Making appointments are part of everyday life.
If something is important, we normally schedule some time in our daily calendar to fit it in. These appointments can be anything from a business meeting with an important client or that dreaded appointment at the dentist to some “coffee time” with a trusted friend.
By making an appointment you know it embeds the following basic benefits…
- It makes the event important in your mind. Then, when the day and time comes, you will remember that you have an appointment.
- You know that you have committed the time, and you cannot accommodate any other appointments or meetings in that same time slot without disrupting your original appointment.
- It helps you plan your day and activities around that appointment
Because of the diversity of a Virtual Assistant’s work schedule it often happens that one can become lost within all the different tasks such as delivering services, client management, marketing, financial and strategic planning and on top of that managing kids and family. It is therefore important that VAs acquire the skill of FOCUS (I wrote about it in one of my previous posts. You can read more about it here). But, just knowing you need to focus on the important stuff, is not enough. You need to make some time to focus. But don’t just set aside a few minutes – MAKE AN APPOINTMENT.
I recently fell into the trap of having so many things on my mind and many more to do, that I lost focus. We moved from South Africa to the Middle East and between running a business without letting something slip, setting up a new home, helping my child to adjust in the new school while I’m still finding my own feet and on top of that… nursing a sick kitten, things just started to spin a bit out of control, until I took some of my own advice to get my focus back.
I start making appointments for the important things in my life.
I physically made appointments with myself in the mornings and set up reminders on my PC to ensure there is time to focus on important business matters one-by-one. During these times, all interruptions were turned off and suddenly the huge To Do pile started to shrink.
I also made an appointment with my daughter to give her my undivided attention and help her with her homework instead of trying to get some work done in the afternoons with frequent interruptions of “Mommy please help me with this.” Now we are getting through the homework much quicker and I still have enough time to focus on work issues.
As Virtual Assistants, we like to think of ourselves as great multitaskers, but in reality we’re not. Multitaskers cannot Focus – they need to do a lot of things simultaneously and devote tiny slices of time to several tasks at hand. Research however suggests that it takes as long as 20min or more to really get into a task. By multitasking on a number of things, we tend to take longer to complete all tasks than just focusing on them one-by-one and getting it done.
The bottom is this: If something is important and needs your attention, make an appointment with yourself. Focus and Get it Done!