Productivity Tip #5

When productivity and management gurus tell you to delegate, do you laugh and say, “Sure, if I had someone to delegate to!”

Thanks to the rise of virtual assistants, you can have that person to delegate just about anything you want, for whatever amount of time you want (and can afford).

Does it cost? Yes. Is it worth it? Very probably.

Here are some virtual assistance sites to get you started:

  • Upwork, Thumtack and Fiverr let you post task or project descriptions, receive bids, and choose the one you like best.
  • Don’t want the hassle of reviewing bids? Fancy Hands will choose someone in their stable for you based on your description of the task.
  • Zirtual and RedButler assign you a dedicated assistant for the number of hours you choose. You then assign tasks directly up to that number of hours.

What can a virtual assistant do for you? What do you need done? Kerry Ann Rockquemore at Inside Higher Ed finds that academics use virtual assistants for everything from transcribing audio files or handwritten notes to making travel arrangements and doing reimbursement, as well as proofreading or copyediting, formatting a manuscript for a specific journal, and personal research tasks like finding a new dentist. Scott Britton at Life-Long Learner wrote a list of everything he asked his Zirtual assistant to do in a month, including booking medical appointments and restaurant reservations, data entry, researching pros and cons of joining a professional group, and signing him up for rewards accounts and logging the credentials on a spreadsheet. (If you’re worried about a VA knowing your passwords and other sensitive information, Cheryl Yeoh describes using LastPass to keep her private info private, along with another list of tasks she assigned to her VA.)  Alina Dizik at Entrepreneur finds virtual assistants helpful for accounting tasks, managing email, and scheduling. James Duffy has them help with similar tasks.

Even if you can only delegate small tasks to a virtual assistant, delegate enough of them and they start adding up to hours saved in a month or week. Not to mention that someone else does your boring administrative tasks. Win-win!

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