Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is a smart move because having an extra hand to help you in your business means less stress for you and greater productivity for your company. When you hire the right person for the job, you’re not only freeing up more of your time to attend to other important matters, but you are also giving your business the opportunity to grow with the unique set of skills and expertise they can bring to your company.

However, sometimes, it’s hard to decide which tasks you should assign to your virtual assistant. Here are some nifty pointers that should help make this decision easy.

1. Give them tasks they are good at.
It may be tempting to just assign tasks that are lying around without considering the skill set of your virtual assistant. This will result in low productivity and low-quality output. If you want to maximize your VA’s, give them tasks that match their interests and skills. This can be easily determined during the hiring process. Outline your job requirements and ask the potential VA what they can accomplish. Ask for work samples or offer to conduct a trial period where you can both see whether the person is the right fit for the job.

2. Delegate tasks that are you cannot complete on your own.
What are tasks that you cannot complete on your own? These are tasks that you don’t enjoy doing, repetitive tasks that will take away too much time from focusing on growing your business, or tasks that are too far from your expertise and will require intensive learning. It takes time to master a skill and it is always more cost-efficient and effective to hire someone else who can do it better and faster than you.

3. Don’t assign tasks that are part of your main responsibilities.
If you are the manager or the owner of the business, avoid assigning your key responsibilities to your virtual assistants. These tasks include setting goals for your business, formulating strategies, and other tasks that would set the direction of your company. If the VA leaves and you have been dependent on him or her to work on your main responsibilities, it might be difficult for you to adjust and catch up at work. Also, you are giving the VA the opportunity to start a similar business after learning the trade secrets from you.

4. Never assign tasks with sensitive information.
When assigning tasks to your VAs, make sure these are tasks that don’t contain too much sensitive information such as access to your financial accounts, trade secrets and operations, and client lists. While the best and most competent VAs can be trusted, it is still a prudent move to keep confidential matters safe. It is better to err on the side of caution than risk losing money and your reputation in case your VA’s computer gets hacked or he loses your confidential files and falls into the hands of unscrupulous people.

Know What to Delegate
The most common mistake that entrepreneurs commit when delegating tasks to their VAs is delegating blindly. They delegate almost everything they believe they can make their life easier, without considering the capabilities of the VA and without complete and clear instructions on what should be done. Before you delegate, determine beforehand what you want to accomplish with the task you are assigning to your VA. Save time and effort by clearly explaining your expectations and instructions for the task. This is the most important step that can help you truly boost productivity at work

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