13 Habits To Break To Increase Productivity

Do you find yourself falling behind in your work even though you’re putting in long days and time on the weekends? Working smarter, not harder means making the most of the time you have and making that time as productive as possible.

  1. Hitting The Snooze Button. When you first wake up, your endocrine system begins to release alertness hormones to help get you going for the day. When you drift back to sleep, you slow down this process. That extra 6-7 minutes doesn’t give your body time to get back into the deep sleep it needs, so forgo the snooze and get out of bed when the alarm rings.
  1. Leaving Your Bed Unmade. I recently read a Hubspot article where Navy Seal William H. McCraven told a crowd, “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task will have turned into many tasks completed.”
  1. Starting Your Day With Easy Tasks. Your most productive time of the day is your first 3 hours. Sometimes that big project or task seems overwhelming to tackle in the morning, but putting it off until later in the day can lend to you either running out of time to do it or being too tired to do a good job. Utilizing the first 3 hours of your day to get the big things out of the way will also clear your mind knowing it’s done and help you concentrate on the rest of your day.
  1. Impulsively Scouring the Internet. Almost everyone has internet access at work. It’s easy to get side tracked online and soon you’re getting sucked into Facebook or shopping for that birthday gift you still need to buy. Try making a list of the “extra” online things you need to do that you can revisit on your lunch or in the evening.
  1. Multitasking. Multitasking is one of the leading causes of burnout for most people. Although we like to think we can multitask effectively, there’s scientific proof that we can’t. When a person is multitasking they experience a 40% decline in productivity and your IQ can suffer a 10 point drop which is equivalent to missing an entire night’s sleep. It’s time to take off the cape and ask for help.
  1. Checking Email Too Often. We all fall into the “endless email” trap. Checking emails can turn into as much of a time-suck as scrolling through Facebook. Try setting certain times of the day aside to check emails. If there’s something pressing you’re waiting for, use a 3-point system: before work, at lunch and 4 o’clock. Unless there’s something time-sensitive you’re waiting on, the emails will still be there regardless of how often you check them.
  1. Being Disorganized. Being disorganized is a sure-fire way to decrease your productivity. If you’re spending more time looking for things instead of doing things, you’re not spending your time wisely. This is a perfect scenario for being “busy” instead of “productive”.  
  1. Accepting Too Many Meeting Requests. Before you take up your time and that of others, make sure the meeting is not only necessary, but that it’s planned out ahead of time to be short and to the point. Meetings add a disruption to our day and workflow and makes it hard to get back on track.
  1. Failing To Prioritize. When you have a busy day it’s easy to have your priorities fall out of order. Instead of writing down 15 things to do in a day, break those up into smaller, more manageable blocks and assign them to different days throughout the week.
  1. Over Planning. Being ambitious and organized is great until the day slowly unravels and your plans are being pushed out later and later. Instead of planning every detail of your day, try planning for 5-6 hours of an 8 hour day to allow for flexibility.
  1. Under Planning. Just the opposite of over planning, under planning will have a similar unraveling affect. If you fail to have some type of plan in place, you end up wandering aimlessly into your day not quite sure where to start and what your end game should be. 
  1. Taking Your Electronics to Bed With You. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “A key factor in regulating sleep and your biological clock is exposure to light or to darkness, so falling asleep with lights on may not be the best thing for a good night’s sleep . Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the eye to parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide-awake.” Too much light, right before bedtime may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, so keep those LED screens tucked away until the morning.
  1. Trying To Be Perfect. This is where I have problems and need to remind myself regularly that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. It takes too much time and energy away from completing a task or project, and in the end makes us less efficient and less effective. You need to draw a line and decide when it’s time to call it complete and move on.

It’s difficult to try and break all bad habits at once; make a list and prioritize which ones you want to work on first and see how much more productive your day can be.

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’re looking for help in breaking your bad habits and getting some assistance along the way, give her a call today.

Gift Giving Ideas For Your Business

The holidays can be great and at the same time stressful. It’s a time of year that we give that extra thank you to those who have helped us in our business and personal lives, that we may have been too busy to stop and thank throughout the year. It doesn’t matter how big or small the gift is…it’s the time that someone took to express their gratitude that matters. Even the smallest budget can afford to send out a nice card.

