People are almost always thrilled by the prospect of having their own dedicated personal assistant. They often stumble, however, when working to determine exactly how they will use a new helping hand. They deliberate on what they will offload and how best to work with someone remotely.
Our members have successfully handed off hundreds of unique tasks to their Prialto productivity assistants. Regardless of the tasks that our members have sought to hand off, some simple practices have proven to be universally helpful in making their time manager/productivity assistant their go-to person. Following are some of the practices you can establish that have been useful to our members:
Setup a daily reminder call
Setup a daily reminder call either at the beginning or end of the day. Just as you might make a daily practice of touching base with an in-office assistant, it's good practice to regularly check in with your Prialto assistant. Following are two types or reminder calls that our members are currently using:
A morning reminder call helps you prepare for the day, reminds you of your schedule, and allows you to request a new task or get updated on previously assigned tasks.
An end-of-day call accomplishes much of the same, but prepares you for the next day. If your assistant is answering a lot of calls for you during the day, you may prefer an end-of-day call.
Of course, you can call your assistant as much as you would like. But it is good for the assistant to know that there is an ideal time to reach out to you, which allows them to be more prepared and sensitive of your time.
Setup recurring tasks
Setting up recurring tasks is a powerful way to use your assistant. Once established, tasks just happen and you benefit without having to put any additional effort. Some powerful tasks our members have setup are:
Every 2 weeks, send an overview of competitor press releases and any changes to pricing/advertising on the site
Every 3rd Wednesday, send a list of 3 restaurants with reviews along with price ranges (Should a member decide on a restaurant, the assistant makes the reservation for two [husband and wife] and contacts the babysitter. Once all arrangements are made, assistant notifies member.)
Twice a day, an assistant calls a hotline and retrieves any messages, transcribes the messages, and sends them to the member
While there are software programs that perform many similar recurring tasks, our members routinely tell us that the human touch our assistants provide add far more value. Things get done with more nuance and in a way that truly saves time for our demanding members.
Unload small tasks
Even small tasks add up. If a task will take you 15 minutes, you may think to just do it yourself. But those small tasks add up. Four of those small tasks would take you an hour to complete, as opposed to 4 or 5 minutes spent assigning the task to your assistant. Here are some scenarios:
You're on the phone with someone and they want you to send them your address via email, but you are driving. Call your assistant and have them send the information.
You're on the phone with a client and realize that you need to invite someone to the sales meeting that you just arranged. Call your assistant and have them handle the arrangements.
You're driving and you hear an advertisement on the radio. Call your assistant and ask them to send you the company's information
The relief of getting things done, not half way done, not noted or added to your to-do list, is extremely gratifying. It makes you feel better about your day, makes you feel more successful, and makes you feel more relaxed because you have eliminated stresses that normally build up due to the "little things" that add up.
Build your relationship slowly to gain trust
Although we've trained our assistants to be ready for your most urgent tasks on day one, you may still be a little hesitant to hand off work. This is ok, as it is a natural thing that happens during the get-to-know-you phase. Take your time to build a working relationship with your assistant; otherwise, those first few tasks may create a lot of anxiety for you. You wouldn't begin your relationship with a new employee in your office by giving them your most important tasks, so begin with smaller ones and build a simple to-do list of tasks that you want to do but just can't seem to make time for.
An assistant may accomplish one-off tasks for you, but they do so much more. They can completely remove tasks from your routine, they provide reassurance, and they remove the stresses of life. They are more productive than a psychologist, more relaxing than a gym visit, and healthier than a gallon of ice cream.