Unlike getting your driving license from DMV, delegation is not a course you need to train and then get licensed for. Delegation comes naturally to us thanks to our teachers, managers at work and wife! We are good with taking instructions, knowing what needs to be done and the easiest way to get those tasks done.
The only problem is that we think we are better than everyone else and no one other than you can do those tasks as efficiently and quickly. If you delegate half of the tasks that are due this week, and even if they are done in double the amount of time you might take, it still creates a huge leverage in terms of time and money that you saved and can be used to do something more productive and worth your time.
Quick Guide to Delegation in 4 steps to your Virtual Personal Assistant:
- Write everything down you have to do this week: Yes, lets make a full to-do list. This list should include everything like doing laundry, cleaning, research you need to do for your next project, filling reports, making reservations, finding the best deals on snow blowers (we are not seeing the end of snow storms this year any time soon and you are done shoveling!), all personal and professional tasks need to go on that list and the time you might devote to do each one of them. This list will be an eye opener as you will see how many hours a day are truly being utilized to do something fun or productive.
- Organize these tasks into 3: Tasks that only you can do (go in the Me pile), Tasks that are repetitive and mundane (go in the Delegate pile), Tasks that can be done more efficiently if someone else did the leg work (go in the delegate pile): When delegating the best practice is to start with repetitive and mundane tasks. Your assistant knows the clear objective and after doing them for a day or two, your assistant completely understands the requirement and these tasks can be delegated and get done like a well oiled machine. After you have established a clear bond with your assistant you can start asking him to work on tasks that are higher in value and an extra pair of hands at work will be of advantage. All research, reports, database etc come into this category. Once your assistant becomes the master of your work schedule you can send tasks and forget about them.
- Empower your personal assistant with all the tools: Sharing and communicating ideas, files and meetings has never been easier. Let your assistant know the tools you like to use and they can sign up if they don’t already have accounts on them and start sharing instantly. Some of the common file sharing tools are: Google drive, Dropbox, box it. you can share your calendar if your assistant is going to be managing it for you. if there is any specific database or CRM that you use, like Salesforce, Zoho etc, you can create account and set privileges for your assistant. Preparation of login information and notifying your assistant in advance the names or accounts on all the tools ensures less effort on your part when you assistant is working on the task and will need the login information anyways.
- Send clear instructions and set deadlines: This holds true for both parties in play. Be as descriptive as possible on what the objective and expectation of the task is. You do not have to explain to your assistant how to do the task. However, clear instructions on what the report or work at hand should accomplish must be specified. If you have one sample report that you worked on before send it to your assistant it will be of much help. Accountability is very important. Your assistant should know how much time needs to be spent on any particular task. Encourage your assistant to ask you questions and make yourself available to answer those. in the long term your results will be great!
Delegation when done effectively can save you from the stress that your to-do list was creating. You will stop working on things that you can easily send off and save you MORE time and money to do the things you love doing. If you do not have a virtual assistant yet and want to know more, call us how we can help you. This is your ticket to freedom!
The other day I was reading this great article by Richard Branson on art of delegation. He made many good points but one point that stuck with me was “Work On–not–in your business”. It seemed to characterize the young entrepreneurs of today so well. When we look at all the successful entrepreneurs, we think of them as no less than super humans with capabilities of juggling 100 balls at one time. And then we think to ourselves, well they have a team of professionals helping them at each and every point and that’s why they can do that, but poor me-Pour me a drink!
What we need to realize is they were at one time in the past just like us – A START-Up. With limited resources, ambitious ideas, in love with what they did and had so much trust in what they believed in that it almost hurt. Tasks Everyday wants to help you tap into your niche market focus your precious time on tasks that matter the most.
3 great takeaway tips from these Entrepreneurs:
- Work On-not–In your business: It seems impossible at first, but if you think about it as your business grows, it attracts more responsibilities and that means more work. You need to find ways to get the work flow moving without loosing your key focus and that is Growth.
