What Mundane Work Tasks Fill Up Your Day?
The internet is full of advice from productivity gurus about morning routines and other tricks that are supposed to help you produce more work. The emphasis on productivity in our culture has caused many people to think that productivity is the same as being busy, but productivity is more nuanced than simply having many things to do.
Effective productivity is working efficiently to produce quality work, more so than completing many tasks. Many daily tasks that help us feel productive just keep us busy and take away from more essential work in the process. For executives who have worked their way up, it’s challenging to delegate work to outside people. But by utilizing virtual assistant services, you can devote more time to the higher-level tasks you were hired and trained to do.
The average worker spends an average of over five hours per workday checking and responding to emails. Executives and higher-ups often receive massive volumes of emails and can end up spending a large part of their workweek sorting and responding to them. However, it’s rare that so many emails are all high priority and require equal attention.
Because emails can be so time-consuming, many often try to find a solution to help them better manage their inbox. Some resort to only checking and responding to emails once or twice a day. Others develop an organizational system to note which emails need immediate response and which can wait. Using away notifications to shape expectations when unavailable can encourage others to resolve issues on their own, helping cut down on the volume of messages received.
However, responding to emails is a task an assistant could help manage. Virtual assistants can sort through the hundreds, or thousands, of emails received per week, and respond to those that are seeking simple and easily obtainable information. For those emails that truly need input your virtual assistant can ask you or send a reminder to respond. Assistants can help cut down the time you spend daily on emails, giving you back some time and energy.
Time and expense reports are one example of administrative tasks that require regular attention and effort to compile. They’re often tedious and require you to block time to complete regularly, which can compete with other tasks on your plate.
Virtual assistants can be tasked with compiling the necessary data and submitting reports on your behalf to meet compliance reporting requirements and free up some time for other priorities.
Creating Your Schedule
Schedules and calendars are intended to keep us organized. Without proper care, however, they can be difficult to manage with a full schedule and shifting appointments. One helpful strategy is to devote certain days of the week for specific tasks with your office door closed, limiting meetings, emails, and phone interruptions. Other days are then devoted to meetings, answering calls and emails, and working on other tasks.
Of course, having a virtual assistant to help you organize your calendar and accept or reject meeting invites on your behalf can clear up a great deal of your scheduling woes. It can also leave less administrative work for you. The most qualified assistants can also make scheduling decisions for you, based on your priorities and deadlines. For instance, an assistant who knows you have an upcoming deadline with a client can prioritize meetings accordingly.
Making Travel Arrangements
Executives often spend several days and weeks per month traveling to visit clients or attend conferences. Arranging flights and hotels in advance is an essential, but time-consuming task. You can certainly use a travel agent to do your bookings for you, though there are often additional fees for those services, and they lack insight into your preferences or schedule. Travel booking apps can simplify the process somewhat, and you’re still left figuring out your own plans.
With access to your calendar, executive assistants can more effectively book your flights, hotels, and other accommodations, as well as rearrange your meetings and other travel arrangements, even when you're in the middle of a meeting or in transit. Flights often get delayed or canceled, and your assistant can rearrange or make adjustments for you while you’re busy with clients. They can also put your travel times directly onto your schedule, keeping all necessary information in one place so you won’t need to check separate logins for confirmation numbers or addresses.
When a virtual assistant is handling your travel arrangements and optimizing your schedule, you have more time to focus on higher value items.
Feeling Overloaded? Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant!
There are numerous benefits of hiring a virtual assistant, especially when it comes to helping you achieve more genuine efficiency in your work week. Create some space in your day by offloading some administrative tasks and having a talented and experienced executive assistant handle them instead.