Work Orientated Life Hacks from a Virtual Assistant

Everyone has heard about life hacks…we’ve all got a couple of favorites we like.

As a virtual assistant, my job is to make other people’s lives and work life easier.  Here are some work orientated life hacks that I use regularly and will give you back some precious time in your day.

1.  One Notebook- it may seem more organized to have several notebooks, or agenda’s for different projects or clients, but it really isn’t.  Make sure you get a notebook that can accommodate your needs or can be modified to suit your working style.   Use colour coded tabs or removable dividers to organize the notebook.  There are great supplies like post-it plastic pockets that can hold business cards and receipts that help you keep your notebook organized. If you track your time by project or client, keep small sticky notes on pages and record your time and what it was for. This will make billing easier later.

2. To Do List – whether you use a traditional post-it note, or an app on your phone, setting goals for the day and scheduling in things to do in your day keeps you organized and on-track.  It also allows you to plan the most efficient route in order to get your tasks done in a timely fashion so you can get on with your day.

3.   Store stuff where it’s used, not where there is room – Organizers call this concept ‘point of use’. Do you feel like every day is a treasure hunt in your office?  If you have files that you use every day, keep them organized on your desk in a tray, or in a desk drawer, not in a filing cabinet.  If you are mobile and on the go, keep pens in the car, in your purse, and clipped to your notebook. Keep an extra supply of business cards in the car in case you end up somewhere without your bag or wallet.

4. Use your smart phone – smarter.  If you meet someone networking and ask for their business card, take a picture of it so it’s in your phone. (This also works for all of those cards for doctor’s appointment, hair appointments, etc.).  If you are shopping for new office supplies or furniture, take pictures of things and their price tag so you can comparison shop later.  Don’t have a pen to take notes, use your phone- either type it or record it. Need to remember a password, use a password keeper app on your smart phone so you have access to all your passwords in one place, and only need to remember one password  – the one to access your app.

5. Group your tasks together – your day will be more organized and you will save time if you group your tasks together.  Save all of your filing and do it all at once.  Gather all your bills, and sit down and pay them all at once and record the payments, then put your bills in your filing tray. Make all your phone-calls at the same time. If you have writing to do, set aside the time and get all your thoughts together at once and you will be more productive.