My Experience Using a Virtual Assistant – 1 Week In

A number of folks have pinged me about my experiences with the whole remote virtual assistant arrangement. I’m about a week in and I’m very happy with the results. After a pretty thorough search, I narrowed my choices down to Solvate and YourRemoteAssistant. I ultimately went with Your Remote Assistant because I know the principals (I used to work with one of them at Google). That being said, Julie at Solvate gave me a great overview of their service and I’d encourage you to check them out, too.

To date, I’ve been taking baby steps with this whole process. I’ve had my virtual assistant do some web research on cost-effective travel to New York, a fairly complicated personal vacation I have planned for this summer, and some regular hygeine on my Highrise CRM installation. So far, she’s done a great job on all of the tasks. Two key takeaways a week in:

1. There are lots of tasks in my life that need to be done quickly but not right away. One of the best learnings I’ve had from my first week using a virtual assistant is that not every time-sensitive personal task I have is critical. There are lots of things that need to be done quickly but not ASAP. Having someone else who can research the task, complete it, and report back within 24 hours is great. It’s really helped me focus my energy on the intersection of personal tasks that only I feel comfortable doing and are very time sensitive. Having trusted help allows me to complete some tasks in parallel with minimal time loss. If you’re like me and sometimes have a hard time de-prioritizing those tasks that are important but not critical, you’ll benefit from some help.

2. Writing down my own process for dealing with tasks exposes how broken some of my own processes are. Having a remote virtual assistant is great. Part of what makes it great is that it forces me to write down processes / algorithms for how I want certain tasks done (travel plans, meetings, etc). The process of writing things down has really exposed how poor a job I do of adhering to my own idea of best practices. Take meetings for example. A good meeting request should include both people’s mobile phone numbers, a concrete address for the meeting place, and some basic context on the “why” of the meeting. Left to my own devices, I usually drop the ball on at least one of these 3 key elements. A secondary benefit of writing these tasks down is that it forces me to examine whether or not I’m doing some of these things in the most efficient manner. In some cases, travel booking in particular, I’ve realized that my general approach is very time wasteful.

Thoughts? Questions? Feel free to leave me a comment.

**Update** If you decide to sign up for YourRemoteAssistant, you can list me as a referrer. I just realized they have a referral / affiliate program.

  • Great post. I've been thinking about doing this myself and am happy you tested the waters out. Good luck with it. There are several times where I feel I could use some help on some simple tasks, including market research, which I always procrastinate on due to laziness, energy levels, etc. If the price is right, I'll certainly test this out.

  • Thanks for sharing. Totally agree with point 2. I have been going through something similar as I hand off day to day back office operations to my team in some of my companies. Its a good exercise to go through though. Keep us posted on your progress

  • I have experienced too with virtual assistant, from http://www.getmoretime.net, based in my experience, they work well and handle my objectives carefully, also they have great ideas if i ask them, they change my opinions in hiring a virtual assistant. I have the value for my money and also i get the production i needed.

  • Dear Charles,

    Thank you for this post. I am happy to hear you had a good experience :>)
    Please feel free to contact me if you need a virtual assistant in the future, as I would be happy to assist you.

    Kind regards,
    Linda

  • lawrenceperry1

    The major advantage of hiring a Virtual Assistant instead of hiring a regular office worker is that it comes out cheaper for the company

  • Pingback: My Experience Using a Virtual Experience – Part 2 (Scheduling Meetings) | Charles Hudson's Weblog()

  • yogesh1984

    Hi i am working as virtual assistant..for more details you may go through my website.

    http://www.yogivirtuals.webs.com

    or email me on my id yogesh_pawar28@yahoo.co.in

  • Virtual assistants can come handy and it sure does help a lot of businessmen… the only thing you need is to figure out the required necessities that can help you get things done faster and easily for a reasonable cost. I being a virtual personal assistant myself and having to be an administrative VA myself locally, enables me to see the value of multi-managing tasks and mutiplying myself through my team of VA's. with my online business now called Virtual Outsourcing Philippines which can be found on http://www.virtualoutsourcingphilippines.com

  • Virtual assistants can come handy and it sure does help a lot of businessmen… the only thing you need is to figure out the required necessities that can help you get things done faster and easily for a reasonable cost. I being a virtual personal assistant myself and having to be an administrative VA myself locally, enables me to see the value of multi-managing tasks and mutiplying myself through my team of VA’s. with my online business now called Virtual Outsourcing Philippines which can be found on http://www.virtualoutsourcingphilippines.com

  • Hi Charles,rnrnI just read this. Finally, after over a year of working with you! Ha Ha 🙂 I am glad you are happy with what I do. Thanks for all you have done!rnrnAnne

  • Erinsmith

    This blog is really very informative. I think every few people know how a Virtual assistant can help their business. Virtual assistant utilize latest technologies to deliver their services and to communicate with clients and they can handle wide variety of support services through a single point of contact. Virtual assistant can make one’s life easier and better!nnwww.247virtualassistant.comnnErin Smithnnerinsmith@247virtualassistant.com

  • i agree with lawrenceperry1..The major advantage of hiring a Virtual Assistant instead of hiring a regular office worker is that it comes out cheaper for the company, I have my company in the Philippines and i hired a Filipino Virtual Assistantn rather than hiring Australians. Filipinos are hardworking, great English and the most advantage is that you can save a dollar from them.

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