Virtual Assistant Services UK
BBC Radio Northampton kindly asked me back into the breakfast show recently to talk about home working. The focus was the vast and very real challenges working from home brings, in the light of facing potentially more restrictive measures here in Northampton as a result of the corona virus pandemic. 
Working from home under normal circumstances can be difficult. You have to be incredibly self disciplined, focused and organised. Things that us Virtual Assistants are very skilled at! However, even as a well seasoned home worker, the past few months have been incredibly challenging. At Alchemy Virtual Assistance, we’ve had to dig deep, innovate and adapt. I take great comfort in the knowledge that we’re all navigating the same storm, however different our boats. 
I made a choice to work from home many years ago but many have been forced into it and at a time when we’ve all lost sight of ‘normal’ I thought it would be good to share a few of the things I find helpful balancing work and life in a happy and productive way... 
Virtual Assistant UK
Virtual Assistant Tip One - Be militant with your schedule. 
Clearly define work and play time. As the lines can become so blurred, militant planning can help with your work flow, productivity and head-space. Planning your working time is key! It's sensible to schedule in ‘buffers’ too so you can confidently deal with any unexpected 'emergencies'. 
Virtual Assistant Tip Two - Be realistic. 
The juggle is real right now so make life easier for yourself by being realistic about your commitments and priorities. Pick three things maximum you want to achieve each day and focus on them. Achieving more is an added bonus. 
Virtual Assistant Tip Three - Bite-sized boost! 
Break up your day into bite-sized chunks AND periods of rest. I like to work in one hour chunks, broken up with a coffee in the sunshine, a walk or a quick yoga pose. All of which help me achieve maximum focus and sanity. The popular time management technique Pomodoro encourages working in 25 minute intervals. 
Virtual Assistant Tip Four - A new working pattern. 
Embrace the new 'normal' and where possible (and appropriate) ditch the 9-5 mindset. I'm an early bird and I very often wake a dawn and get a few hours in whilst the rest of the house are asleep. If you're not a morning person, why not apply the same logic to the evenings and enjoy some quiet, focused time after the kids are in bed? 
Virtual Assistant Tip Five - Manage expectations. 
At Alchemy VA we're always open about our limitations and capacity. One of the ways we like to do this is by utilising our out of office and voicemail to explain what we're up to and when to expect a response. 
Virtual Assistant Tip Six - The classic! 
Make yourself feel ready for work. The morning commute maybe a thing of the past but there's loads of simple, yet powerful ways you can get yourself into the work mentality. Get dressed into your work clothes, have a designated work space, take a lunch break away from your desk and shut the home office door (leaving your phone locked in your desk drawer!) when your working day is done. 
Virtual Assistant
If you’re feeling that lockdown, home working fatigue, here’s some further things that will help: 
1. Over communicate – talk to your team, colleagues, peers as much as you can. 
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek support. You can pretty much outsource most things these days…. 
3. Get an accountability buddy – commit to and share the actions you want to make each day/week. Check in with and support each other. Your Virtual Assistant is in the perfect position to help here! 
4. NetWalking – conduct business meetings on the phone (hands free) and get outdoors to take a walk at the same time. When time is so pressured this is a great, uplifting way of getting some exercise, nature therapy and still being productive! 
5. Be gentle on yourself - celebrate the wins no matter how small they may seem... 
Warmest wishes, 
For more inspiration on time management, working from home effectively or to learn the many ways a professional Alchemy Virtual Assistant can support you, get in touch. 
We'd love to tell you more about what makes our Virtual Assistant services for entrepreneurs and small enterprising businesses so impactful. 
01604 312195 
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