Oct 7 – Written By Stephanie Sheargold
Effective diary management is a must for any business owner in order to keep control of everything from internal and external meetings, making reminders, keeping a record of actions and deadlines as well as remembering your appointment with the dentist! This is an integral part of a successful business but is sometimes neglected as it is often so far down the list of other more important things to do. There is a sense of irony here in that having a well-managed diary enables you to work more effectively but when do you find the time to get around to doing it? That’s why it is something that can be outsourced easily to a Virtual Assistant and taken control of by them in order to be given the importance it deserves. Then you can focus your attentions where they are needed to run your business successfully.
So, what does outsourcing your diary management mean? It means someone else controls your diary in its entirety (ideally). So, any meeting requests by you or someone else, including verbal ones, get passed to your VA to arrange. It is very tempting if you have not had someone to manage your diary before to continue to put meetings in or edit meetings yourself but you need to be able to let go as this will cause your VA to roll their eyes or worse! Once you have confidence that your diary is being managed properly you can fire off any meeting request and know that it is off your desk and onto someone else’s who will make all the arrangements for you.
Don’t be put off by the fact that your assistant is not in the same building, or even city as you as managing a diary can all be done remotely. With the luxuries of a Google calendar or Outlook that can be accessed not only on your office PC but also on your phone, laptop, tablet, your assistant can be the first one on hand when your next meeting cancels at short notice or an urgent meeting has to be slotted in. These are things that can cause undue stress to a business owner but to know that someone is juggling all the arrangements for you means you can carry on as normal. It can seem chaotic at times but these are tasks that you virtual assistant will deal with daily and will remain calm and take it in their stride.
You can also use your Virtual Assistant to confirm all your meetings in advance for each week, find directions for you to meeting venues you haven’t been and sort any papers you might need. The list is endless really. VA’s are excellent communicators and will often be one step ahead of you once they are in to your groove but you also need to communicate with them. If you are happy to have one meeting after another or if you prefer all our meetings in the morning to leave the afternoon to work at your desk, let them know. This will develop an excellent working relationship that with suit both of you.
Arranging meetings can be time consuming. Some are a quick email or call and they are done. Others involve a number of diaries or people dialling in from countries within a different time zone. These take time and someone unflappable to arrange. That’s where your virtual assistant comes in. The complicated meetings won’t phase them and the simple ones will be done before you have even seen the email asking for the meeting to be set up. On this note, as you would be giving your assistant free reign on your diary it is really important that you help by putting everything that affects your day into your diary. If you have any personal appointments or have to pick the kids up from school every Tuesday then put it in. This will make their job easier and avoid any problems with having to reschedule meetings unnecessarily.
It seems pretty clear that outsourcing your diary management to a virtual assistant has so many advantages that you’ll wish you had done it ages ago. This is just one of the tasks that Timpi is there to help you with, so get in touch with us and we’ll match you with your perfect VA.