Friday, May 8, 2009

Balancing your VA life with your family life

Becoming a Virtual Assistant is a dream come true! Or is it?

You finally decided to take the plunge – you researched this VA occupation thoroughly, you got a business plan in place, you marketed both online and off, you gave your boss at your J-O-B notice, and you can’t wait to jump in with both feet.You imagine yourself sitting at your desk in your nice, tidy, home office, working diligently on your client’s projects, able to take a break any time you want, no-one standing over your shoulder making sure you’re doing it right.You’re your own boss! Or are you?

If you have a family, then the above picture is probably not realistic. More than likely your day goes a little more like this. You get up with your husband, get his lunch made and get him off to work. Then you get the kids up, dressed, fed and off to school (if they are old enough that is). By this time you’re starving so you sit down to eat before getting on the computer and starting your day. As you sit there and eat, the phone rings. It’s a friend of yours wanting to chat, since she knows that you are always home and it’s only going to be for “a few minutes”. When you get off the phone, you remember that you forgot to throw that load of laundry in the washer this morning, so you run to the laundry room to do that. Then you start folding a load of clothes that have been sitting in the basket for a couple of days. Once you get that done, you really have to put those clothes away – after all, what’s the point of folding them if they’re just going to sit in the laundry room anyway? Then you get into the kid’s rooms and start straightening things in there.

By now, it’s lunch time, so you resolve that once you eat lunch, you are going to sit down and get to work. And you do – but you get caught up in emails, networking, all the other things that capture your attention, and before you realize it, the kids are home from school, hubby is home from work, it’s time to start dinner – and what you wanted to accomplish for the day isn’t near completion! And if you have children that aren’t old enough to be in school, the scenario is even more complex.

So, how can you balance your life as a wife, mother, and VA? Easy – prioritize.

Now, I know that sounds like an easy thing to do, and in theory it is, but putting it into practice takes some, well, practice. Here are a few tips I’ve learned about balancing these three acts in my own life and becoming “my own boss”.

1) Set aside specific times in the day to do specific tasks. For example –get your husband and kids off to work/school, then sit down for 1 to 1 ½ hours and work. The house is quiet so it’s easy to concentrate. Then move on to the next task that needs done. If it makes it easier, make a list of what you need to do and in what order, then check them off as you go.

2) If you do get distracted, get back on task as soon as possible. Don’t say – well I’ve already gotten off track, I might as well continue networking, reading emails, doing laundry, or whatever it is that has distracted you.<

3) Take some time in the evenings after dinner, baths, and bedtime to review what you did that day and decide what needs to be done tomorrow. Make another list if it helps, again listing tasks in order of priority.

4) Enlist your family’s help with keeping you on track. Let your kids know that “from A to L” is mom’s work time, and “from M to Z” is family time. My kids know not to bother me if they see me with my earphones on unless someone is bleeding or dead! And finally,

5) If possible, work for an hour or so in the evenings after everything has quieted down for the day. I find that sometimes that’s when things flow the best for me. And especially if you can’t sleep – why waste that time tossing and turning, make it productive.

In closing, just let me say that yes, becoming a VA is a dream come true, and it is possible to be your own boss. And that dream can still take place even if you have a family that you have to take care of also. With a little practice and perseverance, you will be able to balance both aspects of your life, and live your dream!

For more tips on balance, read the article Ten Tips for Setting Family Ground Rules for your Home-Based Business at

Until next time,

VA Forms Click here to view more details
Advertise in the Gritty Business Buzz Click here to view more details
Add to Technorati Favorites

No comments: