So many people ask me: “What does a Virtual Assistant actually do day-to-day?”
Understandably, if you have never met a VA before it may be hard to see how they can juggle multiple clients, all with varying requirements, plus their own admin work. However, we VAs are masters of the juggling act!
The trick to managing multiple tasks simultaneously is to be meticulously organised and plan your day really well. This ensures time is used efficiently. There is no typical day for a VA, however here is an outline of what I might do during a given day:
Time to rise and shine. My morning routine usually consists of sorting out the kids and the pets, whilst drinking a cuppa in between all the running around.
The first thing I do every morning is check my emails; Outlook is opened as soon as the computer is turned on. Any time-sensitive issues are dealt with as a priority before I look at my plan for the day. I can then move on to managing client emails and diaries: organising meetings and calls, deleting junk mail, sorting remaining emails into folders, and passing on important or urgent emails to the client.
This is the time that I can really get stuck into client work. I’m more creative in the afternoon so tend to do the more technical tasks in the morning. I try and focus on one item at a time as I find that I can get more done if I don’t keep switching between tasks.
I phone a potential new client, giving her more information about the services Office Wings can offer and arranging a time for a Skype call later in the week when we can discuss things in more detail.
“What does client work involve?”, I hear you ask! Well, a VA is a jack of all trades, and a master of most of them!
I may start with some bookkeeping using Quickbooks, before moving onto event management using Eventbrite. Eventbrite allows me to plan, promote and sell tickets to an event, and creates a link which can then be emailed out to contacts, or can be posted on social media.
My favourite social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I design social media posts on Canva based on upcoming client events or information from their website. I then schedule them using Hootsuite so that we can choose what time they will be posted and can make sure that posts are always varied and regular.
Although lunchtime isn’t usually at the same fixed point every day, I do try and make sure I incorporate a break from my desk to go for a walk or do something that doesn’t involve a computer screen. This means that when I return, I feel refreshed and clear-minded to start the next task.
Part of the challenge of being a VA is making sure to space out work evenly throughout the week, to both meet important deadlines whilst also maintaining an achievable daily workload. Using an online planner really helps to get the balance right between client work and my own office tasks. And now, it is time for some creative tasks.
One of my favourite jobs is event planning. Office Wings has recently planned a couple of fantastic events, including a hen party and a 40th birthday party. Often clients don’t have time to contact venues, caterers and DJs during their opening hours; by passing the organising over to us, all they have to do is arrive on time!
I also spend some time writing blogs and other articles (it is 1:56 pm as I am writing this, so I am right on schedule!), which I then publish on the client’s website and social media.
I have a 15-minute phone call with one of my clients who gives me an update on an ongoing project that is due later on in the month, as well as asking me to find her a hotel to stay in the following week for a course she has just signed on to.
I spend some time researching options for the hotel before emailing my client a list of viable options, along with the cost and a link to the hotel’s website. She replies with her choice and I book a room before sending her the confirmation details and adding the information to her Outlook calendar.
My working day rounds down to a close. I make a plan for the following day, highlighting any urgent tasks that need to be completed first thing in the morning.
Many people become VAs to have a better work-life balance, but can this actually be achieved? Sometimes it is all too tempting to check my emails whilst trying to wind down in the evening, especially with so many important ongoing client projects! Nonetheless, being a VA really does help to achieve better harmony between your working life and personal life. The job’s flexible nature means that I can shift the hours I work during a day to not clash with any personal commitments. I am a morning lark; it suits me to achieve tasks before my husband even starts to stir, and then have time off in the afternoon to spend with family or do housework. Other VAs I know are night owls so have a lay-in but work much later into the evening (by which point I am usually fast asleep!)
There is no denying that a VA completes many different tasks throughout the day, but it’s the variety that I find so appealing and interesting about my job. It is our ability to plan and our fantastic time management that makes hiring a VA such an asset. If you could do with a helping hand with some of the tasks you don’t have time for, or that you would just rather not do, visit our website or contact us!