Working from home can often turn into a balancing act.  The duties of work and home begin to overlap, and often one can take over.  Many Virtual Assistants decide to work for themselves to spend more time with their families, be that their children or to care for other relatives but end up dedicating even more time to work.  Here are a few tips to help you juggle this summer.


  1. Get organised. Figure out what your goals and priorities are, in your business and in your personal life, then figure out how to achieve them.  Then put your house, office, and life in general, together in a way that will help you achieve your goals.  You will often hear me talk about work:life integration, it’s about knowing what the priorities are for you and your business.  It’s ok to not try to take over the world in the summer months!


  1. Lists, lists, lists. Once you have identified your plans and goals, make to-do lists.  Try to organise your lists by priority.  If something doesn’t get done, it probably wasn’t that important anyway.  Personally I am a physical notepad and pen girl but there are some great apps out there to help you get more organised.  


  1. Multitask. At some point, you’re probably going to get burnt out doing things that seem tedious or that you just don’t want to do.  Try mixing it up.  If something is really stressing you out, go on to something else and come back.  When you are a Business Owner there’s always something else that needs to get done so switch it up a little.


  1. Set work hours and follow them. Set work hours for times when the kids aren’t around, or don’t require a lot of attention.  When your work hours are done, stop working.  If you cannot manage to get your work done, you may need to reset your work hours, but you most likely need to look at how much work you can actually take on.  This can be particularly hard when you have the responsibility of caring for the children in summer holidays.


  1. Make a separate space for work and family. While it may be easy to work and play in the same area, it helps to have a dedicated office area when you work from home.  This will help you focus on what you need to be doing, and even help protect you from getting your work disrupted by your family.  One of the things I love about having a separate workspace is being able to shut the door at the end of the day.


  1. Get the family to help. Sure, if your kids are young, they aren’t going to be able to help with much, but even very small children can often help organise the house or dry dishes.  Make sure everyone does their part.  I also don’t stress about the fact that the house looks like a bomb has hit it – it can be cleaned later!


  1. Take time for you. When balancing work and family, you often forget an important part of the equation:  you.  When scheduling your work and family, always schedule some time to relax, socialise, and do what you like to do.  Just throwing this question in here: “When was the last time you took time for you?”  Remember it is ok, to let the children have tech days while you catch up on some bits in the office if that will make you feel more in control of what is going on around you.


  1. Make friends. Even if you don’t get to see them a lot, friends are an important part of maintaining your physical and mental health.  Remember to take time to keep your friendships alive.  This is where being a member of something like the VA Membership can be exceptionally helpful, a ready pool of like-minded individuals who understand you and the pressures you face.


  1. Stay positive. One of the biggest keys to success is keeping a positive attitude.  You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you believe you can do it.  Plus, you’ll be setting a great life example for your kids at the same time.  This is hard as we approach the summer holidays, so be kind to yourself but also set yourself up for success.  I believe in creating some social media content in advance of the summer holidays to help you stay on top of that social presence.


  1. Remember that you are unique. Trying to fit into someone else’s schedule and someone else’s plan isn’t necessarily going to be successful.  You need to tailor your plan into your families’ unique needs and find something that works for you. 

Finally book something in for you to look forward to, once the kids are back at school… I recommend looking at the VA Conference which is taking place in Bournemouth on 13 oct 23, with a theme of resilience.