If your schedule is wall to wall with no end in sight, it may be time to consider a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants drive up your productivity and can make you look like a rock star with your clients or employers by removing the low-value tasks that drain your time and creativity.

Call them what you want—a virtual assistant, a virtual secretary, a virtual administrator, or a VA, these faithful workers work like a secret weapon in your business war chest. They can help you battle for your time, ward off productivity killers and otherwise guard your ability to press through to the end of time-sensitive projects.

Concerned about missing important calls while on the road? A virtual assistant can answer your calls for you when you are in a meeting or otherwise unavailable—and screen calls when you have your head down into a project. Virtual assistants can block and tackle distractions so you can keep your eyes on the prize. They can even schedule appointments with clients and answer questions while you may be occupied with othe clients.

The key to driving productivity with a virtual assistant is to let go—really let go. The temptation is to hold tight to tasks you’ve been performing for many years because it seems easier to do it yourself. If you are control freak, you need to change your mindset and consider your quality of life and your long-term success. Refusing to let go leads to burnout. 

The “it’s easier for me to do it myself” mindset hinders your productivity—and your virtual assistant’s efficacy. Sure, it may take more time in the beginning to train someone how you want tasks handled—but it’s worth it in the long-run—and it may be the only way you can dig out of the hole in which you find yourself. 

Realize no one you hire will do things exactly like you because they are not you. But consider this practical wisdom: Give your virtual assistant some flexibility to accomplish a task in a new way. Who knows? It may even be a more efficient way than you’ve done it.  

Write down everything you do in a day that someone else could do—then hand it off. That list may include business administration tasks, scheduling appointments, and even handling personal issues like booking your next vacation. 

It may take you a few weeks to truly let go, especially if you have been doing everything yourself for many years, but when your mind is freed up from the mundane, creativity—and productivity—abounds.

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