Getting Started with your Virtual Assistant – Part 1

How to Identify Tasks to Delegate

If you’re reading this blog then I can only assume that you have decided that you need some help.  Whether it’s because you’re feeling far too stressed and need to reclaim a work-life balance, or because you’re finding that admin is falling by the wayside as there’s simply not enough time to do everything. Maybe you’ve noticed a few things falling through the gaps, or perhaps you want to fill a skills shortage.  Whatever your reason, congratulations on taking the first step towards a brighter way of doing business.

Over the next two blog posts you will discover all you need to know about getting started with your VA.  We’ll cover how to identify tasks to delegate, how to effectively delegate them and how to build a flourishing relationship.  You can also download our FREE list of a hundred tasks you can delegate to Aurora VEA. 

If you’ve never had a VA before you might feel a little uncertain about what you can effectively delegate.  It can be tricky to know where to start and using your scarce time to figure it all out can feel counter-intuitive.  But the rewards to be realised – both in terms of enhanced productivity and in cost savings – are significant and will be well worth this initial one-off effort.  So if you’re feeling stuck and unsure of where to begin, this blog is for you.

Start by making two lists:

  1. Current “Business As Usual” Activities – day-to-day, week-to-week and month-to-month regular tasks.  

    Here are some examples to help you get started:

    – replying to emails
    – scheduling meetings
    – updating your CRM
    – content creation and scheduling social media
    – dealing with suppliers
    – project management tasks
    – team management tasks

  2. Aspirational Activities – things you would like to be doing but which you don’t have time to do right now.

    Examples of these might include:

    – new marketing initiatives
    – creating SOPs and streamlining your business processes
    – starting a blog
    – promotional event planning
    – planning and executing a new product or service launch
    – implementing a new tech solution
    – product and service development

Categorise your lists

Next we’re going to take those lists and sort them into four categories:

  1. Things that you don’t like doing
  2. Things that you don’t have the skills to do
  3. Things that you quite like doing but take up a lot of your time
  4. Things that only you can do

Once you have your categorised lists, identifying the tasks for delegation become much easier.

Starting off with the things that you don’t like doing: these are the things that will end up taking you far longer than a VA would take to do because when you don’t like doing something it’s natural to procrastinate.  If you have items in this list which think are too complex to delegate or require your specific expertise, categorise them anyway. Your VA will be able to help you break them down into smaller tasks so that even if you can’t wholly delegate them because they require your unique skillset, you may well be able to hand over parts of them to make it all a little less painful!

Next, let’s move onto the things that you don’t have the skills to do.  Clearly these should be outsourced – unless you have the time to spare for your own training.  Partnering with a VA who has the skills that you lack is the smartest way ahead.  Remember that a VA is not just an admin assistant or a secretary, they are a business partner with their own unique, expert skillset. 

Moving on to the third category, take a look at the items that you quite like doing but which take up a lot of your time.  These may be a little trickier to let go of but you need to ask yourself: how much is an hour of your time worth? Are you effectively paying yourself hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a job that could be done by your VA for a fraction of the price?

The fourth category of things that only you can do is one that may well evolve over time. Once you’ve started working with your VA and built up a good working relationship, you may want to revisit this list. It may well turn out that your trusted VA business partner is capable of handling some of those tasks after all.

The exercise above should provide you with a much clearer idea of what you can delegate, and in next week’s blog we’ll cover how to delegate effectively.

If after this reading this you’re still feeling stuck for ideas then we would be happy to help.  Contact us or book a call today and we can run through this exercise together and don’t forget you can download our free delegation guide with 100 ideas of tasks to delegate to you VA.