Whether your budget allows you to send a card or a gift basket, now is the time to start thinking about getting everything together to avoid the frazzled, final-hour rush. If you already have a virtual assistant that you’re working with, the entire process can be outsourced. Once you offer some guidance on your budget and gift ideas you have in mind, you can turn this daunting task over and they can help you:

  1. Research gift ideas.
  2. Order your gifts.
  3. Hand-write cards for that personal touch.

GIFT IDEAS

Depending on how well you know your clients, below are some unique ideas if you have a smaller group of clientele:

Charitable Organizations

Do you have a client that’s involved in a particular charity, organization or foundation? Make a donation in their name or yours; the charity can send a letter on your behalf noting the contribution.

Gift Certificates

Have a client that’s an avid golfer? Purchase a gift certificate to their favorite local course, or one they’ve talked about wanting to visit. Do they love the Theater? Purchase a gift certificate to a local playhouse.

Wine or Beer Lover

Give them a membership that ships a different variety of wine or beer every month (this may not be available in all States). You can try The Original Craft Beer Club or Wine Of The Month Club. A gift certificate to a local brew house or winery where they can make their own beer or wine is also a unique idea…these are increasingly popular and can be found all over the country.

The Health Nut

Try out a subscription service to a healthy alternative to snacking. Graze is a popular site that offers 100’s of items you can choose from to be boxed and sent to your clients home or business.

Share What You Love

Do you use a service or have a subscription that you love and want to share? Whether you’re a music lover and offer a year subscription to Spotify or you love healthy cooking and use a service like HelloFresh, these are both unique ideas to give to that special client.

Promotional Products

If you have a larger client base you’re looking to send to, you can consider a useful promotional item. Some people think promo items are cheap or that they are a one-size-fits-all solution. In reality promo items can be that little extra you pair with something else for that special touch. You can also find an item that you think most people will find useful and purchase a higher-end version.

If you’re looking at putting together gift baskets, why not include a promo item that goes along with your theme? If it’s a useful, quality item it will get used and be appreciated. With the holidays fast approaching we wanted to share with you some of the hottest holiday gifts for clients we’ve found.

Chocolate – Everyone loves chocolate, your clients will appreciate you for it and your logo will be there to remind them who sent it.

Notepads – Stay in front of your clients with note pads, sticky notes and flags.

Stainless Steel Tumblers— Everyone loves a hot beverage. You can stay in front of clients all day with a tumbler, and they can be paired with gourmet hot chocolate packets, coffee pods or tea bags.

Wine Carrier – You can pair a nice wine carrier with your logo along with a bottle of wine or even sparkling apple cider. 

Mugs– Everyone loves a good mug and especially a good looking one. Just like the tumblers, these can also be paired with gourmet hot chocolate packets, coffee pods or even a gourmet instant soup.

The options are endless when you’re looking at promotional gift ideas. Whether you decide to be unique in your gift giving, offer promotional items or simply send a card, the thought that goes behind what you’re sending means more than the actual gift itself.

Taking care of your holiday gift giving needs is a great task to outsource that will have a positive impact on your business and personal life. 

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants and also works with Elite Now Promotions. If you need help getting your holiday gift list and ideas together or need someone to help execute a plan for you, give her a call today at (440) 973-7005. She can also help you find the right promotional product for your business for the holiday season!

 

Are you Overwhelmed?

Elite Scheduling Services, LLC

Are you trying so hard to be successful that you are totally and completely overwhelmed?

Believe me, I get it! It’s super hard to do everything on your own and successful business people will tell you that you can’t do it alone!

I’ve been running a successful business for 7 years and I’ve always needed help. I have a VA that helps with social media and marketing and one with promotional marketing. Not only do these people help me keep my business running, they help keep me motivated! I’m typically a motivator but there are times when you need someone else to step up and say “You can do this!”

If you are a crazy busy person and need someone to help you with your business you are probably thinking ‘where do I even start?’ Well you are in luck because I’ve broken it down below. Use these tips and…

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How A Virtual Assistant Is An Affordable Asset In Your Digital Marketing Efforts

I was recently reading a blog post by Chris Ducker where he notes that “in an online survey of more than 460 small business owners, proprietors and CEOs, 63% said that they spend 1-5 hours on social media every week. The rest are spending much more, with some business owners spending 21+ hours a week on social media alone.”

As crazy as that last number sounds, running a comprehensive digital marketing campaign takes time and energy. You may not see immediate ROI with these efforts, but in the digital age we’re in, it’s an important element you can’t afford to miss out on.

