Ever wondered how a VA spends their day? How they plan their work and what kind of tasks they do? Read on to find out how The Arts VA founder, Charlie, spends an typical working day…
Working as a VA and running my own business enables me to schedule work around family life. I start my day taking my children to school and nursery and once I’m home, I check my to-do list.
I time-block my working day, it helps with my productivity. I found this idea in the book Working Hard, Hardly Working by Grace Beverley. Grace’s to-do-table method is great too – you categorise your to-do list into quick ticks, tasks and projects, and also things that need to be done first, can be scheduled for another day or delegated to someone else. As I do client work as well as running the business and managing associate VAs, this stops me from getting overwhelmed by my to-do list!
First, I work on tasks for my package/retainer clients that I look after as a VA. I have a block of time for each client according to how many hours they book each month and track my time using MinuteDock - my clients can check their live timesheet whenever they like.
I share to-do lists with my regular clients on Todoist or Asana and we mostly communicate via Slack, Whatsapp and voice notes, and email. I take care of regular and one-off tasks – these include inbox management, diary management, deal negotiations, raising invoices, chasing payments and accounts, booking travel and accommodation, and general administration.
Depending on how my retainer client work is going, I start work for my ad-hoc clients or schedule calls with them before lunch. This usually involves deal negotiations so ad-hoc hours work best as it’s usually per show contract.
I collect my daughter from nursery. When we get home, she goes down for her afternoon nap and I have a quick bite to eat. I have a relatively short window for work each day while my children are at school and nursery so it’s important that I focus my time.
After lunch, I finish off any ad-hoc client work (while my daughter is napping) and then start on business work – this includes my accounts, marketing and creating Instagram posts. I also work with my copywriter to write notes for the blog and search for current arts news.
I make time to check in with the associate VAs and schedule review meetings with clients. If I have had an enquiry from a potential new client, I’ll organise a discovery call. This also involves putting together a proposal and making calls to potential new associates.
I finish my working day at 3pm when I collect my son from school. I try my best to focus on my children when they are at home - although this is not always easy! I set boundaries by putting my work away and not checking my emails.
If I have a particularly busy day, I’ll get back to my desk for an hour or two after dinner. I’m lucky that I love my work so this doesn’t feel like a chore! I also go through my to-do list, schedule tasks, and tweak my time-blocking for the next day. I like to start my working day with my schedule and to-do list sorted!
The Arts News
Back to the Future – the Musical has extended its West End run until July next year. New footage for the show was released last week.
Cameron Mackintosh Ltd are hiring! They are looking for an experienced Production Manager to join the busy Technical Department. Apply by 11th October. Head to The Stage for the full advert.
We’d Love to Hear From You!
If you have any questions or would like to know more about how you could work with The Arts VA, contact Charlie here.