- Keep your strategies alive: When you are first starting out , there are so many things that you want to do and you are limited by your resources, money and time. But after a while when the first 2 are not the limiting factors, more often than not, Time is what keeps you from not getting to those important key strategies that you wanted to focus on in the beginning. So what is that you are doing to make more time? Have you heard of delegation, it is the key to manage, keep track and achieve those goals that you have set for yourself and your business.
- Don’t micromanage – Start delegating your tasks to your virtual assistant: We as humans have a basic instinct to be in control. We want to call the shots. We like you to focus on key policies or outcomes that help you with growing your company. But most of the time we want to control the outcomes and decide the policies for a) tasks that we don’t have the expertise for, b) are not that important anyways. Whatever may be the scenario, you need to learn to delegate and give the reigns to people who know what they are doing and let them be.
Virtual assistant is a widely under-rated service that can be used by young and seasoned entrepreneurs alike to save their precious time. What you need to do is start delegating and take a leap to be the next super hero entrepreneur. Want to know more how your executive assistant can help you live the good life! Get in touch with Tasks Everyday now.
Famous Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of its population, as per Wikipedia. He made many similar observations related to productivity, sales, business, economy and other daily applications. And what he concluded was that, the 80-20 rule applied to all these diverse situations and economic areas.
Think about it,
- You spend 80% of your time, doing 20% of your tasks
- 80% of your revenue is made by 20% of your clients
- 80% of your company’s growth is related to 20% of your employees
- 80% of your productivity is because of 20% of your work
Rule of vital few:
It is called the rule of vital few. That means vital 20% account for the trivial 80%. As Tim Ferris suggests in his book “4-hour work week”, it is these vital 20% of tasks that we should be focusing on. He even goes on to suggest that those 20% of clients that make majority of 80% of complaints and trouble, that we should fire them.
How it can help you:
What we learn from this principle is to focus on those vital tasks that really matter. By doing do we reduce stress and maximize productivity. All those mundane tasks can be easily delegated to your virtual assistant and taken care of should be outsourced to your assistant. It will take very less time, if any to send these over, if needed small amount of training and management in the beginning but overall in the end it is a win-win situation. You save more time to work on productive and meaningful tasks and have someone else do the tedious, repetitive and boring work for you. When you have more time to yourself, you will find yourself worrying less and being more creative.
The end result of delegation is to focus on what’s important and that as per the rule is only 20%. So if you start thinking the Pareto way, you will have 80% of your time to yourself enjoying your life, doing what you love to do.
Pareto way of life is very addictive! And Tasks Everyday is your ideal partner to help you work smart on the Right Things that matter.
We all have our creative self, mostly hidden, undernourished and unutilized. Creativity is a skill that needs to be nurtured and grown. Our busy and hectic schedules take that away from us. We just don’t have time to practice, grow and empower our creative skills.
Our creative spark gets buried under piles of boring, mundane, repetitive tasks and responsibilities.
How to get that spark back by using a virtual assistant
- Free up your time: You don’t have to be a wealthy CEO to afford a personal assistant, or to have someone else work on your tasks. Personal assistants at Tasks Everyday are affordable and can save you a lot of time without spending a ton of money.
- Being creative is not a hobby it’s a way of life: It sounds simple, but time that you set apart to practice your skills or enhance your creativity easily gets shunned down the priority list. You need to MAKE time to get creative. Whether you spend 15 minutes or hours on playing with the pixels if you are a graphic designer, point of the fact is even few minutes spent setting aside for being creative leaves you more energized for other tasks that need your attention.
- Optimize your tasks: Are you the “know it all and do it all kind of person”. You think that the tasks that you do, no one else can do them better or even as good as you. Well, you might be right but how about outsourcing some of the legwork for these tasks and while you can concentrate on finalizing the reports and submit them by adding your special touch. This will leave you with lot of free time that wasn’t available to you initially and now can be used to get creative.
- Changing modalities and mediums: If you like to read try dancing, if you like to paint try pottery classes or using water colors. Try something new and experience the fresh new ideas that will rush in. There is always something that you can learn and bring back to your usual creative skill. When was the last time you tried something new, and hiring an assistant to help you with your tasks is your first step to change the way you have been working.