One of the top requests our clients ask of our VA’s is help in running these campaigns. The first question is typically, how can a Virtual Assistant help me with my social media marketing? The honest answer to that is…how much do you want them to help you?

Many people like to create the content for their blogs and posts themselves and also want to be the ones engaging with their audience which is why they’re not sure where to start, but there’s more to these marketing efforts that just the content creation. If you’re not sure which channels you need to be on, it will take some research on your target audience to see where they’re hanging out. Some people like LinkedIn, others prefer the fast pace of Twitter. This is a great place for your VA to start doing some research.

Once you find your channels and you decide you’ll create the content,  your VA can find the right graphics to promote your posts and make sure they’re scaled to fit each channel. I’m sure you’ve seen it before; you’re looking at a Facebook ad and half of it’s cut off? That’s typically because they’re using the one-size-fits-all photo across all channels. Each social network has their own dimensions for graphic posts; it’s best to take the time to resize them  accordingly:

Facebook 940 x 788 pixels

Twitter: 1024 x 512 pixels

Pinterest: 735 x 1102 pixels

Instagram: 1080 x 1080 pixels

Did you know that the human attention span has dropped to 8 seconds, while a goldfish, yes a goldfish, has a 9 second attention span. This goes to show that graphics are a must-have in your campaign. According to a post by Kissmetrics images will get 94% more views than those without. If you were wondering just how important the right graphic is in your campaign…it’s IMPORTANT, so make the most of that 8 seconds.

goldfish

The other time consuming part of your campaign is posting. You can save some time using a platform like Hootsuite, but using a relevant Twitter hashtag for your Facebook and LI posts aren’t going to score you too many points with your followers. Each channel has its own vibe…Twitter is very social, fun and fast paced. Facebook requires a little more attention and interaction, and is a good place to tell a story. LinkedIn is professional and needs it’s own tone separate from the others in your campaign. I’m personally not as familiar with Instagram and Snapchat, but much like Pinterest, those apps use pictures to tell your story. This is a great place to bring in a VA to help coordinate your graphics and postings.

For your blog, you can create your own content but will still need the right photo, some editing, and posting to your various channels. One of the toughest parts of blogging is deciding what topics to write about. This is where internet research comes in handy to see what others are blogging about, what’s hot, what’s not, and so on.

Once you have an established relationship with your VA, you can slowly start handing some of the content curation over to them. Once they get to know you and learn your message and style, it’s easier to hand that task over.

According to Ascend2, email marketing technology is used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies, and e-newsletters are equally important. Email marketing is another area that is an essential part of your digital marketing plan where providing your Virtual Assistant with the content, they can be responsible for putting it together, finding graphics and scheduling.

Another growing part of digital marketing campaigns is video marketing. No one can replace you in your video, but after creating it you need to get it out there. Uploading your video to different channels, reformatting it when necessary, converting, adding a preroll…that all takes time, and is another great task you can choose to outsource.

Running a digital marketing campaign can seem overwhelming, but with the right help to keep you on track and consistent, it doesn’t have to be expensive. A Virtual Assistant is an affordable solution to bring you the help you need to achieve social success!

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you are looking for someone to help run your digital marketing campaign, give her a call at 440-973-7005.

Find Your Passion

Elite Scheduling Services, LLC

Are you envious of your friends and family who absolutely love their jobs? Do you often wonder why you can’t find something you are passionate about? Finding your passion isn’t always easy and sometimes it isn’t always evident. What if I told you that it’s possible you could be passionate about your current job if you just look at it in a different way?

What is it that you do? Do you sell a product or a service? Do you feel you offer value to your job, company and/or business? Are you helping others?

Take a piece of paper and divide it into four columns. Label the columns Job Pros, Job Cons, Passions and Dream Job. Write down the pros and cons to your current job. Now write down a list of things you are passionate about and finally a list of things you love so much you’d do for…

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Use Your Time Wisely & Be More Productive

It’s easy to get caught up in the circus of our daily lives and end up doing things on auto-pilot. How many times have you traveled your regular route to work, and inadvertently drove that way when you needed to be somewhere else? Although we all have those moments, the key is staying focused and on task and using the most productive times of the day to your advantage.

