This is the 5th and final blog in our series on how to make the transition from PA to VA. As experienced VA’s successfully managing clients, we wanted to share our strategies on how to stay on top of everything.
In this final blog we have put together our favourite tips using our collective VA experience of over 10 years!
6 Top Tips from Top VAs
1. Log your hours on a daily basis
Ideally, aim to log your hours on a daily basis – the time you charge a client and the description of the work you provide on your invoice will be much more accurate if you do this. In terms of monitoring the time spent on each task, you could use a stop watch, a notebook or there are some great free apps available such as:
2. Managing client expectations
It is crucial when working for multiple clients virtually to fully articulate what they can expect from your working relationship.
Be clear with clients about your “office hours” from the outset and when they can expect responses from you. Also set a marker for how you will contact each other, whether this be by email, WhatsApp or mobile. There will be times where you need to flex your working hours, if an urgent task crops up, that’s life, but more broadly this will give you a transparent and mutually respectful working arrangement right from the start!
3. Set boundaries with your family
It is important to create your own “office space” when working from home. Ideally a laptop that only you have access to (think GDPR) and a quiet space where you aren’t going to get lots of interruptions.
Make sure your family know when you are working. Put a ‘do no disturb’ sign on the door when you I am on a call so as not to be disturbed. For your own wellbeing you should also set a ‘finish time’ for when you shut your laptop down and “leave your office” for the day.
4. Network with peers
Working from home can be isolating specially if you have worked in a busy office in the past. Make time to meet other VAs at networking events. It’s a great opportunity to chat but also to bounce ideas off each other. It can even lead to new client opportunities or collaborative working with other VA’s.
There are lots of networking groups and resources depending on where you are in the country. We can recommend a few, but there are many more…
PA Assist also have a great list of the upcoming PA networking events
5. Manage your own time
You know the old saying, “work smarter, not harder”. Take this to heart! You can easily burn out if you are not smart with your time. Block hours to work, schedule in breaks and keep a list with a prioritisation system. Do all the little annoying bits first thing in the morning so they are out of the way, and set a finish time. Most importantly, STICK to that finish time!!
6. Write everything down
Pen and paper! If you are on the phone, note down the key points, when you are given work note it down with a pen and paper before you add it to your to do list. This will help embed the information into your mind. Studies show writing something down with pen and paper increased your understanding by 65%. So make notes.
We hope you find these top tips useful… if you missed any articles in this series visit the blog.