- Set up a creativity boosting routine: One important aspect of delegation is to make it a way of life. It needs to be done efficiently and kept organized. You need to make a list of tasks based on many factors that we discussed in our earlier post about art of delegation. Just like any other activity it is a routine that needs to be followed. When you and your assistant are in sync with this routine, you will experience the ultimate joy of outsourcing. In your creative time that you have set aside, make it a part of your everyday life and follow it religiously.
- Find your creative edge and hone it, practice it and endure it: One simple step to do that is to get rid of factors that are stress creators. Eliminate all those tasks that are your serenity killers. These are the tasks that override your creative instinct. Identify these tasks and ask your assistant to get these done first. If they are ongoing, set timelines so that you are always covered and know that they are taken care of.
Explore the activities that refresh you and help you mastering your creative skills. Delegate tasks to your assistant, work effortlessly and enjoy being creative.
Tasks Everyday and GTD go hands in with each other. GTD is Get your Tasks Done or Getting your Things Done! Whatever you may call it, it’s the stuff you need to do.
In our daily work life we come across a list of tasks we need to get to. In most of the situations we get to our tasks one by one. Do the most important one’s first and then move down the list based on priority. Priority is purely based on what’s due today. In most scenarios the bigger tasks that are not due this week, we don’t get around to doing those till the last day or two. Who is to blame, your boss! Well, we love to do that don’t we? Our hectic life schedule, social meetings, networking, long commutes and just life basically doesn’t leave us much time to get productive.
Our Mantra – follow these steps of effective if not perfect GTD
- Prioritize based on time: Suppose you have a list of tasks you need to do. You start skimming through the list. Few of them need just few minutes to get done, do those right away. Others can wait and mark them waiting.
- Determine: Who can do the tasks that you have marked on the waiting list. Broadly into 3 categories:
- First list is of tasks that only you can do.
- Second one being anyone can do those – this is where Tasks Everyday personal assistants come into picture.
- Third you can have someone do the legwork, while you can do the final formatting, analyzing and reporting – exactly the kind of tasks your assistant at Tasks Everyday can help you with.
- After you have finished scanning, send your tasks that you marked in your waiting list to your personal assistant.
We have worked with business owners, busy individuals and have helped them in implementing GTD. Tasks Everyday motto is “get your tasks done”. And we stand by it and help you proactively. It is about time that you realized your true productive potential by freeing up your precious time.
Our clients most often ask us this question “What’s the best way to use virtual assistant services?”
We have had clients work from their office space to coffee tables to their garage. With each client, differs their work style, what they do, their priorities, and most importantly the tasks that they need help with. They do have one thing in common “They all need help”.
Having an assistant work for you efficiently is a two way process just like any relationship. It’s a commitment on your side and from your assistant to have this relationship flourish and grow stronger, day-by-day to month by month. The one basic underlined factor that defines all these relationships is Delegation.
There are few principles, which we have outlined to help you delegate better and make the most of the virtual assistant service.
- The first step is acceptance of change: We are the restless kind, always in a hurry, know what we want and how to do it. But the key issue is, most often than not, we don’t think anyone can do what we do as efficiently as us. What you need to understand is you’ve been doing the things your way and now is the time, to have someone else do them for you, by delegating effectively and managing them, which will eventually save you time and energy. Now that’s the target that we need to achieve. Once you have identified that you need to reach this target, everything else comes easy.
- Patience: It isn’t called a virtue for no reason. You need to understand that your assistant is not good as you. He/ she will take more time to do what you can do in 10 minutes, that’s why he is your assistant and not the other way around. Give it a cooling off time. let your assistant know your work style and understand your priorities. Your target is not to save 10 minutes today, it is to save hours worth of time and energy in the long run.
