Before I started BELAY, I was a VP of Consulting where I managed a team of ten sales guys and had my own virtual assistant, Tricia. She did everything: chasing down
subcontractors, holding my sales team in line, overseeing Gantt charts and critical
paths, and setting up my dentist appointments. She was able to run my business and personal life, even though she lived four hours away. Fast forward several years and Tricia is now our COO leading our operations as I oversee BELAY as CEO and cofounder.
My guess is you’re probably doing many of those things yourself that are taking you away from your core work, the stuff that makes clients want to hire you. As you grow and hit your personal capacity from the demands of work and life, take the time to decide which tasks can be offloaded to someone else.
Here are some of the most creative ways to delegate I’ve discovered over the years:
1) Let someone else manage email for you.
My assistant, Paige, is the air traffic controller for my inbox. Out of the 150 to 200 emails I get a day, I really only need to respond to about 25 of them. Paige puts order into the email chaos, responding in behalf, navigating people to the right people to execute a task, and directing emails over to me that need my attention.
2) Have an assistant start managing your calendar.
They can schedule your meetings, respond to client questions regarding your schedule, even reserving down time so you can focus on critical projects. You’ll start enjoying a new level of freedom.
3) As assistant can help manage your projects, professional and personal.
Paige is my right-hand for initiating and executing projects throughout the work day, alongside
scheduling my haircuts every three to four weeks and interacting with the various
contractors working on house projects or general maintenance.
4) Let someone do research for you.
Give them a time frame and research parameters. They can outline their findings and report back to you.
5) Stop booking your travel.
Oftentimes leaders like to hang on to booking their own
travel because they like to feel the sense of completion when it’s done. However, just
think of what other tasks you can done while someone else spends the time looking for
the right flights, hotels, rental cars, and other travel details.
6) Have an assistant buy gifts for you, for business or personal.
You can even have someone write your own thank you cards — just provide them with a written alphabet they can reference.
7) Event planning.
I recently hosted an event that was catered. My assistant lined everything up — all I had to do was show up! You can truly stretch your thinking as we enter a new era of living and working—many
of us virtually. The old school days of having an assistant parked outside your door and
just asking for coffee or running and getting your dry cleaning is over.
Time is something you can’t recreate and comes at a cost per hour. Evaluate what your
day is worth, and see just how you can creatively delegate some of your tasks.
Brian Miles is CEO and Co-founder of BELAY.