A Busy Virtual Assistant: A Day in the Life
”What does your day as a virtual assistant look like?” This is the most common question I get from my friends and family members.
So, to satisfy all the curious minds, I’ll describe a typical daily routine of a VA. Maybe you decide to become a virtual assistant yourself.
Should a virtual assistant have a routine?
Bear in mind, if you work as a full-time virtual assistant, you should have a routine. A (more or less) fixed daily schedule is important for achieving a healthy work-life balance and maintaining stability and sanity.
Even if you work part-time or only a few hours a week as a VA, try to arrange a time slot when you’ll be working. For example, morning types can work 7-11 am, afternoon ones can choose 2-6 pm, and night owls can work in the middle of the night (if they wish).
Of course, sometimes there will be ad-hoc situations that will require adjustments. As long as you manage to maintain a pretty much steady schedule, you’re good.
One of the best perks of being a virtual assistant is waking up when you wish (unless your client demands differently). So, your waking-up hours can stretch from dusk till afternoon, according to the routine you want to stick to.
Take some time for yourself at the beginning of your day. Don’t rush to your phone the first thing when you open your eyes. Make breakfast, coffee, tea, spend some time with your family and pets,, exercise, meditate or read a few pages of a good book. Start your day in a healthy way and you’ll be able to concentrate better on your work.
Another huge thing you “miss out on” when working as a virtual assistant is commute and traffic. No more hectic rush hours, searching for parking lots, being late for public transport etc. That’s a relief, right?
Once you’ve done your morning routine and settled, you can start with introductory tasks you should do at the beginning of every workday.
Check your communication channels, emails and your calendar. Great communication channels and scheduling apps you can use with your clients and teams are Slack, Asana, Google Tasks, Trello, Google Calendar…
Check for any important meetings, calls or urgent tasks that should be done first. If you’re a to-do list type, you can make a priority list of tasks on paper or in tools like Asana. Enjoy the satisfying ticking off as you do the tasks throughout the day!
If your client wishes to be in contact with you on a daily basis, you can kick off the day with some positive vibes. Send them a motivational quote and a list of things you plan on doing today to make sure that you have everything under control.
If you have any questions about your tasks, do a bit of research and ask for clarification. The best way to go about it is to offer your client a solution. If your client accepts it, great, and if not, they’ll still value that they have a proactive and resourceful virtual assistant.
Working full steam as a virtual assistant
Once you make sure you know what should be done today and in what order, start with your priority tasks and continue with less important ones.
You should work in a work-like environment if possible. Sit at a desk, don’t work in your bed (it’s a sleep-inducing trap!). Set a nice, not-too-cold, not-too-warm temperature. Don’t let your attention wander to social media rabbit holes and concentrate on your work. In that way, you’ll produce quality results and later you’ll have time just for yourself.
If you’ve managed to do all your tasks sooner than expected, this is a good opportunity to show some goodwill and offer your client to do some extra tasks. Show them that you know what could be improved and suggest a solution.
So you can say, for example: “Hi, Client, I have some extra time since I’ve finished my tasks early. I’ve noticed that your LinkedIn bio could use some improvement and updates, would you like me to get on it?” They’ll most definitely notice your effort and determination – qualities greatly appreciated in a virtual assistant.
Setting clear boundaries
Last but not least, don’t overburden yourself. Quality over quantity.
Make sure your clients and colleagues know when you’re online and when they can reach you. Your clients will probably share their own availability with you. If you work in a team, put up everyone’s weekly schedules in one place in form of a calendar.
In that way, you’ll both avoid late-night calls and messages starting like this: “Oh, and one more thing… Could you…”
Once you’ve finished with your tasks, meetings and calls, it’s always a good idea to check twice if everything’s been done, especially if you work in a team. Check on your colleagues and clients and see if anybody needs some last-minute help.
And now you can clock off! Go offline and enjoy some time for yourself. A hard-working virtual assistant like you deserves it!