One of the biggest complaints in today’s modern communications is there are too many emails. We step away from our inboxes for an hour and BOOM! Thirty more emails. And then, we start to dig in and have to use extra energy and focus just to get to the main point of each message.
Let’s be honest – we’re all friends here. You’ve read an email and thrown your hands up asking, “What the hell do you want?”
Whether the email is too wordy or the asks are not clear, we easily get flustered when reading a message simply because… if it is taking this long to figure out what this person wants, how long is it going to take me to get through the rest of my inbox?
The reality is you may be the culprit as well. You may be sending emails that cause this anguish and frustration. While we can’t please everyone, we can certainly aim to write the best emails possible for the masses.
That’s where these simple tips come in.
Digital records management isn’t something we spend time thinking about until we need to find a file. We spend far too much time searching, wondering where we would have thought to save the file when we were working in it. Frustration sets in as we jam every term possible into the search bar and still we have to sort through file after file to find what we need.
I personally despise wasting time looking for files. It’s one of those delays that drives me nuts mainly because it’s so easy to prevent.
If you’re relating to this, don’t worry – most people do. We’ve become disorganized digital hoarders. With endless storage capacity and search functions, we aren’t as discerning about what we’re saving and how it’s organized.
Have you ever been to a conference or networking event and you wish you could connect with everyone? Getting to every single person in the room can be daunting but you have a shared experience or interest and you’d still like to connect.
Picture this… You’re at a networking happy hour with your organization and there are lot of fresh faces. You’re working the room but it’s not realistic for you to get face time with everyone in attendance. Thanks to this function built into LinkedIn, you can at least invite them to connect with you and hey! You’ll schedule coffee with them later.
I’m about to change your networking life with a simple LinkedIn tip.
Who this is for:
- Attendees of limited-seat workshops who want to connect with fellow attendees.
- Speakers who want to open their LinkedIn to connect with their audience.
- Networking groups that you want to connect with quickly and swiftly.
Unsurprisingly, email tends to be most workers’ biggest headache. Whether it’s a burning desire to document everything or senders just like the ease of email, we are inundated with messages at all hours of the day.
How do we manage the chaos?
Well, first, start thinking of your inbox as a tool, not the bane of your existence. There are a lot of functionalities built into email clients to make our lives easier – we just have to discover them or actually use them.
So, set some time aside today and let’s get organized!
You’re working your little heart out, losing track of time, and starting to consider hiring a little extra help. And you begin to wonder, “Am I ready for a virtual assistant?”
The reality is if you’re starting to wonder if you’re ready for a virtual assistant you may actually be in desperate need of one.
That brings us to tip #1…
Tip #1: Hire a virtual assistant before you need one.
Hire a VA to help you scale your business, not to dig you out from being buried by it.
If you’re already buried, that’s okay. Let’s get you positioned to hire the right person, fast.
Tip #2: Know what you’re looking for.
The real title of this blog post should be “The Crazy Amazing Benefits of Hiring a Real-Life Virtual Assistant Instead of Doing Everything Yourself or Relying on Technology.”
But that’s not catchy.
I hear it all the time. “With all the technology today, why should I hire a virtual assistant?”
Simple. Technology can’t replace human critical thinking, strategy, brand awareness, autonomous behavior, compassionate response, and much more – all at once.
Sure, there are plenty of ‘virtual assistants’ out there – Alexa, Echo, Siri, Google Assistant, and tools to automate your business. You can set up all your systems and hope they do exactly what you’d like them to do. But chances are you going to spend more time managing your tools than you will be working on your business and still none of those tools can apply years of administrative and business expertise to make sure you make the right decisions for your business.
Sold yet? No?
In our ever-connected world, we are being drained by our work. Access to email means your boss can find you wherever, whenever. Customers and colleagues are using social media for business at alarming rates. Throw in collaboration and communication tools like Slack, workflow managers, chat, text, *gasp* the phone… and the idea of unplugging becomes downright laughable.
On top of all this communicating, you have to get actual work done and live a life.
It’s enough to drive people absolutely mad. And I’ve seen it happen.
I’ve been there.
Years ago, I was working myself to insanity because I felt an overpowering sensation of indebtedness to my job and an unwavering commitment to an unscalable definition of good customer service. I was always on-call, responding to emails within moments of receiving them and handling tasks quickly because I didn’t want to be a bottleneck in productivity. People would politely chastise me, “It’s so late! This isn’t urgent!” But for me, it was. Good customer service meant dealing with every single task with a sense of accessibility and urgency.
But the burnout hit me hard.
Color coding your calendar is one of those organizational tricks that most people shrug off. Either they think it takes too much time or they won’t implement it or it is just plain frivolous.
I’m here to tell you – if you aren’t color coding your calendar, you’re missing out.
Color coding your calendar allows you to see how your time will be used at a glance. Colors can be used to distinguish between projects, clients, meeting types, activity types. You name it. You will know in a matter of seconds how your time is allocated just by looking at colors.
The system will take you a mere few moments to set up and I guarantee you’ll see the benefits immediately.
How to color code?
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m a pro at multitasking!”?
Maybe you’ve said it yourself.
I have bad news. Multitaskers may not be as productive and tuned-in as they think they are. Studies have shown time and time again that not only is multitasking less efficient, but it may actually be impossible.
Don’t believe me? Here’s an interesting article on multitasking research.
Now, I’m not here to be accusatory. I’ve definitely been there. Up until a few years ago, I would have insisted that I was the queen of multitasking. And then, suddenly, I realized I wasn’t.
I had taken a job as an assistant to three executives, plus my role required project management work. My brain was constantly running in eight different directions and while I was able to keep myself organized, I found it was taking me longer and longer to get through tasks that were seemingly simple. Why was it taking me so long to book travel and get it on calendars? Expense reports were taking twice as long to get done. And I just couldn’t seem to get my project reports sent out. I was drowning.
Something had to change.
Being productive isn’t something you just “are”. Productivity stems from having numerous tools in your toolbox to tackle the hundreds of tasks that get thrown at us every week.
In addition to setting daily priorities and scheduling my to-dos, I have one more big trick up my sleeve to keep the overwhelm at a minimum. I batch my work.
What exactly is batching your work?