- What does a day in the life of a virtual assistant actually look like?
- How many hours do virtual assistants really work?
- Can virtual assistants really work from anywhere?
I get asked daily about what a day in life really looks like for a virtual assistant. While I share a sneak peek into my own life on my Instagram stories, I know my life can look a little different than most.
I live in Bali, have a son, and spend my days running a $500K/yr company. I realize that is not the typical life of a virtual assistant. But then, what does a normal virtual assistant do in a day?
I interviewed three of my 90 Day VA students that have successfully become virtual assistants to find out how a typical day plays out.
I talked to Taylor, a military spouse and mom, Clare, a digital nomad, and Andie, a stay at home mom of 5. They shared what a day in the life as a virtual assistant actually looks like, how many hours they really work, and what they love most about the work from anywhere lifestyle.
A Day in the Life of Military Spouse & Virtual Assistant: Taylor
Taylor is a military spouse and mom of two beautiful daughters. Her husband is currently deployed, so she is on her own when it comes to balancing her time between working and taking care of her girls. She is currently working 15-20 hours a week with 3 long term clients.
You can read more about Taylor’s journey and how she became a fully booked virtual assistant in just six months HERE. If you would rather watch Taylor and I’s interview in video form, we have it for you right HERE.
Here is what a typical day looks like for her:
4:30-5:00 AM Wake up! Not necessarily by her personal choice, but by her daughter sneaking into bed with her. She will still squeeze out another hour of laying in bed and snuggles.
6:00 AM Get up (actually out of bed) and get her oldest daughter ready for school.
7:30 AM She drops her oldest daughter off at school. She also starts to go through her new emails and attend to anything urgent for clients right then.
8:00-10:00 AM TAYLOR TIME! She will take a couple of hours to herself to workout and get her mind right to take on the rest of the day.
10:30 AM Time to play! She spends the mornings playing with her youngest daughter. They also enjoy lunchtime together.
She doesn’t have official working hours during the morning, but she has all of her updates sent straight to her phone so she can stay in the loop during these times.
1:30-4:00 PM Taylor’s first set of official “working hours.” She typically has her younger daughter either napping or playing in the background. She will first go through all of her tasks for the day and order them by priority. Then, start with the most urgent and work her way down.
“Sometimes it’s a waiting game. I will complete a project or a step of a project and then I have to wait for feedback from my client to move forward.”
This set of working hours is centered around her smaller, daily tasks such as managing an email inbox for a client and editing, formatting, and uploading blog posts for another.
She likes to split her client work into specific hours for each client, but sometimes things pop up throughout the day so that’s not always possible.
4:00 PM Back to mom mode! She picks up her daughter from school and jumps back into doing all the mom things. She takes this time to clean (she is extra thankful for her Roomba vacuums), cook dinner, and spend time with her daughters.
7:30 PM It is bedtime for the girls, and the transition back to a virtual assistant begins.
8:00-11:00 PM Taylor’s second set of “working hours.” Her daughters are snoozing away, so she loves to use this set of hours to tackle her bigger projects. She is currently the sole ghostwriter for a blog and is writing 3-4 1,000 word blogs a week for them.
11:00 PM After she finishes the rest of her client work for the day, she will take some time to unwind and relax before bed.
Since her husband is currently deployed, she does it all… but that will soon change because HER HUSBAND IS COMING HOME SOON! She says she is very interested to see how her schedule will change when this happens.
Taylor is so grateful she has had the opportunity to start doing something she loves while her husband has been gone.
She says her favorite thing that has come from joining the virtual world is:
“It’s been a godsend for my family because it’s kinda picked up when I needed it to. I have great clients that refer me – maybe sometimes I take on too much, but I definitely love what I do. It’s flexible, it allows me to be a mom but also still grow as a person. My clients challenge me to learn new skills so I can do more for them and I love how much I have learned in just the last 3-4 months.”
Update: Taylor’s husband is finally home!
A Day in the Life of Digital Nomad & Virtual Assistant: Clare
Next up, we have a digital nomad Clare. Clare is one of our rockstar students who started making $3,000 a month in her FIRST month working as a virtual assistant.
Clare works full time as a virtual assistant (specific # of clients/hours?) and travels frequently with her fiance. She is a travel enthusiast and runs her own travel blog, Driving Me Nomad.
You can read more about how Clare became such a successful virtual assistant so quickly in her full case study HERE. If you would rather watch Clare’s case study, we have the video version for you right HERE.
Because Clare is a digital nomad, her days are different depending on if she is home or if she is traveling.
When Clare is home, her daily flow looks a lot like this:
6:00-9:00 AM She says she is very flexible with her wake up time. Sometimes, she wakes up early to work on her own personal projects, such as her blog and Instagram. She always makes sure to take her dog, Lila, on a walk before she starts working.
9:00-10:00 AM She starts working on her client’s work. Usually, she starts with all the lighter tasks, such as scheduling on tailwind, so she can ease into work while she watching some TV.
Her workday revolves around how much she needs to do, what appointments she may have, and what errands she needs to run.
5:00 PM Sometimes she can finish around 5 PM, but sometimes she will work late into the night, until 10 or 11 PM.
