Virtual assistant on a Zoom call with a client.

Access to Work Grant: How to get the most out of your VA when you have ADHD

Congratulations! You’ve landed an Access to Work grant and are planning on putting it towards a Virtual Assistant (VA) or Personal Assistant (PA). This is fantastic news, especially if you have ADHD as a VA can be a game-changer, helping you stay organised, manage tasks, and free up mental space to focus on your strengths. 

But how do you ensure a smooth and successful partnership, considering your ADHD?

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of working with a VA when you have ADHD…

1. Be clear about your needs

When you first start working with someone new, it can be tempting to hold back some tasks – not because you don’t want to hand them over, but because something deep down inside is telling you ‘you’re the business owner, you need to do some of this stuff’. 

Firstly, we want to tell you that, that’s what we’re here for! To take on all that admin stress if you want us to. But we also understand that it can feel a bit overwhelming to hand everything over in one go. So, we recommend to all of our clients before we start working with them, that they sit down and make a list of tasks that drain your focus or you find any excuse not to do. This could be scheduling appointments, data entry, email management, or social media… The list is endless! While you’re doing this though, consider your ADHD symptoms. Do you struggle with time management? Do you get easily sidetracked? Identifying these will help you delegate effectively and will also open up the conversation about how your VA’s time can be best spent to support your needs.


2. Communication is a 2-way street

Open and clear communication is the cornerstone of any successful working relationship, but it’s especially important when you have ADHD. Be upfront with your VA about your ADHD. Explain how it might affect your communication style or project management. For instance, you might prefer shorter, more frequent check-ins over lengthy email exchanges that can easily get lost or ignored in your inbox. Maybe you prefer to WhatsApp your VA when a thought is fresh in your mind rather than have to keep track of things until your next meeting. Knowing your needs allows your VA to tailor their approach and avoid inadvertently triggering focus issues. 

In the early days, it’s also important to make sure there is a clear understanding of the outcomes you’re looking for from your VA. While “Email management” is the task you’d like to hand over, it’s important to outline what ‘management’ means for you… Is it that you want your emails sorted into priority folders for you to go through, or is it replying to client emails within 24 hours? This transparency means that you can build a stronger sense of trust and understanding, paving the way for a more effective partnership.

3. Consider the tasks a VA can help you with as well as ongoing tasks you can hand over to them

While there are lots of tasks you can hand over to a VA to help with, there are also a couple of tasks that you, as the business owner, really need to have an input in. But, that doesn’t mean that a VA can’t support you in getting them done. For instance, they can streamline your project management by setting up tools like Trello or Asana. These platforms offer visual interfaces that make tracking progress and assigning tasks a breeze. But, the support goes beyond project organisation. Your VA can also act as a “body double,” creating focused work sessions. During these sessions, you hold each other accountable, maximising productivity and minimising distractions. If you get stuck, your VA is there to offer on-the-spot assistance, keeping you moving forward. This collaborative approach not only frees up your time but also fosters a sense of shared purpose and accomplishment.

By following these tips, you can leverage your Access to Work grant and your VA to create a work environment that supports your ADHD and helps you thrive! If you would like any help getting started, get let us know. 



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