It’s no secret that the first three hours of your day are the most productive. Make sure that you set that time aside to do tasks that require the most thought and attention. Your brain can only focus for 90-120 minutes before needing a break. Schedule a mid-morning break to get up, stretch and grab a high protein snack to help power you through until lunch. The most unproductive time of the day is 3pm, which is a good time to schedule those tasks that require less thought.

Everyone has their own way of doing things, but in the end most of us want the same thing…to get the most out of our time. With today’s more flexible work schedule, many people aren’t working the traditional 9-5 day. For those that do, the points below are some reminders to help you stay on track and productive:

  1. Exercise in the morning. It’s not always easy, but it will wake your body up and help you focus to get the most out of those crucial 3 hours.
  2. Schedule your demanding tasks for your first 3 hours, with a break half way through.
  3. Get out for lunch. Whether it’s lunch with colleagues or taking a brisk walk, getting out of the office to clear your mind, even for 30 minutes will help bring you back refreshed. And don’t overeat…this will leave you tired and full.
  4. Schedule the 3pm slump time to handle tasks that don’t require too much thought or concentration. You will still be able to get something accomplished without having to put too much effort in.
  5. Leave the office at a decent time. We all have deadlines and commitments, but staying late night after night will only leave you drained.
  6. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, which is the recommended amount for most adults. Your body needs time to rest and recharge in order to get up and do it all again.

Sometimes we forget the obvious when we find ourselves busy, but it’s important to take a step back and not only make sure we’re making the most of our time, but that we’re taking time for ourselves where we can. Your mind and body will thank you.

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’re looking for information on working with a Virtual Assistant, or you are a Virtual Assistant looking to join a growing company, give her a call today at (440) 973-7005.

9 Benefits of a Virtual Assistant vs. An In-House Assistant

One of the struggles many business owners face when trying to decide on hiring a Virtual Assistant vs. an in-house assistant may be a misunderstanding on how the virtual relationship works. Many people feel a sense of security in having an assistant they can see every day and in some ways be able to monitor their activity.

Some areas to consider when hiring an in-house assistant are:

  • Finding a place to advertise.
  • Conducting interviews.
  • What will the employees work schedule be (will you need to be present when they are?).
  • What equipment/furniture will you need to provide?

When you’re looking for downright efficiency in the hiring & learning process of an assistant, a VA is the right choice.

  • A VA will already have the skills & experience in areas you’re looking for, or be knowledgeable enough to learn quickly.
  • A VA will already have a home office in place which will save you and your company money from having to purchase any additional equipment.
  • You won’t have to worry about conflicting work schedules. You can assign your tasks or projects with a deadline and your work will be ready. Sometimes having someone in a different time zone allows a VA to either be working before you’re out of bed, or past the time you’ve already left.
  • A VA only charges for the time they’ve spent working for you, not for the time spent with in-office distractions.
  • VA’s are proficient with the latest technology and can typically jump into a project with little direction needed.
  • A VA is typically an independent contractor whether they’re working through an agency or freelancing. They take pride in their work because it’s their reputation on the line as well as yours.
  • There are no commuting issues with a VA. Your work will always be done regardless of snow storms or traffic delays.
  • With a VA there is no paid leave, sick time or vacation time. Virtual Assistants are only paid for the time they work.
  • VA’s have a very low turnover rate. One of the main reasons people are leaving the 9-5 workday is due to obligations at home. A VA can still work efficiently from their home office and be available when necessary for other obligations.

Working with a Virtual Assistant has other advantages too. You can  read more on How A Remote WorkPlace Can Increase Productivity and see how much more productive a remote worker like a VA can be. There are some interesting facts from that post highlighting how disruptive it can be to work in an office:

  • The average worker experiences an interruption every 3 minutes.
  • It typically takes 23 minutes to return to the original task.
  • In a recent study, the average worker only works 3 days a week due to interruptions and/or office meetings.

If you’ve decided on working with a VA, the next big question is usually where to find one. There are many different freelance sites for independent VA’s to post their experience, and there are just as many agencies that can match you with a VA that has the skill set you’re looking for and eliminate the search all together. You can check out the differences by reading Freelance vs. Agency: 6 Benefits A Virtual Assistant Agency Provides. Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a time and money saving advantage for any business when compared to hiring an in-house assistant.

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’re looking for information on working with a Virtual Assistant, or you are a Virtual Assistant looking to join a growing company, give her a call today at (440) 973-7005.

