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Keeping Interruptions to a Minimum as a Virtual Assistant

For those who work from others at home, such as a virtual assistant, setting and keeping a schedule can be a difficult thing.  Quite often people do not take you seriously and think it is just a hobby and that you are not really working.  But if you set some guidelines, you can help combat this and get your work done.

Set a Time – Depending on what is going on with your life such as kids in school, it is a good idea to set a time where you focus just on the work you need to do.  This is especially important if you are needing to contact clients on the phone as it can be best to have a set time to talk to them.  If you need to handle email or other elements that are not time sensitive, it is easier to be flexible but it is still a good idea to set work hours just like if you were working outside the home.

Closed Door Signal – From talking to people who do various tasks at home, they have taught their families that if the door is closed it means that it is work time and do not interrupt.  You can tell them it is okay to interrupt if they have cut off a limb but not because they want a snack.

Voicemail – If your phone has a voicemail on it, set it up so that it specifies your work hours.  This is especially important if you have family that likes to call you at all hours of the day as they know you work from home.  It can be a simple message such as “You have reached the home of Ted and Sally.  If you are calling between the hours of 2 and 5 for Sally, these are Sally’s work hours and she will return your call after that. “

Email – Another good idea is to setup an auto response on your email so that your customers know that you are not necessarily available all the time.  Sometimes people think that when you work at home you are available around the clock but chances are you have other commitments around your home and family.  A simple message such as “Thank you for contacting Sally’s Virtual Assistant Business.  My hours are from 2 to 5 pm PST.  If you are contacting me outside these hours, I will be in touch with you during my next set of office hours.  If it an emergency, please contact me at 306-123-4567” should do the trick.  Of course, it is up to you what information you want to give out or how you want to handle things.

Hopefully with these ideas you can set up office hours and use them to their fullest capacity to get your work done.  If they don’t work, you may need to modify them to a method that works better within your home.

Sharon has been writing online content since January 2010 for a variety of clients and content mills.  She enjoys writing on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, crafts (specifically crochet) and finance.  If you want a writer who can be given some information and left on her own to complete it on time and to specifications, Sharon is the person you want.  To see her various online portfolios, visit her site at links.

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