How do I delegate my to-do list?

Want to get some tasks off your to-do list, but not sure HOW to delegate when you've always done it yourself?

We hear this time and time again from people desperate to free up time in their day, but not sure where to start! 

It's normal to want to hold on to the things on your to-do list.  

Maybe you feel like you're the only one who can do it right, it would take too long to train someone new, or that someone else is going to take much longer to complete the task for you.  

Ultimately, handing things over to a VA or team member comes down to trust, training and communication. Ready to learn how? 

First off, why should you be delegating?

It's simple, the more low-level, repetitive tasks that you can get off your to-do list, the more time you're going to have to focus on big picture, high-level, revenue generating tasks within your business.  

Maybe there's tasks you're doing often that just really don't light your fire, are hampering your productivity, or you're just straight up not good at (that's ok to admit!). 

What could you be doing if you weren't having to focus time and energy on these tasks? You could: 

  • Spend more time marketing your business to attract new customers 
  • Finally get started on that project to take your business to the next level 
  • Attend networking events 
  • Upskill, take classes or watch seminars 
  • Get out of the office for a much-needed break! 

What kind of things should you delegate?

  • Repetitive tasks. Things that are either the same or very similar every time you do them, and need to be done regularly. These small tasks often take up a lot of your time in the long run, and they are easy to delegate to your team.  
  • Low-level tasks. Similar and often crossed over with repetitive tasks, things that are simply draining your time and stopping you from getting more important things done (think filing, research, document formatting). 
  • Things that could be done better by a VA or team member. Remember how we said above that there's probably some things that you just aren't good at? Being a business owner or manager doesn't mean that you will be the most skilled team member at any given task (no one is good at everything!). Delegate these tasks to someone with the relevant skills, and don't let your ego get in the way. 
  • Things that bore you. If there's things on your to-do list that you dread doing, that make the day drag on, or that you avoid altogether – delegate them! Free that time up for things that you love doing. 

So how do you make it happen?

Let's start by talking about training, which is a roadblock for so many when it comes to delegating. You think about how long it's going to take to train your VA or staff member to do the task and realise that it's going to take longer than just doing it yourself.  

Pause for a second here and think about it like this: Investing some time at the start to get someone else up to speed on completing the task is going to save you so much more time in the long run.  

It probably took you some time to gain the experience needed to do this task as quickly as you can now, and it's reasonable to expect that it will take someone else a bit of time too. Soon, they will complete the task just as quickly and efficiently as you are (if not more quickly!), and it will be gone from your to-do list (and not taking up your headspace) for good.  

Our top tips for effective training? We like to provide instructions in multiple forms to make sure our messaging is super clear.  

This could look like talking to your VA or team member directly via Zoom and hitting the record button. Or you could record yourself completing the task (and talking through it) using one of the following tools to make this process pain-free: 

Berrycast: Easy-to-use screen recording software that allows you to record, edit & share high-quality screen recording videos to your team and clients.  

Loom: Free cloud-based screen recording app with a chrome browser extension that makes sharing videos with voiceovers super easy. 5 mins recording max on the free version. 

Tango.US: Free browser extension that generates step-by-step written instructions/guides for you while you work.  

The key things to cover when you’re showing, recording or documenting a task are: 

  1. What the task is – be sure to clearly and concisely describe the task. 
  2. When it is to be undertaken – What's the trigger for this task to be completed? Is it recurring? Is there a hard deadline? 
  3. Why this task is to be completed. This is often overlooked but giving some context as to the purpose means your team member will be able to use their initiative if something comes up that is out of the ordinary or a part of the process changes. 
  4. How long is the task expected to take. This will help your team member understand whether they need to go back to you for clarification or further details if the task is taking longer than expected, it also helps your team member plan their workload and they’ll know if they are meeting your expectations (no surprises!) 
  5. The steps to complete the task. Think about the ‘if this happens, then do this’ and some of the problems they might encounter and what to do in different scenarios. 

This may feel overwhelming and a lot! We promise that if you take the time upfront to set your VA or team member up for success with the task, then you’ll face a lot less issues and frustrations down the track. Remember: your team member is not a mind reader! 

The next step is trusting that the task is being done after it's delegated. So long as you have given them the key information above and they have acknowledged it, they will now get on with the task. 

Lend a hand in the initial stages of training while your VA or team member gets accustomed to the task, and then let them do their thing!  

Once you're happy that they're completing the work correctly, trust the process, and keep our next tip in mind to make sure things continue to run smoothly. 

Clear communication between you and your team is key to ongoing success when delegating. Where communication breaks down, mistakes can happen. Scheduling regular one on one catch ups with the team you are delegating to, or utilising a chat tool such as Slack or Teams for quick messages throughout the day are helpful to make sure everyone is on the same page and managing their to-do lists.  

And here’s something very important to keep in mind: If you find a mistake or that the task hasn’t been actioned correctly at any point, you must let the VA or team member know. DO NOT fix it and not say anything. Trust that your team member wants to do a good job, they really do! So let them know when something isn’t right so they can fix it and do it correctly next time, otherwise you’ll just end up frustrated. 

Delegating is what will set you free overwhelm!

Ready to start successfully delegating your to-do-list? Get in touch with our team today for a no obligation chat to see if a virtual assistant could be the right person to assist you.  


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