I once had a summer job at a law firm in D.C. The firm was located right on the shores of the Potomac and most offices had a view of the river as it lazily flowed on toward the Watergate Hotel, past Kennedy Center, and the Lincoln Memorial. Below the offices was an outdoor bar where many young professionals would congregate around 4:00PM on a Friday during hot summer afternoons. The weekend was tantalizingly close, but there was often too much work to be done to partake in any happy hour refreshments.

Summertime offers opportunities for precious moments that can all too easily slip through your fingers as you move from project to project and take business trip after business trip. The days can turn into weeks, and before you know it, summer is over. If you currently use a virtual assistant or have considered employing one, now is the time to think about how they can help you clear off your plate so you can take advantage of the warmer weather.

5 Ways Your VA Can Help

1.  Plan a business trip and have your VA extend it into a vacation. Many professionals use their virtual assistant to help them book business itineraries. But, if you’re flying to Miami on Thursday anyway, why not stay through the weekend? If you need to be in Seattle for a client meeting on Monday, wouldn’t it be nice to do some hiking the weekend before? Have your VA look into extending your itinerary to make a vacation work. She can book flights for your family to meet you, research and make reservations at restaurants, put together a sightseeing itinerary, and find a new hotel closer to the slights or local beaches.

2.  Ask your VA to run payroll for your company on Friday, so you can leave early. Are you itching to leave the office early and make the most out of your Friday afternoon, but have to run payroll or tend to other bookkeeping matters first? It may be time for you to hand over payroll duties to your virtual assistant. You may need to get your VA up to speed in the first few weeks, but before long, you will be able to enjoy lunch with friends or family on an outdoor patio rather than entering hours into payroll software.

3.  Have your VA take over your business’ social media and find seasonally appropriate posts. Maintaining a social media presence is critical to improving your business’ visibility and getting your message out. It is no less critical even if it’s perfect beach weather. Instead of spending your time researching, writing, and posting content, put your virtual assistant in charge so that all you need to do is review the suggested content. Your VAcan help keep your posts up to date with references to summer blockbusters or by introducing summer-themed promotions. Encourage your VA to shift your social media focus to platforms that are more active when people are enjoying themselves, rather than when they are business-oriented. This not only saves you time, but helps your startup or small business’ messaging stay current and relevant.

4.  Use your VA to plan office events to take advantage of the weather. You’re always saying you’re going to plan that office-wide barbecue, but by the time you have a spare moment, it’s Labor Day. Instead of persisting in your quixotic struggle to plan events, hand over responsibility for an office-wide summer event to your virtual assistant. He can get reservations on a patio at a favorite restaurant or arrange catering for a picnic at the park. If you want to host a barbecue at your house, put your VA in charge of ordering drinks and the items to be grilled. Your assistant can coordinate with a rental company or event company to set up tables and chairs for outdoor seating as well.

5.  Ask your VA to organize your business and personal calendars to find free blocks of time. There’s nothing worse than having to comb through your calendar to try and find free time to enjoy the summer. Have your virtual assistant use software, apps, or good ol’ fashioned spreadsheets to figure out those weeks where you have roughly one meeting per day. She can move around appointments on your behalf and consolidate them earlier in the week so you can get out of town early on a Thursday or Friday and beat traffic to the shore.

It’s easy to get caught up in work, particularly if you’re an entrepreneur or startup owner. But if you have a virtual assistant or are thinking about getting one, you caneasily make use of them to find or allow for opportunities to get outside and enjoy the weather. Whether you’re delegating duties to your VA or asking them to plan a vacation, you’ll get to enjoy summer the way it should be enjoyed.