She is currently planning a wedding and has her own travel blog. Basically everything she is doing for her clients, she does for her travel blog too, so it is necessary for her to block out time just for that.
When Clare is traveling, her days look a little different.
5:00 AM She will wake up as early as 5 AM to start cranking work out on trips. She feels like she is more productive during her travels, especially when traveling on shorter trips in the United States because there isn’t much of a time zone change.
“I do try to batch my work all before I actually leave for a trip so then if I do have time to sit down and crank out work, that’s an extra bonus. Then I am more prepared for future work or scheduling social media posts for my clients.”
8:00 AM She finishes up her morning work session and begins to adventure! Whether its sightseeing or spending time with friends and family, Clare loves the opportunity to disconnect from work and be present in whatever she is doing for the day.
7:00 PM- 10:00 PM At night, she will try to squeeze in another 3-hour work session before bed, making sure she completed everything that needed to be done.
Clare is planning her wedding at the moment, so she also squeezes in running around finalizing some last-minute details into her schedule.
She says her favorite thing about her daily life is:
“What I love about doing what I do, is that my time is so super flexible. I work a standard 8 hour day but with way more flexibility. Let’s say I want to take Wednesday off, well I can… and then I will just work Saturday instead.”
A Day in the Life of Homeschooling and Stay-At-Home Mom & Virtual Assistant: Andie
Last, but definitely not least, is Andie, a stay at home mom. She has five kids, that’s right, FIVE, and two of them have cognitive disabilities.
They range from 8 to 14 years old. Andie and her family are currently living on the island of Nova Scotia for 5 months, dog and house sitting.
Her kids are currently in an online school, so they have teachers that assign and grade them work, but she does have to help with schedule management and extra tutoring for the younger ones.
Her husband is taking a sabbatical from his corporate job during this time. She says this is possible because:
“A) housesitting means 5 months of free accommodations and B) I have an income! I work about 20-24 hours a week and he schools the kids and manages a lot of household tasks. (Not much of a sabbatical, but he gets more breaks than he did in a corporate job!).”
This is as typical as a day gets for Andie with five kiddos running around. Her days change with the seasons, as her family is her number one priority.
Earlier this year, she had days where she was working 20 hours a week, applying for jobs at night, and managing the school work for the kids. She is grateful this season didn’t last forever.
To read more about Andie’s journey about being a homeschooling stay at home mom, to traveling the world with her kids, check out her full case study HERE. To watch the live interview with me, click HERE.
Andie’s schedule looks like this (or at least it tries too):
9:00 AM Andie’s husband is in charge of the schoolwork for the kids, so this lets Andie sleep in a little. She knows this won’t last forever, but she cherishes every morning of it now.
9:30 AM She logs on to her laptop and starts the client work in her “boffice” (her bed + office). This is where she works most days, with a lovely view of small-town Cape Breton Island out my window. She invested in a pair of noise-canceling headphones has been a game-changer for her.
5:00 PM After plenty of interruptions and breaks, she will pack up the laptop for a few hours to enjoy the evening with her family.
“My kids pop in throughout the day to ask for snacks (ask your Dad!), hugs, and to ask me about their assignments (again, ask your Dad). Dad’s in charge but Mom is always Mom. I get to see my husband during the day! Sometimes we go for a walk or a snowshoe hike. After having him at corporate for the past 15 years, I love having us all together.”
While this is an average 8-hour workday, she says she averages about six hours of actual work. She likes to take frequent small breaks to eat, pay bills, keep up with friends, and run errands. The other day she ventured out to rent a pair of cross country skis from the tourism department.
9:00 PM The house quiets down for the most part, and Andie has some time to think and plan for the day tomorrow.
Andie currently works with 4 clients. She also writes freelance articles and has a travel planning job on the side. Her clients take the first priority and she will usually organize all of her work by day of the week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday is spent on one set of tasks or client work, and Tuesday, Thursday for another.
Occasionally she will work on a Saturday if she isn’t able to get her freelancing or travel planning done during the week.
Her most treasured aspect of working from anywhere is:
“I am enjoying life right now, having the freedom to live wherever and just do our thing as a family makes this a sweet time.”
Same Reason, Different Day
All three of these women have completely different daily responsibilities and schedules but they all have one thing in common: the freedom to choose how they structure their day.
Whether you are working to make extra income or working to support your whole family, they all agree the best thing about being a virtual assistant is also having the time to enjoy life on their terms.
Gone are the days where you need to work 40 hours a week to make a living. The work from anywhere revolution has made it possible for anyone to have a successful career and create a dream life.
If you want to know more about creating a life on your own terms, check out our FREE 90 Day VA intro class. It’s jam-packed with great information about what a virtual assistant is, how to find legit work online (even if you have no experience), and the basics of getting started!
Join the free intro class now and find out how you can get started working online in 2020!
About the Author:
Samantha Whisnant is a virtual assistant that specializes in blog writing. She is a content intern for Virtual Assistant Internship and a student of 90 Day VA. She is a digital nomad currently in Barcelona, Spain but she is looking forward to when she can find somewhere more permanent so she can adopt a kitten. For more information about Samantha’s virtual assistant services, click HERE. To follow Samantha’s travels through Instagram, click HERE.