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Boosting Productivity with a Virtual Assistant

There’s a type of debt that I’d bet you didn’t know you had. It’s the debt you accrue from pushing tasks back into times you had reserved for other things.

My friend and colleague Melissa Smith calls this “time debt.” Melissa is the founder of The PVA, a firm that matches personal virtual assistants with entrepreneurs, executives, authors, consultants, coaches, and anyone else who needs some help. She helped me find my own virtual assistant and it’s been life changing. 

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Track Your Time Challenge

waiting-410328_640Are you wasting precious minutes of your day without even realizing it? Many complain there aren’t enough hours in a day to get things done but it turns out you could be the problem. Gasp! I know!

The issue may not be the amount of time you have but how you’re utilizing it. Staying focused is really important in order to have a productive day.

Distractions are what keep us from reaching our daily goals. Hey- we’re in a society of instant gratification. Just today I had a few spare seconds and I was instantly checking Twitter mindlessly without really even noticing.

I want to challenge you this week to track down where all your spare minutes go.  Here’s a few ideas of how to track that “busy” time:

  • Moment is an app that will track how much you use your iPhone or iPad throughout the day. You can set daily limits and receive notifications once you go over the allotted time.
  • iDoneThis is another great tool to keep track of your day. The app will email you at the end of the day to ask “What did you get done today?”  Stop, reflect, and write about your day just by hitting “reply.” This also works well if you are managing a group.  The next morning, you’ll receive an overview that shows everyone’s accomplishments from yesterday to kick off your day.
  • Rescue Time A web-based service that tracks how much time you spend on tasks. You can also set limits on how long you check emails or update Facebook.
  • Daily Journal –  Write down every single thing you do for an entire day.  This is similar to a food journal where you write out every meal, snack and drink you consume. With a time tracking journal you write out where all your minutes go.  You could also do this in an Excel sheet or in Evernote. Be honest!  This is not a judging contest – it’s a way to get to know your habits better so you can improve your focus.
  • Toggl I just learned about this one at a conference where I was a guest speaker.  It’s a digital way to track all your time.  It makes it easy to capture everything on the go so you don’t forget.

Now that you know what to do – go track those minutes.  I want to hear where you are wasting most of your time – it may surprise you!  Please leave a comment below, a Facebook message or tweet me @Listproducer.  Good luck!