Tuesday, September 25, 2007

5 Ways to Make Delegating More Effective

I know a lot of Virtual Assistants are so busy these days that they are finding the need to sub out some of their work to other VAs. Here is an article you might find helpful when it comes time to delegate. As VAs we are great at taking on other people's work but many of us find delegating our own work a challenge. We have no problem asking our clients to delegate work to us but then when it becomes time for us to delegate work to others we find all sorts of excuses.

5 Ways to Make Delegating More Effective
by Erin Blaskie

In my profession as a virtual assistant, I am in the front of the delegating lines and I see firsthand what works and what doesn’t. Oftentimes, new clients will ask me to coach them a bit on delegating work to our company and I am always happy to do so.

If you are currently delegating work to others or you may do so in future, here are five ways to make your delegating experience more effective.

(1) Set Deadlines

This often gets overlooked but it’s the most important part. If you need something back by week’s end, specify that when you delegate the task. Although your virtual assistant may be a magician when it comes to getting your work done, he/she is not a mind-reader. They need to know, from you, when you need the work done.

(2) Prioritize

If you are giving your virtual assistant many tasks, let him/her know which item needs to get done first. One of my own clients will often note when something takes precedence over the rest of the work she’s delegated to me. This helps me to know what she needs back quickly and what can wait until closer to the set deadline.

(3) Be Clear

When you delegate something, be clear in your message. It may be something that is easy for you to do because you’ve done it often but you’ll need to remember that when delegating items from your business, they may not be things that others are as familiar with. So, be clear and be available if/when your virtual assistant makes requests for items he/she needs to complete the task.

(4) Check Skills First

Too often I’ve seen people delegate out a task to someone that went above their knowledge level. When this happens, the person may take longer than expected or may have difficulty with the project. A lot of people want to please their clients so they may hang on to a task thinking, “I’ll learn this and get the work done” but that only delays progress. Check with the person first to make sure he/she has the skills required to complete the task.

(5) Give Advanced Notice

The last tip I’ll give you is to make sure you are giving enough notice. If you delegate a 5-minute project in the morning and want it done by day’s end, that may be okay for that person’s schedule but if you drop a full blog-design project in their lap and request it back within 24-hours, that may not always suit their schedule. It is better to give as much notice as possible so that you both benefit.


Erin Blaskie is a virtual assistant and the owner of Business Services, ETC. Erin supports business owners with their daily operations - helping them fr*ee up their time so they can get back to doing the ‘life’ stuff or focus on the revenue generating items. Feel fr*ee to contact her via her website at http://www.bsetc.ca or at info@bsetc.ca.

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