This is an updated version (**October 2020**) of my original blog post about what a typical day looks like for a virtual assistant – a.k.a the REBOOT!
When I wrote the original post, I was less than a year in on my virtual assistant journey, and while many things have changed, many things have also stayed the same: being organized and creating regular routines for my workday is what gets me through the week.
I am a strong believer in planning ahead, so each Friday afternoon, I take care of my business’ back-end, as it were. I handle my business bookkeeping and send off the invoices that need to be sent off.
Next, I review my old to-do list, and check to make sure I’ve attended to everything that was important to complete that week. Anything that was not a priority (meaning, it wasn’t necessary to do it ASAP) is then moved to a new to-do list, and I do a brain dump.
It sounds nasty, huh? I’m sure if you haven’t heard of this term before, you will again in your travels!
A brain dump is where I think of each of my clients, and I list all the things that I do for each of them on a weekly basis, as many of my clients have regular weekly tasks that I complete for them. I’ll even use my old to-do list for reference.
Lastly, I check Toggl, my time-tracking app, and see where I’m at for each client’s retainer, listing how much time is left for each. I keep track of retainer dates on a calendar above my desk so I can see it at a glance. Once all of this is done, I’m ready for the next week!
From here on out, this is how I spend a typical day:
I get dressed and ready for my day
I feel it’s so important, even as a freelancer, that I’m ready for whatever the day throws at me, whether it’s a quick Zoom meeting to clarify something or to answer the door when my Amazon order arrives.
I catch up on my social media accounts
Usually with a bulletproof coffee to sip on. Anything before and after my office hours is strictly ‘me” time for my own personal online activities. So this is usually where I’ll share a funny meme or retweet something I find inspiring.
After 9 am, I’m officially on-duty
And this is when I’ll review my emails – checking for any new requests. Anything new is added to my to-do list (which, by the way, is just a piece of three-ring binder paper on a clipboard that hangs from my office pegboard, directly above my monitor.
I work through the to-do list, and batch tasks when possible.
While waiting for certain apps to load, I’ll take that time to log into client product management systems, like Asana, Air Table and Trello, to make sure I haven’t missed anything important in any of those. If I see anything there, I add those to my to-do list as well, or, if it’s a super quick task, I take care of it then and there, so it’s done.
I get some exercise
If the weather is nice, I feel it’s important to get fresh air and some exercise when working from home. I find that it clears my head and if I have trouble concentrating on tasks beforehand, I’m much more focused after I return.
I drink plenty of water
I keep a water bottle next to me on my desk at all times. I usually sip without even thinking about it, and when the bottle is empty, getting up to refill it is a great excuse to stand up and stretch.
At lunch, I step away from my desk
If it’s warm enough outside, I’ll have lunch in my backyard. If it’s not, I still make a point of leaving my desk. My husband and I will text during his lunch hour, and I’ll review the dinner menu and make sure that whatever we need for it is thawed and ready to go. My favourite meals involve a bbq in the summer (meaning I do less work overall) or meals that include my crockpot and/or breadmaker. A few minutes of dinner prep means less stress after work, and a meal plan is KEY for this. I plan our meals weekly!
Once the kitchen is tidied up and dinner is planned, it’s time to head back to my desk and keep crossing things off that to-do list.
At the end of my workday, I tidy up my desk, check my to-do list one last time. I also make sure to respond to any clients who may be waiting for an update or may need a reply from me. Then I may spend a little time catching up on Facebook before shutting everything down and enjoying the evening with my family.
Just as systems are important for any work project, I believe systems and routines can be useful tools for virtual assistants in how they organize their days, weeks, and months.
If you’re interested in becoming a VA as well, check out this post, it will help you get started.
I’d love to work together! Book a free consultation call with me and let’s move your business forward.