How to Set Up a Working Schedule with your Virtual Assistant

Finding time to complete all your tasks can be difficult if you are a busy entrepreneur. You may also find that some of your tasks require more attention than others, and there are always new projects that must be completed. Adding a virtual assistant (VA) can help you manage all of these matters; however, only if the two of you have a working schedule.

What is the working schedule?

This is a plan that outlines the times when an individual or group of individuals will be working, including the working schedule hours they will be available for work and when they will take breaks or perform other activities.

Work schedules can be created for various purposes, including managing employees’ time, ensuring adequate staffing, and improving productivity.

These schedules can be created for various time frames, including daily, weekly, or monthly. Working schedules can be structured in multiple ways, including setting work hours, rotating shifts, or showing flexible schedules. 

Working schedules can also include time for specific tasks, such as meetings, training sessions, or breaks.

Working schedules can be created for individuals, teams, or entire organizations.

Such schedules are often used with time and attendance tracking systems, thus monitoring attendance and ensuring compliance with company policies.

By having a clear and organized working schedule, individuals and organizations can improve their productivity and efficiency, reduce stress and confusion, and provide a clear understanding of expectations and responsibilities.

Define your working schedule clearly.

Having a clear vision of what you want from your virtual assistant − and knowing how much time they’ll have available each week − will make it much easier for both parties to understand what’s expected from each other.

Here are some tips for setting up an effective working schedule with your virtual assistant:

Define what you need

To define what you need, you must consider various factors.

This is to make sure that your schedule is both suitable and effective. Consider these points:

Set your priorities

To help you better allocate your time and resources, you must decide which tasks are most critical and allocate your time to them.

    • First, prioritize your tasks according to importance. For example, suppose two projects must be completed simultaneously, but one is more urgent than the other (e.g., an article due tomorrow vs. an article due next week). In that case, you should complete the more urgent project first. This will benefit your business more than completing the less critical project simultaneously (unless other reasons doing so would help you).
    • Second, perhaps even more critical − prioritize according to urgency: if something must be done quickly, but not necessarily right away, put it higher on your list so as not to forget about it while working on other matters!

Have realistic expectations − time is limited.

To avoid being overwhelmed and, worse, overcommitted (which can lead to quality issues), you must realistically calculate how much time is needed to complete a task.

Consider your mental and physical needs.

An average person can only be productive for four hours a day. There are ways of stimulating the brain to be effective for more hours a day; however, that would involve proper energy management.

Thus, the key is to allocate time for self-care, exercise, and rest. Applying such measures will make you and your virtual assistant more productive and improve your work schedule.

Be flexible

You must remember that even if you have a solid working schedule, this may need to change due to various factors, such as personal commitments, emergencies, etc.

Have a routine

A routine can help you extend your energy and improve your quality of life and work. Moreover, you will ultimately achieve more from your working schedule.

Research your VA’s previous experience and credentials

Before you begin to work with a virtual assistant, it’s essential to do your research. You want to learn as much about their experience and credentials as possible.

Having references from previous clients who have worked with the virtual assistant in question is also helpful. This will give you an idea of what they’re like to work with and how they handle various situations.

It would help if you looked into whether or not this person is a member of any professional associations (such as the International Association for Time Management) or whether they hold certifications related to their industry (such as Project Management Professional).

If they do, ask them what makes those certifications unique compared to others in the field.

Finally, before signing up, ensure your virtual assistant has the special skills or expertise relevant to your project!

Set boundaries

When hiring a virtual assistant, it is most important to set clear boundaries. You’ll want to ensure they understand precisely what the job entails and their responsibilities so there are no surprises later.

It would help if you also outlined what your business does (and doesn’t do) in terms of its products or services, for instance, how much time it takes for each task, etc., so there aren’t any misunderstandings later.

This can be achieved by referring to your job description and conversing with potential candidates before deciding which best suits your needs.

Set up a communication plan with your VA to keep projects moving smoothly

Now that your virtual assistant is set up, it’s time to start them on the right foot. The best way to do this is during the onboarding process.

You should set up a communication plan with them so everyone knows how to reach out and what they should expect in return.

Here are some tools that will help:

Slack

A messaging app for teams or businesses allows users to create private channels. Here, they can easily communicate and share files and documents.

You will not have to worry about losing them in an email chain (because there are so many emails. You will want to keep your emails, storing them as confidential information).

Microsoft Teams

This collaboration and communication tool integrates the various Microsoft products, including Office 365, into one.

It works similarly to Slack, offering file sharing and real-time messaging.

Twist

This communication tool has a strong focus on asynchronous communication, reducing interruptions.

It offers real-time messaging, file-sharing, and integration with other devices and is designed to encourage thoughtful, focused communication.

Chanty

This is a team communication tool that underscores simplicity and ease of use. It offers real-time messaging, file sharing, and task management and has a user-friendly interface.

Flock

This is a team communication and collaboration platform that underlines security and privacy.

It offers real-time messaging, file sharing, and integration with other tools and has various security features to protect sensitive data.

Make use of checklists, templates, and scripts.

If you want a functioning working schedule, create checklists, templates, and scripts for specific activities that must be repeated frequently. Checklists are great for tasks that must be completed regularly.

You can create these in advance and email the checklist to your virtual assistant, giving instructions on the tasks.

Templates are also helpful when documents must be created regularly (such as membership agreements).

The bottom line about setting up a working schedule with your VA

The goal is establishing an active program with a virtual assistant, ensuring this runs smoothly and efficiently.

To do this, define the problem before you start on a solution. Set goals before you begin working with your virtual assistant.

Don’t worry about other people’s goals − be ambitious, but stay realistic.

If you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant, you have all the tools to make it successful. This means setting clear expectations, creating checklists and templates for recurring tasks, and establishing communication plans with your VA. 

Once such matters have been resolved, you can feel confident that your relationship will run smoothly from the start (researching candidates) through the finish (setting up a working schedule).

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