How to avoid distractions when working from home

If you’re new to working from home, you might be finding it tricky to switch into ‘work mode’ when there are a thousand things to distract you – the kids, the washing up, the hoovering, the cat that just has to sit on your keyboard.

Here at Get Ahead VA, we know all about the challenges (and the joys!) of working from home, and we’ve got plenty of tips to help you minimise distractions and stay productive. So if you’re struggling with this new style of working, here are 7 top tips to help you adjust.

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Sharing space during self-isolation

We are now in our second week of lockdown in the UK, and everybody is still adjusting to the ‘new normal’. Because schools and many workplaces are now closed, a major part of life in lockdown is learning how to share space with the other people in your house, for longer than you would on a typical day. This can be tricky at the best of times, let alone at a time of major disruption and uncertainty, so we have some advice to help you and your family through. Here are our 5 top tips for sharing space during self-isolation.

1. Divide up your home

It’s hard to work if you’re surrounded by breakfast dishes, and it’s hard to relax if you’re staring at a pile of schoolbooks, so the first thing to do is create dedicated spaces within your home for school, work and leisure. Ideally, each of these will be in a different room, but if you don’t have the space for this, that’s OK. The important thing is that everybody knows what happens where, so that all the parts of your life don’t merge into one overwhelming mess.

2. Give everyone a quiet space

It’s a good idea to give everyone a place to escape to if things get too much. This is easy enough if everybody has their own room, but for those who share, you could find a spare corner that’s just for them, or agree a time when they can have the room to themselves for an hour or two. The main thing is to respect each other’s privacy as much as possible and give everyone a chance to be alone if they want to.

3. Go outside

We may be in lockdown, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go outside. People with gardens can easily make the most of the warmer weather, and everyone should try to get outdoors for a walk, run or bike ride once a day if they can. Blow the cobwebs away with a nice family stroll, or get some breathing space by going out for a walk on your own.

4. Arrange fun events

One way to keep work and leisure separate when they’re both happening under the same roof is to schedule in some fun events for evenings and weekends. All sorts of creative online alternatives are springing up, from exercise classes to pub quizzes, or you can arrange exciting activities in your own home, like turning your living room into a cinema or your kitchen into an artist’s studio. Whatever you choose to do, the main thing is to have something to look forward to and to give structure to your day.

5. Enjoy this quality time

Self-isolating with other people certainly has its challenges, but it can be good fun too. As long as you can all communicate how you’re feeling and be aware that everybody is probably a bit more tense than usual, then you can see this time for what it is – an opportunity to spend more time with the people you love.


If you need extra support for your business during this tricky time, please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at office@getaheadva.com. Our team of virtual assistants is happy to help with whatever business and marketing services you need. In the meantime, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well.

How to work from home with your kids

There’s no getting away from the news at the moment – the coronavirus pandemic is making headlines everywhere, and more and more countries are taking measures to slow the spread of this flu-like disease.

At time of writing, the UK government has not closed schools. However, Boris Johnson has advised that anybody who can work from home should do so, and he has also recommended against public gatherings in places such as pubs and theatres. Given the measures already in place, it seems likely that the schools may close, in which case children will be joining their parents at home for the foreseeable future.

Here at Get Ahead VA, we are very fortunate to have a team of experienced home-workers, many of whom also have children, and so they have a wealth of advice to share about juggling work and family under the same roof. So if you’re concerned about how you’ll handle the next few weeks, don’t worry. Here are our top tips about working from home with your kids.

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Coronavirus turned your team into homeworkers? Here’s what you can learn from virtual assistants

It won’t have escaped your notice that coronavirus is having a huge effect on businesses, with direct implications for the retail and travel sectors. And as you’ll know if you manage a team of office-based staff, the effect of self-isolation is becoming apparent too. As more people choose to self-isolate, more team leaders are finding themselves having to manage people working from home, which can be a new experience, and not always an easy one.

Virtual assistants nearly always work from home. I’ve been managing my team of virtual assistants for nearly a decade – a lot of what I’ve learned may help other businesses as workplaces are forced to flex around coronavirus.

Here are my top tips:

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How outsourcing can help your business

Have you ever considered outsourcing for your business? Whether you’re struggling to stay on top of your social media, or you need someone to get your accounts in order before the end of the financial year, outsourcing can be really useful for busy business owners. To get you started, here is our comprehensive guide to how outsourcing can help you.

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How to be a responsible business owner during the covid outbreak

When a news story breaks, many business owners leverage it in content marketing. We might be blogging about workplace bullying in the wake of Priti Patel’s dismissal, or crafting a really engaging meme for International Women’s Day (which is on Sunday, by the way). By and large, this is a good thing. Current content with an immediate appeal offers value for clients – it’s helpful for them to hear a different opinion, and it’s a great opportunity to show that your business takes a humane and inclusive stance on issues like workplace behaviour and equality. It’s good for SEO too – people Googling for the news story may find your content too and hey presto, lots of lovely conversions.

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How to work as a partnership

Get Ahead VA is very proud to have branches across the country, and we’re always on the lookout for ambitious, business-minded people who are interested in opening a new branch in their local area. Our Regional Directors are brimming with good advice about being your own boss. Today, Kristy and Suzanne, co-Directors of our Berkshire & North Hampshire office, are here with some advice about working together as a partnership.

When we set up our branch of Get Ahead VA in 2019, we decided to do it as a pair. There are all sorts of benefits to going into business with another person – companionship, shared workload, complementary skills – so if you’re thinking of doing this, here are some tips for how to make your business partnership work!

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Self-care tips for business owners

Running a business is something many people to aspire to do, but once you get there, the reality can be much more stressful than you might have imagined – and this can have an impact on the whole of your life. In fact, research by Xero has found that one in ten business owners admit that the stress of running a business has negatively impacted their mental health.*

But running a business can also be hugely rewarding (and lots of fun!) – so how can you ensure that you get the best out of entrepreneurship, while also learning how to deal with the stressful parts in a healthy way? Well, you have to be realistic about the challenges involved, and you must take the time to look after your mental health. Not sure where to start? Here are 4 of our top self-care tips for business owners!

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5 ways to level up your franchise

Get Ahead VA is very proud to have branches across the country, and we’re always on the lookout for ambitious, business-minded people who are interested in opening a new branch in their local area. Our Regional Directors are brimming with good advice about being your own boss. Today, Fiona, Regional Director of our Leeds office, is here with 5 quick tips to help you level up your franchise.

I started Get Ahead VA Leeds in January 2018, and over the last couple of years I’ve found all sorts of ways to take my business from strength to strength. Here are 5 of my favourites!

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Write a brief for: a content writer

Get Ahead VA is here to help business owners. Our team of virtual assistants (VAs) can take on the jobs you don’t have the time or the skills for, freeing you up to focus on what you’re best at. In order to get the most out of your VA, you will need to provide a good brief, but what should you include? In this series, we look at how to write a useful brief for every kind of job, and this month we’re looking at content writing.

Written content is a vital part of any marketing strategy, whether you’re updating a blog, posting on social media or writing copy for your website. In order to keep up with the demand for regular, quality content, it can be useful to outsource your writing to a professional copywriter – if you do this, here are a few important things to include in your brief.

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