Outsourcing to a virtual assistant can be a daunting task… how do you even know where to start? The good news is, it’s easy to get started and get it done effectively if you know which tasks to delegate, how to make delegation easier, and how to make sure you and your VA both stay productive.
Here’s our quick start guide to make working with a VA easier than it already is.
The Things You MUST Outsource (or you’re wasting your money)
How much more could you get done in a day if your time to answer email was cut by 80%? This is one of the biggest time drains, and one of the easiest things to have a VA help with.
Create a set of template autoresponders for emails you receive frequently – think meeting requests or people trying to sell you something. Your virtual assistant can draft responses based on these templates and save them in a draft folder for you to review and send. Have your VA set a time to check emails before you get into the office and before you leave.
If you get a slew of emails that you want to unsubscribe from, create an “Unsubscribe” folder in your email inbox and put all your spam in there. Then, have your VA manually unsubscribe you from all the emails in that folder. Over time, your VA can also proactively flag spam email and move it here as well.
- Calendar and Scheduling
Managing your calendar is another essential, yet time-sucking task. Using a tool like Calendly, your virtual assistant can communicate via email with those looking to schedule meetings for you. They can also set specific “work-only” days where nobody can book any time at all – giving you ample time necessary to focus on core tasks.
Setting Productivity Standards
Now that you know what to do, make sure you do it in the most productive manner possible. Once you’ve planned out all your essential tasks for the week, review your list with your VA in mind. What can you delegate to them that would make your week easier? In addition to email, virtual assistants are also great for managing phone calls, data collection, and other desk research you may need for upcoming meetings.
Having trouble deciding what to delegate? Use a time study tool like Hubstaff to track time spent on each task to determine what’s taking up the most time – that might be a good place to start. You can also use these tools to track how long it takes your virtual assistant to do each of these tools as well. Another bonus? These tools integrate with other project tracking tools you may already be using – like Trello or Asana – so you can make sure you stay on top of it all.
Getting started with a virtual assistant, and getting the most out of the relationship, doesn’t have to be a time-consuming effort in itself. If you come prepared, know exactly how to guide your virtual assistant, and understand the array of tools that can help you, you’ve already fought half the battle.
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