Your Roadmap To Success: Start With A 1-Page Business Plan

Does the thought of sitting down to do a business plan seem like a daunting task that will take you days or weeks to put together? Do you think your passion is your plan and will pave your road to success? Most business experts agree that you need to have some type of business plan in place for a business to succeed.

When people are self-funding or bootstrapping they don’t feel the need to put a plan together since it’s not required as it would be if you were looking for investors. But having a business plan can increase your chances of staying in business 2.5 times compared to those that don’t. Unfortunately poor planning or no planning is the demise of many businesses.

I ran across an article on LinkedIn by Kim Kaselionis titled “Who Uses A One Page Business Plan”. I’m a “less is more” person by nature, so this really grabbed my attention. I read through the post and then googled 1-page business plans. I sifted through a few and found one that seemed like a great place to start.

I’ll admit when we started our business we didn’t have an actual plan in place: we weren’t 100% sure where our clients would come from or what avenue was going to work best for marketing. Once we decided to put a plan in place it helped sort out questions we had such as:

  • What problem do we solve?
  • What type of Sales & Marketing can we add to what we’re currently using?
  • What will our team members do? What are their strengths or weaknesses?
  • What are our long term goals?

If a project seems too big it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking of how you’ll tackle it. Even starting with the idea of a business plan seemed like a task I did not want to take on, but it’s not something anyone else can do for you. Armed with my 1-page plan template, I approached writing the plan like I do my workouts: If I tell myself I need to work out for 45 minutes I won’t even start; but if I say I’m only going to do 20 minutes, by the end of the 20 I’m ready to go for 20 more. I started with my simple plan and added and edited  as I went along.

It was simple but effective. It outlined what I was doing, why I was doing it, and helped me outline how to increase our sales & marketing efforts. We had these areas loosely in place already, but seeing them in print helped me reorganize some priorities and put my hundreds of sticky notes in an outlined format that I can actually follow. I used the following outline as my guide:

  1. The problem we solve.
  2. The solution.
  3. How do we make money.
  4. Why are we different.
  5. Sales & Marketing.
  6. Competition.
  7. Our Team.
  8. Projects & Milestones.
  9. Status/Time line.

Creating a business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. What it will do is lay out the foundation for your business, and allow for changes along the way. It will not only guide you through the beginning stages of starting and growing your business, but will lay out your goals and objectives with a roadmap on how to get there.

In this day and age we tend to make things more difficult and complicated than they need to be. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by things that seem larger than they really are. If you break it down; whether it’s your business plan, your workload or your workout; into smaller more manageable pieces, it will be easier to get started. Put it in ink…organize your thoughts, set your goals and get ready for success.

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’re looking for information on working with a Virtual Assistant, or you are a Virtual Assistant looking to join a growing company, give her a call today at (440) 973-7005.

10 Steps To Help You Become A Successful Virtual Assistant

Being a Virtual Assistant has many advantages, but still requires you to maintain a certain amount of professionalism. Although others aren’t able to see what’s going on at your home office doesn’t mean they can’t hear what’s going on in your home office. Aside from the obvious background noise that may occasionally occur, being unorganized and unsure of yourself will also come through to the person on the other end.

There are initiatives you can take as a Virtual Assistant to ensure a successful virtual relationship with your clients.

