The idea of having a personal assistant on staff sounds great doesn't it? Not only can you delegate those time consuming administrative tasks but also tedious tasks which you dislike doing. Who knows -your assistant will probably do a better job than you. That's what you’re hiring them for after all isn't it?
I hate to burst your bubble but an assistant is not a catch all for the things you don’t want or don’t have the time to do. Not all tasks can be delegated and not all tasks should be delegated.
Use the visual flow chart / infographic below as a guide to help you determine whether or not you should delegate a particular task to your assistant.
1: Does the task I want to delegate actually move my business forward?
This question may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many hours a day are taken up by unnecessary or duplicated activities. Answering this question should be step 1 on any task you do, especially one you do on a recurring basis. If this task is non-essential, figure out a way it can be eliminated from your processes.
If it is essential, follow the flow chart to question 2.
2: Could a monkey do it?
The last thing you want to do is waste the talents, time or energy of your valuable assistant on things that could be automated by a computer or software process. For instance paying bills, payroll, reporting and even customer service all have certain aspects that can be automated in part or in whole.
If it can't be automated than move on to question 3.
3: Does the task require my judgement each time?
If the process is unique every time and requires a judgement call by you personally, you may not want to delegate. Going back and forth with your assistant each time on a task like this will end up taking more of your time than it saves. Keep these judgement calls on your plate.
If however the process is repeatable without your input, move on to question 4.
4: Can I provide a clear process for someone else to repeat the task?
If a task isn't clear in your head, it won’t be clear in your assistant’s.
If you can logically think through the steps and provide direction than it will make delegating much smoother. Consider question 5.
5: Do I trust someone else to do this task?
Even the most repeatable process in the world cannot be successfully delegated unless you trust someone else to handle it. If you will be constantly worrying about the task, then you should keep this on your list of to-dos. The task(s) must fall into a category where you trust another person to carry them out. If you can trust them – delegate it!
Congratulations! If your task has made it to this stage you can and should delegate it – freeing you up to move your business forward in a way only you can.
Related to this: The Outsourcing Test: When to Delegate Work Outside your Company
Think you're ready to start delegating tasks?
At Prialto, we match our trained and experienced virtual personal assistants with your needs and requirements so that we can be successful with you from the start. We'll also help you through the process of figuring out what to delegate and document everything we do for you so if your personal assistant does not work out, you are not left having to duplicate your efforts to bring the right person up to speed.