Suggestions for a Busy Virtual Assistant?

For the past 2 weeks, I found myself trapped into a whirlwind of tasks and deliverables! Since my cousin and I are starting our very own virtual assistant business, I have to find time to juggle in between clients and business. I also have to squeeze in time for my family.

tired virtual assistant

Since I resigned last year, this is the first time I found myself wearing my old “workaholic” hat. Just for this week, I used “ontheclock.com” to monitor the number of hours I spent at work. I was surprised with the results! I work 15 hours a day! (Whew!). I wasn’t even aware of that fact until my husband said a silly joke to our friend that I work full-time as a VA and part-time as a wife and mom. Silly but true! A part of me actually felt bad about it and I feel that I should be addressing this issue right away.

I think I could use some help. I wonder how many virtual assistants out there are caught between the same situation?If you are, how do you efficiently balance your time without sacrificing the other? If you are a VA, a wife and a mom I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions!

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6 thoughts on “Suggestions for a Busy Virtual Assistant?

  1. Well — I won’t lie to you. When I resigned from a full-time law firm job after 30+ years in the legal field, I thought I would have more time for myself than I do. Yes, I have been able to work from home most of the time and that has given me time with my dogs and birds (my family is grown). But the first lesson of running your own business is this: When there is work you work — because there will be weeks and months when there won’t be any work and you will be living off your savings. So, for what it’s worth, take it when you can get it and enjoy the freedom of being home and able to work in your jammies if you choose.

    For me — I moved out of my house of 16 years last July, on my way to the Midwest to pick up my RV to go fulltime in the RV and work from all sorts of wonderful off-beat locations (as long as I had computer access). I was forestalled with friends in Phoenix and an attorney in San Diego (for whom I’d worked in the past) was caught in a pickle and begged me to return, fire his staff, straighten out his computers, and get his office back on track. My friends in Phoenix kept my critters and I’ve been commuting to visit them once a month since the end of November. Why? Because he supported me when I was starting out and needs help now. And I need the money. He provides a condo and transportation. I can’t complain. But it’s not what I had planned on — yet it pays the bills and allows me to get some money in the bank.

    Life is not easy. There should always be SOMETHING on your “bucket list” (or “to do list”) — and you must quickly learn (when self-employed) that there will be down times and times which are tough. So plan ahead and save some money. With the economy taking a bit of a dive — I feel even more compelled to get a nest egg to rely upon!!

    Good luck — and take your vitamins.

    Karalyn
    http://www.cardinalpointva.com

  2. Time management is essential in multi-tasking jobs such as that of a VA. Just when you one thinks shifting to VA will give them more time for family, it rather prove otherwise. In fact, most VA’s are surprised they actually spend longer working time working as virtual assistants.
    Virtual assistants need to be time conscious, lest they get immersed in their jobs and not notice time. They need to have balanced time for family, work and personal time. The bottom line is one will never be completely happy if she/he keeps missing on another important part of him/her.

  3. I can completely understand 🙂 That is why about a year ago I had to do a few things.

    1) Set office hours and stick with them.
    2) Find other VAs to contract with to help with the overload

    I have also learned that the laundry, phone calls from family members and other “stuff” will have to wait until after my office is closed for the night!

    Amber

  4. Better schedule everything you have to do… Time management is the only answer of the virtual staff’s work world…

    Just remember to have enough rest also. You cannot do your optimum potential if you have lack of sleep that is the reality.

  5. It can be a blessing or a curse, but being a virtual assistant enables you to take on a lot of work from more than one client, as it seems you have. I’m a VA too, along with three other partners and we divvy up the workload in a few ways, so here’s some advice:

    We use two shifts, because we have some clients on the east coast, and some on the west. Shift one starts at 8amPST, shift two at 12pm. Once shift one is done at 5, shift two picks up the slack.

    Our clients are familiar with each of us and vice versa. So that if one of us is out, someone else can take care of any issues, and the customer is comfortable with that.

    We have a virtual phone system called Gotvmail, which organizes the call volume that comes in. We have extensions for each account, and for us as a business. It helps project a very professional image to our clients, especially when their calls are always answered by someone who can take them.

    Those are just a few things I think that we do which are unique to VA’s, but that have helped us immensely to stay on top of out game.

  6. Hi there,

    I would do the following:

    1) Subcontract out other cheaper VA’s. You can be the manager of them, and get the work on behalf of them. You could make a small profit, but overlook the quality of their work.

    2) Or you could team up with several other VA’s and share the peaks and work gaps between you. – share the work.

    3) Put your price up – you will get less work, but it will take less time for possibly the same amount of money.. there is a balancing point eg too much increase could = no work.

    4) Find a few good clients, and focus on them. Possibly put this with the above also (putting up the price), and then you will not have to deal with the sales overhead / getting to know your new clients.

    5) Focus on automation as much as possible. Look at the tasks that are taking up your time.

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