is to place a dollar amount on every task that you do.  How much is it costing you to accomplish it. Is your time better spent creating graphics for social media, or talking to potential clients. You should be working on the tasks that are generating money, while delegating what is costing you money.

Company VS. Freelancer.

The biggest plus for going through a company instead of a freelancer is time.  A company will have already vetted virtual assistants and understand their unique skill set. You know they will possess the exact skills you need to get the job done.  With freelancers you could be spending hours going through different people, hoping to come across that ONE. You will have to check references, interview them, and ensure they have the  skills that match your needs. The whole point is to save you time right, not cost you more time.

Know your budget.

How much can you afford to pay monthly? Be realistic, not only on what you can afford, but you also need to keep in mind the skills that are going to be required for the tasks you’re needing help with.  Don’t expect a lambo for the cost of a pinto.

Be upfront about your current systems.

Do you already have systems in place for your tasks?  If you do, great. Once your virtual assistant is trained in those systems, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.  If systems aren’t in place, don’t worry. Your virtual assistant can help you make order out of chaos. Just be sure you have clear communication with them. This is the key to a successful relationship.

Check out our services and schedule your FREE call to see how we can help you with growing your business and making money!

If you want more information on why hiring a virtual assistant is the best move you can make, check out this blog.

What to outsource to a virtual assistant.

What to outsource to a virtual assistant

Is everything in your day-to-day stacking up.  Are you spending more time on admin tasks within your business than actually growing your business.  We all need a little help, and a virtual assistant can do just that. While a virtual assistant takes care of the routine tasks in your business, you’re able to grow your business.

You may be wondering what tasks do you hand-off?  Maybe you’re still contemplating and not sure what a virtual assistant can do for you.  

What can they handle?

Virtual assistants can handle anything from general administration to the more technical work, and let’s not forget about social media.  

Basic tasks, like calendaring and travel arrangements can be handled by a virtual assistant.  With someone managing your calendar nothing slips through the cracks. Meetings, travel arrangements, and the other things that only you can do are on your calendar ready to go.

Travel

Tired of paying ridiculous amounts of money booking travel arrangements, because it gets pushed on the back burner and made short notice.  A virtual assistant can handle all of that for you. Maybe you want, and need, some time off with the family. A virtual assistant can find you the best deals and packages to surprise them with the best vacation ever.

Reception

Need someone to answer the phone while in that important meeting or conference.  Want to ensure that your customers can reach you, even while spending some quality time with your family, or even that mysterious thing called sleep.  Virtual support can have you covered. Customer Relationship Management and support. Many virtual assistants are skilled in handling customer service support and relationship management systems. There are many virtual assistants that go as far as specializing in customer support for Shopify and Amazon FBA entrepreneurs. What does this all mean?  Virtual assistants are good at handling customer service and keeping your customers happy.

Email management

Who is able to keep that unread number less than 50?  Never miss anything important because it was sandwiched in between junk email.  A virtual assistant will go through, get rid of anything that is not needed and ensure you address important emails.

Research  

You have a picture in your head of your perfect customer, but you’re not sure where to find them. A virtual assistant can research your demographic and find out where they’re hanging out online. Maybe you need to know what your competitors are doing, let them find out for you.

Technical

Whether it’s website management, building sales funnels, or creating email content a virtual assistant can handle it for you. Maybe you know what needs to be done, but you aren’t quite sure the best way to do it.  We love technical. Virtual assistants with tech knowledge can handle those technical tasks you don’t want to do or don’t know how to do.

Social Media

It’s a big part of the growth your business.  Customers want to see your business up close. If people can relate to your brand, they’re going to want to buy from you.  Customers are going to check you out on social media. If you aren’t active and engaging, they go somewhere else. Here is the thing, it takes time and work.  It’s not just a post every once in a while. They want to see what you do, how you do it, and how you interact with your customers and community. They also will check out how long it takes you to respond to customers.  The struggle is real you guys. Between social media postings, content creation, and engagement, you may want to run and hide. You keep reading about content strategies and maybe you’ve tried to keep up with Gary Vee’s $1.80 Instagram strategy, but who really has time for that? A virtual assistant. Virtual assistants can help you with all areas of social media.

Facebook Ads

I’ve put this one in a category all by itself, why?  Because Facebook ads should be handled with care. Virtual assistants proficient in FB ads can help you create and manage your Facebook ads. If you’re still boosting a post, or creating FB ads without a target audience, I encourage you to hire a FB va. Facebook ads are still one of the most powerful forms of advertising, but if you don’t know what you’re doing you could be wasting a lot of your advertising budget.

There are so many other tasks that a virtual support specialist is able to handle for you.  Essentially, anything that is taking time away from nurturing and growing your business, that doesn’t make you money, should be sent off for someone else to do.  Another great thing too, you don’t have to ensure they have office space, or equipment to use. No need for fringe benefits, like health insurance and paid time off.  All you pay for is productive hours. Comment below and let us know what you could do with all that extra time by getting a virtual assistant.

