“I know I should be delegating to save me time, but I am just too busy to figure it out.”
I hear these words all the time from prospective Prialto members. They are some of my favorites to hear, because I know they come from the very type of person Prialto can best help.
Prialto has worked with more than 100 members who have successfully delegated thousands of tasks for us to do for them. Through this, we have learned critical best practices for using remote assistant services. This knowledge has become indispensible in guiding our new members to get up and running. A few examples:
- Communicate often, clearly, and consistently
Communication is your greatest ally in fostering any working relationship. It is even more critical when working remotely.It helps, for example, to set up a daily reminder call either at the beginning or at the end of the day. Just as you might make a daily practice of touching base with an in-office assistant, it is good practice to regularly check in with your Prialto assistant.Your assistant should cover your daily to-do list to help you stay focused and on-task. Give your assistant honest and clear feedback on all the activities he or she helped you with in the last 24 hours.
- And make these daily interactions by telephone, not email. Verbal conversation, our highest-bandwidth form of communication, lets you transmit the most amount of information efficiently.
- Focus first on delegating recurring tasks
Delegating recurring tasks is a powerful way to use your assistant. Once established, tasks get done with little or no additional effort on your part. Some powerful tasks our members have delegated are:
- Every two weeks, compile competitor press releases and any changes to pricing/advertising
- Every third Wednesday, send a list of three restaurants with reviews and price ranges. (Should a member decide on a restaurant, the assistant makes the reservation and arranges the babysitter.)
- Twice a day, an assistant calls a hotline and retrieves any messages, transcribes the messages, and sends them to the member
True, software can perform many similar tasks, but our members routinely tell us that the human touch adds far more value. With humans, tasks get done with more nuance and in a way that saves time for our demanding members.
- Unload small tasks too
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 four or five minutes spent assigning the task to your assistant. Here are some scenarios:
- A prospect calls while you are driving. She wants you to send her your address via email immediately. You can call your assistant and have him or her send the information.
- You are on the phone with a client and realize that you need to invite someone to the sales meeting you just arranged. Call your assistant and have them handle the arrangements.
- 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 halfway done, not noted, or just added to your to-do list) liberates the soul. You fell better about your day, you feel more successful, and you are more relaxed.
- Build your relationship slowly to gain trust
Although we have trained our assistants to be ready for your most urgent tasks, you may still hesitate to hand off work. That is natural 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. Begin with smaller, easy-to-accomplish assignments and a simple to-do list that you want to do but just can’t seem to make time for.
An assistant may accomplish one-off tasks for you, but can they do so much more. They can completely remove tasks from your routine for good, they provide reassurance, and they remove the stress from life.