I had an epiphany recently. Here I am, a VA of many years standing and I own and run a network of VAs. But I still try to do everything myself!
A few nights ago I had dinner with a possible new client. I say ‘possible’ because I actually had tried to pass her on to my team members but she kept coming back saying she wanted me – she’d been referred to me and the person who referred her spoke very highly of my abilities. That’s good, most of the time, but when you’re stretched to the limit, you really just want to be able to pass clients on, as I’ve been doing for years.
And then she said to me, after I’d told her for probably the 3rd or 4th time in a week that I just don’t have the time, ‘can’t you just manage it all and then get some of your team to do what you can’t?’. It kind of hit me between the eyes and I thought perhaps I could and when I got home I responded to her original job request email with a list of what I could do and what I won’t do.
And then overnight comes a message that only really could have come from God. I receive daily devotionals from MarketPlace Leaders (I get Volume 2) and this one is on Time Management. I’ll let you read it for yourself:
David accomplished a great deal in his lifetime. However, he also understood life had an end to it and he wanted to make the most of it. He learned to use his time wisely. And so should we.
Peter Drucker was a renown management consultant to major corporations and authored many bestselling business books. He suggested three activities that might help busy executives better manage their time.
“First, do not start with the task. Start with your time. Determine where your time is going. Then, attempt to manage that time and cut back unproductive demands on your time. Consolidate your ‘discretionary’ time into the largest possible continuing time units.
Drucker refers to the second step as time management. After listing the activities to which we devote our time, he suggests that we ask three questions about each of these activities to help us minimize the amount of time we waste: “What would happen if this were not done at all?” And if the answer is, ‘Nothing would happen,’ then obviously the conclusion is to stop doing it. Next, which of the activities on my time log could be done by somebody else just as well, if not better? What do I do that wastes my time without contributing to my effectiveness?*
Drucker closes by saying ‘Know Thyself,’ this old prescription for wisdom is impossibly difficult for mortal men. But everyone can follow the injunction ‘Know Thy Time’ if you want to, and be well on the road toward contribution and effectiveness.”
Why not evaluate how you are spending your time and ask God how to better use your time.
I think I’m being told to hand some things over and I suddenly realised that I don’t have to do all of what I’m doing and yes, I can outsource it. I have the team to do it! duh!
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.