Time Management is an important aspect in building a successful Virtual Assistant business.  But it is and continues to be a difficult thing for business owners in many industries, not just the Virtual Assistant profession. Yet it’s vital to ensure your time is spend on those things that can make a difference and have the biggest impact on your business success.

focus1I believe the most challenging about taking control and having better time management is “Focus”.

Are you also one of those virtual assistants that tend to make To-Do lists with 100’s of tasks, ranking everything as important and trying to complete them as planned. I know, I’m sometimes like that. In reality however, between all those tasks we only lose focus. We tend to take care of the urgent matters first – even if they are not important.

Just evaluate the following scenario:

You need to pick up the kids from school and are running late, your cell phone is ringing while you are searching for your car keys and the dog is whining to be let out. Which task do we handle first? Most probably you’ll reach for the phone. Why? Because it is the most demanding on your senses.

The same happens in our work life – the “Urgent” tasks such as a ringing phone and nagging email gets priority – even if they are not important.

Perhaps one of the biggest secrets to help you determine what is  “Important”  and where you should actually spend your time is the “80/20” rule. This rule is also known as the “Pareto Principle” and states that roughly 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

The funny thing about the “80/20” rule is that it can be applied to almost anything in business. For example it can state that

  • 20% of your marketing efforts results in 80% of your clients: Thus, identify and  focus on those methods that have the biggest impact
  • 20% of your clients contribute to 80% of  your work requests and income: Nurture those clients and focus on retaining them, but don’t forget about acquiring new clients as well
  • 20% of your daily tasks results in 80% of your income: Identify those taks and focus your time on the 20 percent that really matters.

8020 ruleThe value of applying the Pareto Principle in managing time is that it can help you to successfully identify those aspects where your effort produces the most results as well as those aspects where your effort yields little results. By reducing or eliminating those time-wasters that do not really contribute to your business success, you can make more time available to spend on the things that matter.

The bottom line is: Don’t just “work smart”, work smart on the right things.

We’d love to hear your comments on what you consider the “time-wasters” in your business are.