Don’t forget to check out our services and package options to see what we can take off your hands!

How much does a virtual assistant cost?

how much does a virtual assistant cost

So, you’re ready to make the leap and hire a virtual assistant to take some of the work of your hands.  

But, you have no idea how much it should cost you. In order to determine how much a virtual assistant will cost you, start by determining what tasks you need help with. The rule of thumb is to outsource the tasks that are costing you money, so you can focus on tasks that bring in money. Consider the expertise it’s going to take for someone to complete the tasks you need done. If general admin work is taking up a lot of you time, a virtual assistant is a great option.

Virtual assistants performing general admin tasks like calendaring or email clean up will have a lower rate then someone with expertise in web design or social media.  The more experience and intricate the need, the higher the pay.

Next up, time?

Are you going to need a quick turn around for the task? If you waited until the last minute and needed something done yesterday, you’re going to pay more. Most virtual assistants with a thriving clientele will charge a premium fee for rush jobs. In most cases, they’re serving more than one client. They aren’t trying to punish you in any way, but in order for your rush job to get done it will require them to drop everything else in their business, so they can prioritize your needs.

Consider the frequency of virtual assistance you’ll need. Will you need help with a one time project, periodically, or consistently?  Virtual assistants can charge by the hour, by the project, or a monthly fee. The project or monthly fee will be a better price if this is something you’ll need frequently. Virtual assistants enjoy having continued client work.  If this is a one time project, you may be missing out on some incentives such as discounted packages for consistent work.

Average Cost

The average cost of a quality virtual assistant working in the United States can range anywhere from $25.00 to $100.00 an hour depending on the specifics of the job and time frame.  I know what your thinking, why don’t I just hire someone in house to do it? In that case you’ll need to add equipment cost, benefits, and taxes. Below is a breakdown of a $15.00 an hour employee vs. a virtual assistant at $27.00 an hour.

 Comment down below and let us know what a VA can do for you.

How to actually accomplish your goals by creating an action plan.

How to actually accomplish your goals by creating an action plan

Let’s talk about your goals and goal setting for a second. You remember… the ones you set at the beginning of the year! Have you started on them yet? If you’re like most people, you’ve already given up, or you will within the next few weeks. At least that’s what all the “experts” say.

The truth is, it’s hard to set and accomplish those BIG goals. We get so use to our routines and adding anything new can feel like a cumbersome task. I want to help. So, here’s one of my favorite ways to actually accomplish big goals. It’s all about the action plan.

Creating a solid action plan for your goals is the number one way to get it all done.

If you missed my previous blog where we listed out our goals, you can check it out by clicking below.

 How to set goals and accomplish them.

I also have a FREE Goal Planning Worksheet you can download that will walk you through creating your action plan. Click the link below and I’ll email it to you right away!

Download your FREE Goal Setting and Action Plan worksheet!

This process does require work on your part, so I want you to get excited about this and comment down below that you’re ready to work.

The goal is to list your 5, 3, and 1 year goals down on paper (or somewhere on your computer/smartphone for those techies out there). Start with your 5 year goals. Imagine what you want your life to look like in 5 years from now. Write it all down! Then, you’ll write down your 3 and 1 year goals. Think of your 3 and 1 year goals as milestones to your 5 year goals. At the end of the process, you should have between 3-5 goals per year. Don’t try to cram anymore than that into your life! You’ll get overwhelmed and burn yourself out.

Next, use the sheet from the action plan worksheet to write down every step you’ll need to complete for each of your goals. We even threw in some suggested questions to help you get those juices flowing and determine the steps your gonna need to take. If it’s easier, you can check out my video where I walk you through this process.

Let’s get back to the steps.

For each goal, you should have 10 – 20 tasks or steps. This includes listing out people you need to talk to that can help you reach each of your goals. Some of your goals may require you to learn some new skills. Make sure you account for those small details.  The idea is to make each of the steps small enough that they are easily achievable and lead to smashing the big goals.

After listing those steps out, we then need to put them in sequential order. One being the first step, and the last step being your big goal. Plus, I want you to set a deadline for each of those steps. A real deadline with a date and time. Make sure these dates are attainable. If you know you’re going on vacation in June, don’t schedule a step during that time.  Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Do the same thing for your 3 and 5 year goals!

BAM, now you have your very own action plan! But, don’t get too excited. There’s one more step we need to do. Put these steps and deadlines on your calendar. Block off time to work on each of these steps. If one of your steps includes making a phone call, block that time on your calendar to make that phone call. Calendar blocking is a great method. If you need guidance on calendar blocking, guess what…we have video on that too. You can check it out here.