We are nearing the end of a 4-week challenge to get the workflow between you and your VA as productive as possible. Ensuring you achieve results faster.
If you dream of a workflow that is as optimised as the most successful companies out there, you are in the right place.
Here is the process we are following. Each week we elaborate on a topic and provide all the steps you need to complete the challenge. The challenge doesn’t lay in what needs completing but rather in setting aside the time to do it.
- Week 1: Streamline your Communication and Increase your Returns
- Week 2: Define your Priorities and Ensure your VA does Work that Makes you Happy
- Week 3: Hand over your Calendar and Create the Pause you Need
- Week 4: Hand over your Inbox and get only essential e-mails. Nothing Else.
Week 3: Hand over your Calendar and Create the Pause you Need
Do you look at your calendar and feel overwhelmed? How can you lay out your Ideal Week? How can your VA help you get as close to it as possible? Who may and may not add items to your calendar?
Your time is immensely valuable. And your schedule is more than accepting and declining appointments and invitations. Your calendar is a way of achieving more by methodically structuring your days.
You know that not all tasks are equally weighted, and there are some only you can do. For all the rest, you should delegate.
When your VA manages your schedule, you can increase your productivity by gaining more time to focus on those key tasks only you can do. Yes, having someone plan every hour of your workday will seem daunting at first, but in the long run will leave you feeling more in control.
How do Hand Over your Calendar?
The first step is to tell your Assistant what your priorities are. As mentioned in week 2, the more information you give your VA, the more you empower them to make decisions that you like. It is just as important to relay the ‘why’ behind a task as it is to provide the task. If your VA knows your goals and plans, they’ll have the necessary context to go above and beyond.
Your calendar is customed and managed around you, so be honest about your habits and preferences.
Consider factors such as:
- When do you want to start and end your workday?
- Which are your most productive days, where you have the most energy?
- What challenging tasks do you have that could be scheduled for those days when you feel strongest?
- What are your most productive times in the day?
- Could it work to schedule all meetings for Fridays e.g., when you have low energy for sitting behind a computer but more for engaging with people?
- Are there days you prefer to have no meetings?
- How much time to block out for deep/focused work like research and writing
- How long should your Assistant block out on average for your different tasks?
- Which work trips, events and meetings do you have scheduled?
- Do you prefer virtual or physical meetings? Could some physical meetings be changed to virtual to save the commute?
- Which existing projects do you have and what are their deadlines? When would you like to start working on them?
- Where should regular exercise be scheduled?
- When would you like to take breaks during the year? When are the public holidays?
- Which standing family commitments do you have, such as date nights, family dinners or birthday parties?
Remember that you can and will change the schedule regularly. Nothing is set in stone. But the framework for your ideal week guides you and your VA’s decisions based on your priorities.
From here on out, if anybody wants to spend any time with you, they need to go through your Assistant. Meeting requests, coffee dates, even personal events.
No, when a friend asks to meet up for lunch, you’re not going to tell them to contact your Assistant. But you are going to ask your Assistant first to check your calendar and schedule it where most appropriate because your Assistant knows what is important to you and how best to slot it all in.
With associates, colleagues or potential clients, just say, “I’ll ask my Assistant to schedule it for us.”
What will you gain through your VA managing your schedule?
A schedule means you know exactly what you are heading into each day. It protects you from staying busy with things that aren’t moving you closer to your goals. It keeps you from saying yes to unimportant events and keeps you engaged, in the moment, with your full focus.
In our next article, we will share another task your Assistant can take off your hands, ensuring you remain focused and productive.