Working as a Virtual Assistant, or VA, is an exceptionally rewarding career. Not only does it allow flexibility in working hours so I can be there for my kids when they need me, but it also allows me to feel fulfilled because my entire job revolves around helping others live their dreams. Of course, even when you’re doing what you love, work is still work.
My day begins early, doing all my mom duties before school, and it ends late, tying up loose ends for all of my clients. Here’s what it’s really like to be a Virtual Assistant.
We are very lucky currently because we have the luxury of sleeping in until around 7:15 each day. My two older sons usually wake up much earlier, but they are pretty happy to go into the playroom and play quietly until mom and dad awaken.
Our youngest, two years old, is a fantastic sleeper, so he can usually sleep in his crib until the rest of us are ready to hit the road. Once we get the kids dressed (a battle that changes in intensity each day!), we head down to get them fed.
Generally, our mornings are chaotic because each child has a list of foods they won’t eat, clothes they won’t wear and shoes they can’t find. And no matter how many times I set their backpacks and coats next to the door, by the time we’re set to leave, they have moved elsewhere.
Finally, around 8:05, my husband has finished loading the kids in the minivan, and he drives them to school and daycare with full tummies.
As soon as my husband and kids are out the door, I put the kettle on to make myself a nice steaming cup of tea. I love tea as it gets me energized for the day, and it is so comforting so I start the day relaxed.
I generally make myself a light breakfast, as well – some greek yogurt with honey or a couple of hard boiled eggs. I need energy to get through the rest of the day!
During all of this, I am prepping for my day by checking emails, facebook and instagram, making sure I get caught up with world events and ensuring there is nothing that immediately needs my attention.
I sit at my desk with my food and drink and browse social media for a few minutes so I get it out of the way for a few hours. I’m as addicted as anyone else!
I’m also going through my planner, creating a to-do list of everything that is due so that I can make sure that I know exactly what I need to get done today.
Work, Work, Work
By 8:30, I’m beginning my work day. I start by answering any emails or DMs that clients or prospects have sent to me, and ensuring I put out any fires before they start. It’s all about admin. Generally it takes anywhere between 15 – 30 minutes.
I then move on to writing. Content is King, and clients are looking for amazing content they can use on their sites. Whether it is creating a fun listicle or writing 500 words on soup spoons (I’ve really done this!), I try to bang out the majority of articles over the next three hours.
Sometimes I will have clients come to me with last minute deadlines that are due by a certain time. In those cases, I drop everything to ensure that piece gets written. I charge a premium for rush orders, so it is worth my time to do it this way. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen too often, and my mornings are devoted to being creative.
While I may have eaten some small snack from the stash in my desk during the morning, generally by lunch I am pretty hungry. I will make sure to check my emails for outstanding issues before heading to the kitchen to fix myself something to eat.
As I’m following a ketogenic diet at the moment, this usually involves making myself a nice large salad. Often, I will sit on the couch and catch up on my favorite Netflix shows while I eat. Other times, I will grab my Kindle and read a few chapters of whatever book I’m currently reading. Either way, lunch time is my time to relax and unwind from all of that writing.
Believe it or not, writing 5 – 6 articles in three hours is rather taxing. Changing your mindset from subject to subject, remembering writing styles of different clients, and ensuring they are well written and of a certain length can take a lot out of you. Now is the time to come back down to my place of Zen.
Once lunch is over, and I’ve finished whatever show or book I’m working on, I will turn the kettle on for my second cup of tea. After the mentally taxing morning and a nice filling lunch, I am hitting my 1 o’clock slump. I need the caffeine! Of course, some days are better than others, so occasionally I don’t need the extra pep, and I can make do with decaf.
Most days, my afternoons are taken up with further client work that isn’t writing. I work on facebook scheduling, creating graphics, projects like crafts or recipes that require photography, or general admin that needs done. This usually takes the majority of my afternoon.
Some days I have meetings or consults scheduled, either through video, telephone, or even in person. I do a lot of consulting for small businesses, advising them on how they can best expand their online presence.
On days I have to leave the house, I will usually take a quick shower right after lunch and make myself presentable. For video calls, I might skip the shower and just focus on hair and makeup.
For telephone or messaging, you’d better believe I stay in my favorite leggings and my mom bun!
My afternoons go by quickly most days. I try to have a hard stop around 4PM so that I can hit the gym. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and I am forced to work longer to get stuff done. But most of the time, I manage things so that I can be done when I need to be.
I love going to the gym in the afternoons. I find it helps to release a ton of stress for me. Just getting out of the house is a boon, as I’m generally glued to my desk all day! Getting sweaty and getting my heart pumping helps release major endorphins, which helps me stay really positive.
It also gets my creative juices flowing, so I can develop ideas for the next day’s writing session. I spend about 60 – 90 minutes at the gym, depending on what parts I’m trying to work that day. I do cardio every single time, but I also do strength training three days a week. Healthy body, healthy mind and all that. Then it’s home for a shower and to wait for my little family to get home!
My evening is all about family. My husband comes home from work between 5:30 and 6 PM, and we all gather in the kitchen to figure out dinner. Unfortunately that usually involves making five separate meals!
Since I eat ketogenic, and my husband doesn’t, we each just make our own food. But the kids rarely will eat the same as each other, so we make a lot of hot dogs, chicken nuggets and mini pizzas. Peanut butter sandwiches are also a staple.
Once dinner is done, we usually gather together to watch a family film and cuddle on the couch. My oldest has homework most weeks, so one of us might do that with him while the other goes to the play room and plays with the other kids. At 7 PM, we do bath time, and by 7:30 the kids are in bed.
I try to spend at least an hour every evening with just my husband. Both of us have busy schedules with a lot of work, so we cherish a little downtime together in the evenings. We watch our favorite show or half of a film before we each head to our respective offices and work a little more.
For me, that involves checking email one last time to ensure there’s nothing pressing. I then will usually take care of my own blogging admin, writing posts, social scheduling and catching up with anything else.
Finally the end of the day rolls around. I find I’m generally in bed by 10 PM, though I enjoy reading a few chapters each night.
Most days follow the same routine, with tiny variations that keep them from being boring. I enjoy working as a Virtual Assistant, and it’s nice being able to set my own hours and do my own thing. I have set my business up so that I don’t have to work evenings or weekends and can dedicate that time to family.
I know that there will be times when I’ll have to put in extra hours, and that would be true of any job. But with good planning and organization, I hope to be able to mitigate that as much as possible.
There are tons of great ways to make money online. I believe that more moms should consider using their skills to become Virtual Assistants because it’s such a flexible job that makes use of so many different skill sets.