- Definites: Make a list of tasks that you don’t like to do, and a list of tasks that are repetitive. If the process of repetitive tasks is outlined for your assistant to follow, and you assign him clear goals. It becomes very easy for your virtual assistant to follow and do those tasks as asked. With each task, set. Once you know, you have your assistant waiting for you to delegate tasks, it will make you more inclined to give off some of your work to him. Assigning tasks on a daily basis, frees up your time and let’s you live better.
- Set deadlines: Setting up time frame is very important to make the most out of your virtual assistant service. It is also easy to track progress with clear cuts and deadlines in place.
- Manage and feedback: In the initial phase you need to monitor and give feedback to your assistant. It’s like hand holding a child before he starts running on his own. Not overdoing it, but having him know you are watching his back
- Maintaining the commitment: Once you have gone through the first 5 steps, all you need to do is maintain this relationship. You will realize how easy it is to get your tasks done by a virtual assistant and manage them ongoing. Something you didn’t know was possible in he beginning you now see is achievable.
The key here is to make this relationship work for you, so that you can enjoy your life doing what you love to do. Going fishing with your son, catch up with your friends more often, take that holiday you always dreamed of, or introduce that new product or service into your business that you didn’t have time to develop earlier.
Whatever may be your goal, your virtual assistant’s aim is to help you achieve that!
Most people have gotten to where they are good at what they do. And have a fear that others might not match their abilities. In running a successful business, it is imperative that to continue the growing pattern we need to replace that fear with trust.
Delegation: As some might think it’s a fine balance that needs to be hung on to, it isn’t anything like walking a tight rope. It is more of habit that needs to be made a part of your everyday life. And as you do it more often you become good at it, just like picking the right shirt for your work everyday. it isn’t rocket science , it just needs a little thought and organization.
Why you need to delegate: You are so busy at work, watching everyone else’s back have you ever thought who is watching yours? So that one day that you want to take an off, the world doesn’t go to hell.
If you think you are working terribly long hours and feel totally indispensable to do anything else, it is one of the signs that is telling you to start delegating.
Your work style is your choice and habit. Most of the times, the more intelligent individuals often overestimate themselves and take up on more work than they can chew. One reason why they do that – is simple truth, they are good at what they do. Well, that isn’t a bad thing right! But what you need to understand is , while you are burdening yourself with more tasks , have you lost track of the broader goals that you wanted to achieve and getting buried in doing other stuff. The stuff that is repetitive and can be done by someone else. All you need to do is DELEGATE.
It allows time for today’s entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals to think on long-term business and development strategies for their personal and overall growth.
After you have realized that you need help, the second step is to identify tasks that you can delegate efficiently to your virtual assistant and then making delegation a habit.
You need to integrate delegation into what you already do. Make it your habit and let it grow.
What tasks can you Delegate: We as individuals, business owners, busy professionals know our everyday drill. What’s expected out of us and we know exactly how to deliver it.
- Repetitive tasks: Making charts, sheets, reports, entering data. Administrative assistants at Tasks Everyday are trained and experienced in handling such tasks.
- Research tasks: You need someone to go through tons of information available out there and make clear reports, organize it for you.
- Tasks that need a specific skill: Yes, you are talented and can do this on your own if you had the time to learn it or master it, but why not have someone else do it, who is good at it and does it for a living. Like making a website, setting up your blog etc. why not have your web virtual assistant do this for you instead. While you concentrate on business development, increasing sales and working on newer strategies for your online business.
- Mundane tasks: Why not has your personal assistant do those tasks for you. It might take longer than if you had to it yourself, but in the end, It did save you time and got your work done. Isn’t that we are trying to achieve – free up our valuable time and money. Personal assistants at Tasks Everyday are the right fit.
All those tasks that can be done by following a set of instructions, monitored by simple checkpoints, and saves you time can be delegated very efficiently. You do not need a magic wand for that to happen, many business and individuals like yourself are making the most of this by hiring the right virtual assistant from the pool of skill sets that tasks everyday has to offer.
Delegating is the efficient way of living, want to know more, keep reading…
We want our clients to find better ways to use the service (more on how to delegate and finding the right resource in future posts), and how to become a pro!