A Day in the Life of a Virtual Assistant

by Shannon Penrod

People ask me all the time what I do. When I tell them I am a Virtual Assistant they still ask, “But what do you do?” I explain to them that Virtual Assistants do virtually anything from research, to writing and all manner of office related tasks in between.  We just perform these wonders from the comfort of our own circumstances. 

For me that means working from home, around my 4 year old son’s hectic schedule.  You might think, “How hectic can a 4 year old’s schedule be?” You would be surprised.  Most 4 years olds these days are busy.  My little guy is super busy.  He’s recovering from autism on a minute by minute basis which literally is a full time job.  My son goes to pre-school 5 days a week and then has 30 more hours of ABA therapy in our home per week.  Factor in speech therapy, physical therapy, clinics, play dates, and the birthday party ciruit and we’re talking about a schedule that would make the energizer bunny tired. 

So how does all of that translate into some sort of a work schedule for me?  Here is what my day was like today:

6:20 Rise and turn on the computers (I have 2!) Unload the dishwasher while waiting letting the computers boot.

6:30 Placed a call to Florida to tell a new client that I had recieved her faxes

6:35 Converted an AVI video file into a .mov file and a .flv file transfered the files between computers and emailed the files to a client who needed them for his website.

6:40 Wrote 3 blogs for a local real estate legend

7:00 Had breakfast with my son and my husband.

7:30 Loaded my son into the car and drove him to speech therapy.

8:00 Handed my son over to the speech therapist.Organized my day’s schedule and called the AVI file client to make sure he recieved the file.

8:30 Walked my son from speech to his Pre-K class and spoke briefly with his teachers and 1:1 aide.  Kissed my son good bye and drove home.

9:00 Arrived at home and started a load of laundry and sat down to write.  Wrote 2 more blogs for the local real estate legend and emailed them off with photos for approval. Wrote 9 additional blogs for realtors around the country and emailed them out for approval.  Front loaded 8 blogs from the previous days approvals so they will post to the clients blogs in the future.  Monitered comments on 4 websites and answered 5 emailed client questions.

12:15 Had lunch with my son who had been picked up from school by my husband.

12:30 Greeted the first therapist at the door, played with my son while she prepared the programs she wanted to work on with him.

12:45 Back at work, did research on the real estate trends and located pictures for upcoming blogs.

2:45 Played with my son while the therapist recorded data from her session with my son.

3:00 Took my son swimming in our complex’s pool.

3:45 Arrived at home, the next therapist waiting at our door. Changed both my son and myself out of wet bathing suits and updated the therapist on my son’s progress at school.

4:00 Back at work.  Made 4 client phone calls, sent 8 emails answering questions, requests and other issues.  Composed and sent a letter requested by a client.  Compiled and sent out my monthly invoices.

5:45 Cooked dinner with my son as the second therapist compiled data from the session with my son.

6:10 Ate dinner with my son.

7:00 Put my son in the bathtub with some Legos and checked email while he played.

7:30 Watched Word World with my son and then read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone until he fell asleep.

8:15 Checked email again.

8:30 Welcomed my husband home from work and talked about the day’s events.

9:00 Took a look at what the other ladies had to say in their blogs and decided to write this blog.

What’s next?  A shower, a quick fast forward through American Idol to see who was voted off tonight and then off to bed with the latest romance novel.  That’s if I can manage to keep my eyes open.

That was today April 30, 2008 in the life of this mom and virtual assistant.