  1. Communication is Key. I think I mention this in every blog I write because IT’S SO IMPORTANT! Transparency is essential with a virtual relationship. Be sure to ask on day 1 what your clients expectations will be for you and how they want to communicate. The first day you start working with a client you need to have the preferred form of communication in place to help the beginning stages of the relationship run smoothly. Determine the best form of communication whether it be email, text or an instant messaging system like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter; whatever will work best for both of you.
  2. Plan Your Updates in advance. Find out whether the client would like an update on a daily or weekly basis and be sure to adhere to that schedule.
  3. Progress Tracking. This is important in the beginning to build a healthy virtual relationship. It helps both sides understand how much time is being spent on a task or project. This not only allows you to see where the most time is spent, but can help your client plan for the coming months. You can use a time tracking program like myhours.com where you can create a free account and track your progress. You will be able to create separate client accounts and within those accounts you can create different projects or tasks that you’re working on. This also allows you to pull a report that you can then email to your client showing them the tasks that were handled, where time was spent and the progress that was made.
  4. Ask Questions. If you don’t understand a task or project, don’t hesitate to ask. Keep all lines of communication open. Always take the initiative to communicate with your client.
  5. Keep Distractions To A Minimum. Avoid background noise. Although it can’t always be helped, finding a quiet place to talk when you’re on the phone with your client is always preferred. Having a crying baby, kids fighting or dog barking in the background while you’re trying to ask a question or provide an update is not only distracting to you, but more than likely annoying to your client on the other end. This could also give the impression that is what a typical day is like working for them. If the call comes at a bad time for you, at the very least give a brief explanation & apology if necessary.
  6. Be Confident In Yourself. Most VA’s are experienced across many channels from executive assistants to digital marketing specialists. If you’re given a task that you haven’t done before but know you are capable, don’t be afraid to tackle it. Google is a wonderful learning tool and there is always information out there that can help you learn something new. Think of it as an investment in your future by adding another skill set to your resume.
  7. Be Honest. Being confident doesn’t mean lying about your capabilities. If you haven’t done something and know you can or are willing to learn, that’s half the battle. Be honest about not having the experience. Consider learning the task on your own time so the client knows upfront they aren’t paying for your training. It’s a learning experience that will look good on your resume.
  8. Keep yourself organized. If you don’t have a complete home office available to you, set aside an area of the house that can be designated as your office. Have a system in place whether it’s on your computer or via hard copy where you can keep your work safely stored out of reach and view of kids, animals and house guests.
  9. Have A Designated Computer. You don’t want to share your laptop with your 13 year old that is forever downloading the latest app or games. With these come viruses and with viruses comes loss of information.
  10. Back Up Your Files. No file is forever safe in the “Cloud” no matter what anyone tells you. Always back your files up on a hard drive in addition to a cloud application for double coverage. I’ve lost years’ worth of pictures and files due to viruses that I didn’t back up; hard lesson learned.

Open communication, being transparent in the time it takes you to complete your tasks and having confidence in yourself and your work are the best ways to start off what is sure to be a successful relationship with your clients!

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’re looking for information on working with a Virtual Assistant, or you are a Virtual Assistant looking to join a growing company, give her a call today at (440) 973-7005.

Are You Ready To End The Year Strong?

The older I get the faster time goes by and this summer is no exception. The realization that we’re in the 2nd week of August with 144 days left this year really opened my eyes. For kids it’s the start of a new school year, for business owners it’s time to get a plan in place to finish 2016 strong.

It doesn’t have to be a complicated, but well thought out and making sure there’s an action plan in place to get you where you want to be. It can be as simple as a pad and paper to get started…writing everything down will not only get the ideas out of your head, but also put them in front of you where it’s easier to organize your lists and priorities.

Get caught up. This might seem like an impossible task at times and a strange place to start, but it’s not as difficult as you’d think. It’s hard to move forward when you’re buried in things that needed to be done three months ago; that weighs on your mind and distracts you from your real focus. Climbing out from underneath can be overwhelming, but you can help alleviate some of the pressure by breaking up your to-do list into smaller pieces. Set aside time to make a list of what needs to be done. Organize your list into the things you can do, and those you can delegate. This will help you see not only what you can manage yourself, but what you can hand off to someone to get back to your break-even point.

Revisit your goals. Once you have your plan in place to get caught up, revisit your goals you set earlier in the year. Are you reaching them? Are you close? If not, why? Look at what you’ve done to get where you are now, and what you can do to either stay on track or pick things up if you’re not where you want to be.

Delegate. This is the hard part for most people. Take the list you made of the things you can outsource for a starting point. The rule of delegating is to outsource what you can teach. There are some things that you don’t want others doing, but there are many things that you can teach someone to do. 

Make a plan. Now that you’ve got yourself caught up, you’ve revisited your goals and found what you can delegate, it’s time to sit down and make a plan to take you through the rest of the year. Don’t try to “wing-it”, that just doesn’t work. Plans can be changed and altered, but having something initially in place will give you guidance on where you’re going, help you see things you may not have noticed before, and keep you and those working with you accountable. From here you can scale as needed, but you have a starting point and something to follow.

Don’t overthink it…less is more. Starting with a basic plan in place to keep you organized and on track will produce greater results than going blindly into the end of the year, and help you finish 2016 strong!

Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’re interested in learning more about Elite’s VA Services and how they can help you finish the year strong, you can visit their website at www.elitevirtualassist.com or call at (440) 973-7005.