Delegation Secrets

Delegation Secrets

When deciding to use a Mobile or Virtual Assistant, one of the hardest things to do is get started! Maybe you can’t decide what to delegate. Or you don’t have any written instructions for the things you would like to delegate!

It’s helpful to begin a list of what an MA or VA can do to help you.

Start paying attention – what are the tasks you don’t want to do? What are the tasks you know in your bones you should delegate? What aren’t you good at – but muddle through anyway? What are the tasks you’re doing that suck up your precious (and expensive) time?

If you’re stuck making a list, engage a friend or some other business owners. Start talking to each other and brainstorming what sorts of tasks you would like to have someone else do. At first, you might get an exasperated, “I have no idea!” Keep talking – soon, you’ll have a list as long as your arm.

Start with categories:

  • General Administrative Tasks – filing, data entry of business cards, returning phone calls, doing research, managing your calendar, making packets or photocopies
  • Bookkeeping – data entry, filing, tracking A/P or A/R
  • Specific Tasks – writing/editing letters, simple desktop publishing, more involved research, transcribing meeting minutes, running errands

Next, ask yourself these questions to elicit more ideas for things to delegate:

  • What project or task can someone else start?
  • What project or task can someone else keep moving forward?
  • What project or task can I have someone else finish up?
  • What’s on my “I wish list?” How can my assistant help me with these items?

One word of caution – we are all looking for quick answers and quick fixes – but delegation isn’t always a quick fix.

You need to remember to (1) train (2) review and (3) verify. You can’t simply hand over work and forget about it – especially in the beginning. Give your MA or VA time to ask clarifying questions. Provide structure for them to ask questions during the project. It’s helpful to set a time-limit at first, too. For instance, you hand over a project with some directions (written or verbal). Give your assistant a 30 minute limit. After 30 minutes, both of you should review the work/progress to make sure the assistant is working in the right direction. If not, give helpful feedback, redirect, and move forward again with a time limit. Check again. After you feel the assistant has the task firmly in hand, set ’em loose with a clear description of the deliverable (the end result).

Still stumped on how to get started with delegation?  Call us at MBS, Inc. We can help you with time mapping, delegation checklists, and more! (704) 553-8082 or

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