Diary Management - Your Virtual Assistant
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You’d be surprised at how much time is spent over the course of a week arranging and rearranging appointments. If you kept a log of the emails and phone calls that you were involved in during the past week to make or change an appointment in your diary you’d be shocked at how much time this took up. This may be part of your normal routine at the present time but think what else you could do if that time was freed up to spend time on income producing activities.
This change is possible if you bring in an expert to help. By outsourcing your email and diary management to a Virtual Assistant you not only make the process more efficient you will gain back time where you can be more productive working in your business rather than on it. Intrigued, I know I am, so what does it mean for you?
What is diary management?
Diary management is a tool that allows you to record internal and external meetings, record potential meetings, add reminders, set deadlines and keep a record of actions or things to do. By putting a process in place to manage this will help you manage your time more effectively meaning that you are more productive.
What is time blocking?
Time blocking is a time management method that allows you to divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task or group of tasks and only that. It allows you to start each day with a firm schedule that lays out what you will work on and when.
The key to doing this effectively is prioritising your to-do list in advance. I would recommend sitting down once a week to take stock of what is coming up and to make a rough outline of your time blocks for each day. Obviously things happen and it may be that there will be some days where you didn’t finish a task – in this instance I would adjust the time blocks for the rest of the week.
PA Tips for Diary Management
- Use categories and colour coding – I colour code and categorise everything from birthdays, staff annual leave, client meetings, business development, meeting preparation and even lunch. It is a great tool that allows you to know what you are doing at an easy glance.
- Meeting details should be completed with the date, time and location of the meeting, meeting attendees, the agenda and any supporting papers.
- Include travel time – this will ensure you know where you are supposed to be and how to get there. Ensure this is it’s own entry and colour coded so that it can be seen at a glance. Make sure that the end postcode is easily visible.
- Keep recurrent meetings – never delete a recurring meeting as you may need to refer back to the specific details at a later date. My recommendation would be to change the end date.
What are the benefits of working with a VA to manage your diary?
- Accurate entries – believe it or not in this digital age many business owners manage two or three separate diaries; one on their desktop, one on their mobile device and a paper-based diary. This leaves plenty of room for error and double-bookings and as a business owner you can find yourself at a meeting that’s been cancelled or even needing to be in two places at once. By putting someone in charge or your diary not only can they ensure your mobile device and desktop computer are synced they will ensure you have accurate diary entries you can rely on.
- A single calendar – with everything being cloud based it is no surprise that there are a number of cloud-based applications that allow individuals to sync their diary at any time. This means that you can access your calendar from your phone, your tablet or even your desktop and have all of the information you need at your fingertips. Whatever online diary management software you choose to use you will be able to schedule meetings with a variety of people quickly and easily and as the devices are all synced once one is up to date they all are. All you need to do is give access to your Virtual Assistant.
- Maintain Control – a good diary contains everything you need to make your life manageable and efficient so it is important that you maintain some control over it. This means that you can still add your own appointments or block out time to ensure appointments aren’t made when you are unavailable.
- Increased Efficiency – not only will your Virtual Assistant be able to help you prepare for meetings they will also be able to collate the documentation needed to attend the meeting. They will be able to create presentations, arrange travel and book accommodation and even type up the meeting minutes. This will mean that you become more efficient and your business will be more streamlined to your clients.
Contact Setchfield VA Services today to see how I can give you back time