When you have someone on retainer, you pay to reserve a certain amount of time on a recurring basis. This is great for budgeting not only your VA’s time but your expenses as well. But if you don’t use this time before the next cycle occurs, you lose it so essentially it’s money down the drain. Here are some useful tips to maximize the time you’ve paid for:
- Assign recurring tasks such as curating, creating, or scheduling social media content or blog content. This can easily be done weekly and ahead of time. For a more improved workflow, have a checklist of the things that need to be done with descriptions on requirements and themes. Have your branding information available as well and even a future topics so your VA can get ahead of these tasks whenever possible.
- Create Priority Lists or Categories in your project management tools and label certain tasks as High Priority, Medium Priority, and Low Priority. Obviously, the high priority tasks will need immediate attention, and when those are done, your VA can move onto the Medium and then the Low Priority tasks when there is time left over. This way the higher priority tasks can get done and the low priority tasks will fill up the rest of your retainer.
- Know how much time certain tasks should take either because you’ve done them yourself in the past or have your VA track their time so you can know and budget for future tasks and projects. Also set a target average time for certain tasks. New tasks will probably take your VA longer to do but with more practice and experience, will get faster over time as he or she gets to know your process and preferences better. If you know something only takes you about 10 minutes, have your VA aim for this goal. Of course, not all tasks are probably the same so allow for some variation.
- Set a maximum time limit for certain tasks or projects. For example, only spend one hour on a research or brain storming project or for curating social media content.
Once you have a system down with your Virtual Assistant, you will not only be able to maximize your retainer, but be more productive as well. You may even be able to leave these tasks for your Virtual Assistant to do automatically with little to no direction so that your time is freed up to be spent on more important things that require your personal attention, on things that you enjoy more, and on more time for yourself and for your family.
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