Delegating Tasks to Your Virtual Assistant


Feeling like you have too much on your plate? Delegation will help free you up to focus on higher-value activities while also keeping your virtual assistant engaged with greater autonomy. However, it is important to be clear about what you need in order to become successful at delegating work. 

Here are some tips on how to delegate effectively to foster a culture of trust and efficiency: 

a) Assign a single task

Even though virtual assistants are trained to do a wide range of tasks, it's best to give them one task at a time instead of dumping everything on them in one go. The first few weeks of working together will be an adjustment period for you both, but focusing on one task will let you evaluate how your BVAs work and get a better gauge of their strengths and weaknesses. Single-tasking isn't the answer to all of your work woes, but it's an excellent place to start when working with a new virtual assistant.

b) Schedule tasks in advance

Some virtual assistants have multiple clients, so they usually have to make sure to organize their various tasks and activities. Assigning tasks last-minute with a sharp deadline may be equivalent to setting your BVA up to failure.  At the start, plan your tasks at least a week ahead and let your VA know if there are any unexpected adjustments to the deadline.

There are online task management tools, such as Trello or Asana, that will allow you to organize and delegate tasks for your entire team while giving you visibility on how things are moving along. 

c) Give clear instructions

When assigning a task to your virtual assistant, make sure you are providing clear and concise instructions. The BVA normally clocks the time it takes to respond to your emails, and since they are being paid on an hourly basis, they may end up generating more time if the instructions are unclear or constantly changing. Hence, it's important to outline how the task’s progress should be monitored and communicated (e.g., a weekly or bi-weekly report).

To ensure the success of a project, make sure you communicate what needs to be completed including the metrics you’ll use to measure the success of their work.

d)  Be open to suggestions

Yes, this is your business, and at the end of the day, what you say goes. However, you might want to consider encouraging your team members to ask questions and make recommendations in order to figure out if there are any differences in expectations. They are the ones that are performing the job role, and allowing for some autonomy in how they bring your vision to life is key to building trust, promoting engagement among your team, and giving your BVA a sense of ownership over their role.

e) Provide feedback

Once the task is completed, make sure to recognize your BVAs' accomplishments and provide helpful feedback to keep them going. Let them know what went well and what can be improved upon for future tasks. Constructive feedback may be uncomfortable to provide, but it is necessary for continued growth in the right direction. On the other hand, positive feedback shows your appreciation and keeps them motivated. 

Now that your BVA has proven to be reliable and efficient, it's time to stop stressing about the small details and focus your time and energy on big-picture items that require your strategic eye.

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