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Welcome to our Work at Home Virtual Assistant Newsletter.
Since 1999, we have provided helpful articles, tips, advice, and most importantly, jobs for Virtual Assistants and potential Virtual Assistants. As one of the first virtual assistant job boards, we have always striven to provide a safe, successful community and job board for our Virtual Assistants.
We hope you enjoy this newsletter and we wish you much success with your Virtual Assistant business.
Effective Time Management for Work-at-Home Professionals
Take Control of Your Time, Take Control of Your Life
By Cindy Coulter 
Five-o'clock already-where did the day go? Sound familiar?  Many work-at-home professionals find themselves working from sun-up until sun-down and still not able to get everything done.
Not enough hours in the day? Look, we all have twenty-four hours each day to work with. So why do some people manage to complete tasks more easily than others?
Effective time management is the key. Learn to take control of your time and you will experience increased productivity and lower stress levels.
Time management is more than just a fancy term for filling your calendar. It is balancing required actions with realistic expectations of how much can be completed in a certain timeframe. Here are a few tips to help you learn to better manage your time to achieve greater results.
Whether you use a paper calendar, an online version, or a PDA, start a habit of scheduling daily, weekly, monthly, and even quarterly tasks. Let's start with a daily plan.
Your daily schedule may include items such as client meetings, responding to emails or phone calls, research, filing, project work and even breaks. At the beginning of each day (or the night before), prioritize all of the things you absolutely have to get done that day. Estimate the time needed to complete each item and block out portions of your day accordingly.
Don't forget personal events. Dentist appointments, children's sports activities, social events, etc. should be added to your calendar first so you can work the balance of your day around those items.
Now let's look at your weekly plan. Weekly items may include status reports to clients, networking opportunities, invoicing, and filing (yes, filing again because we all know this gets pushed to the backburner most times). Using your daily schedule, see where these items can be fit in most appropriately.
Monthly tasks are next. Perhaps you complete billing once a month, or have a monthly networking engagement. Put these on your schedule along with - you guessed it - filing and purging old documents. Other monthly responsibilities may include marketing and business development efforts, including referrals and testimonials.
Quarterly duties may include creating and distributing a newsletter, updating your business plan, or developing/reviewing your budget.
Once you have entered into your calendar all of your MUST DO items, you will have a clear picture of available blocks of time. If you find yourself running out of time before you run out of tasks, take a look at the list again and determine if there are any items that can be moved to a different day/week/month or delegated to someone else (a student, for example, can be hired to do filing).
Once you create a schedule, maintain it. Keep your calendar open and visible on your desk or in a separate window on your computer. Set a timer if necessary to keep yourself on track. When the timer goes off for an allotted task, move on to the next item. Follow this plan and your 'Completed' list will grow by leaps and bounds.
The key to time management is balancing the tasks you need to complete with how much time you have available to complete them.  Nobody has extra hours in the day. But if you learn how to budget your time wisely, you can regain control of your life.
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