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Today is one of those days where the homestead responsibilities and the workplace responsibilities are overlapping quite a bit. I don’t mean I am overloaded with too much of one or the other, I just mean it’s one of those days where I have several opportunities to apply the principals of each to their respective counterpart.

First of all, I need to clarify; I don’t ever recall one time that I have been overloaded with housework responsibilities. That sort of thing just hasn’t ever been part of my character. If there are dishes in the sink to be washed, so be it. Clean dishes are in the cabinet. If the living room looks “lived in”, well, it’s supposed to, right? (Say the name slowly… Living room.)

But there are some days when the same system of organization that is so helpful for me with my virtual assistant work is also a great way to keep myself on track in the home. I help keep my clients from being overburdened with their workload even better when I stay organized.

Oh how I love lists. For someone with a memory that is shorter than Dory from Finding Nemo, I need my lists. It took me a while to realize this. I’ve spent much time in my past years sitting in my chair thinking to myself “I just KNOW there is something I’m supposed to be doing that I’ve forgotten”. My husband is already preparing himself for what things are going to be like in 20 years. Poor fellow.

So today I have made my lists of both responsibilities. Comparing them side by side, it’s interesting to see how similar they are.

I will be getting some company in the next few months, so a little bit of airfare pricing research is in order. Hey, look at this, a client is also traveling this summer and I have the same task on my work list. With their hectic business responsibilities, sometimes it helps to have extra sets of hands and eyes sharing the work.

My personal email inbox is an absolute disaster. I haven’t sorted and filed the contents in months. A few days ago it took me nearly 45 minutes to find a particular item in that mess. On my personal list: sort email. Well I’ll be darned; Friday is also the day I do the maintenance on another clients email account.

Phone calls, phone calls, phone calls. I wonder if my dentist even remembers me, it’s been so long since I’ve been in for an appointment. Perhaps my clients’ masseuse will be thinking the same thing when I call and arrange their appointment.

Also on both lists, writing. Do you keep a journal, one of those things where you turn off the filter between your brain and mouth and just let everything fly? It’s very therapeutic. It’s also quite entertaining to go back and re read some of the entries a few months later. Maybe the reason my journal has been so neglected is because I have found a different outlet. Writing blogs for clients is one of my favorite parts of the job. Numerous topics from various clients have been a great release for my creative energy.

One thing that used to pop up regularly on my personal list is shopping. Not for necessities, I still do that, just the ‘habit’ of shopping for the sake of shopping we women seem to fall into. Seems that urge has been stifled because I frequently get to shop vicariously through my clients. Wedding gifts, thank you gifts, birthday gifts, you name it. My clients know their friends and family are shown appreciation with the gifts they send, and I’m saving some money by not doing my own ‘recreational’ shopping. It’s a win win arrangement.

Until someone figures out how to clean the swimming pool, weed the garden and do laundry through the virtual airwaves, I think I’m safe from those tasks being on both lists. But when they are, I will stay true to the assistant part of my job description and happily assist my clients with those tasks.

photo credit: andrew.wippler
Posted on April 30th, 2010 by Laura Dennis, Virtual Assistant

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