Mastering Delegation: A Guide to Deciding What to Delegate When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

As a business owner or entrepreneur, your time is precious, and your focus is essential for driving your company’s success. Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) is a strategic move to reclaim your time and boost productivity, but knowing what tasks to delegate can be a challenging decision. Often we hear from prospective clients that they really need help, that they fear burnout if they carry on as they are… but they just don’t know where to start. 

Effectively delegating tasks to a Virtual Assistant requires thoughtful consideration and a clear understanding of your priorities and boundaries. In this guide, we’ll explore key strategies to help you decide what to delegate when you bring a Virtual Assistant on board.

Mastering Delegation
  • Identify Your Core Skills:

    • Start by identifying tasks that align with your core skills and areas where you really shine. These are the tasks that only you can do and contribute significantly to the growth and success of your business. Anything that falls outside these core competencies is a potential candidate for delegation.


Think about how someone else’s core skill is admin: that’s what they excel at and are more than happy to do!

  • Assess Time-Consuming and Repetitive Tasks:

    • Take stock of your daily or weekly activities and identify tasks that are time-consuming or repetitive. These tasks may not require your unique expertise and could therefore easily be handled by a Virtual Assistant. Examples include personal admin, diary and email management, data entry, and social media post creation and scheduling. 


Your Virtual Assistant may be able to implement automations to replace repetitive tasks. 

  • Consider Your Energy Levels:

      • Reflect on tasks that drain your energy and focus. Delegating these tasks to a Virtual Assistant allows you to redirect your energy toward high-impact activities that require your full attention. This not only improves your overall well-being but also enhances your efficiency in critical areas of your business.


30% of entrepreneurs say they are often or constantly burned out.
64% of entrepreneurs say they are more stressed now than they were two years ago.
Only 33% of entrepreneurs take proper breaks to help alleviate burnout.
An estimated 29% of entrepreneurs experience long-term negative effects of burnout (ONS data). 

  • Prioritise Strategic and Revenue-Generating Activities:

    • Your primary focus should be on strategic and revenue-generating activities that contribute directly to the growth of your business. Delegate administrative and organisational tasks to your Virtual Assistant, freeing up your time to concentrate on business development, client relationships, and other strategic initiatives.
Delegate tasks to managing energy levels


Sometimes work is ‘challenging’ because you find it boring!

  • Evaluate Learning Curve vs. Time Investment:

    • Assess tasks based on the time it would take for you to teach someone else versus the time it would save in the long run. If a task requires significant training, it might be worthwhile to delegate if it’s a recurring activity. However, tasks with a steep learning curve and minimal time savings may be best kept for yourself.

  • Examine Seasonal or Project-Based Work:

    • Virtual Assistants can be invaluable for handling seasonal or project-based work. Identify tasks that ebb and flow throughout the year or are specific to certain projects. Delegating these tasks allows you to scale your team efficiently without the need for permanent hires.


You don’t pay NI, pension contributions, sick leave etc for your contracted Virtual Assistant. 

  • Review Your Pain Points:

    • Pinpoint areas in your workflow where you frequently encounter challenges. Whether it’s managing emails, organising documents, or handling customer inquiries: delegating tasks related to these pain points can significantly streamline your operations.


Think about how much money you could generate if you could free yourself up for a day… versus how much you would spend on a Virtual Assistant to take care of your to do list on that day.

An attractive young business woman looking away with colleagues working behind. Delegate.
  • Set Clear Priorities:

    • Clearly define your priorities and business objectives. Tasks that align with these priorities should be retained, while those that do not directly contribute to your goals can be considered for delegation. This ensures that your Virtual Assistant’s efforts frees up your time for your overarching business strategy.
  • Maintain Effective Communication:

    • Establish open and transparent communication channels with your Virtual Assistant. Clearly convey your expectations, preferences, and any specific guidelines related to delegated tasks. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions help refine the delegation process over time.


Think about how you like to communicate (email, phone calls, WhatsApp chat) and discuss this with your Virtual Assistant, before you start working together. 

  • Start Small and Scale Up:

    • If you’re new to delegation, start with smaller, less critical tasks to build trust and confidence in your virtual assistant’s capabilities. As trust grows, gradually delegate more complex and crucial responsibilities.

Virtual PA Office Team


Your Virtual Assistant may be quicker than you at some tasks! They won’t be distracted by peripheral matters that might be connected but not important. 

In conclusion…

Effective delegation is a skill that can transform your business by freeing up your time to focus on what matters most. By carefully assessing tasks based on these strategies, you can make informed decisions about what to delegate when hiring a virtual assistant, ultimately leading to increased productivity, efficiency, and business success.

Photos by Digital Buggu and Andrea Piacquadio.

Lights, Camera, Action: The Best Movies About Being a Personal Assistant!

Lights, Camera, Action:
The Best Movies About Being a Personal Assistant!

Whether you’re in-house or virtual, being a Personal Assistant is not an easy job. It requires you to be organised, efficient, and to be able to handle high-pressure situations with grace. Many movies have depicted the trials and tribulations of being a Personal Assistant, highlighting the challenges and rewards of the profession. In this post, we’ll explore some of our favourite movies about being a Personal Assistant.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

“The Devil Wears Prada” is perhaps the most well-known movie about being a personal assistant. The film follows the story of Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a recent college graduate who lands a job as the assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), the editor-in-chief of a top fashion magazine. Andy quickly learns that working for Miranda is no easy task and must navigate the world of high fashion while balancing her personal life.
Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep: The Devil Wears Pravda movie

The Intern (2015)

Robert De Niro: The Intern movie
“The Intern” tells the story of Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), a retired executive who becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site. As the intern, Ben is assigned to work with Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), the company’s founder and CEO. Through his experience, Ben teaches Jules valuable lessons about leadership and work-life balance, while also gaining a new perspective on life.

The Nanny Diaries (2007)

“The Nanny Diaries” follows the life of Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson), a recent college graduate who takes a job as a nanny for a wealthy family on the Upper East Side of New York City. Annie ends up taking on personal tasks that have nothing to do with childcare! While working for the family, Annie discovers the challenges of working for a demanding boss while also trying to balance her personal life.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a movie about self-discovery and adventure. The film follows the story of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), a negative asset manager at Life magazine who embarks on a journey to find a missing photograph for the magazine’s final issue. Along the way, the film shows how Walter learns to take risks and embrace his true self, and also portrays his evolving relationship with his Personal Assistant Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig).

Working Girl (1988)

Working Girl” tells the story of Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith), a secretary at a Wall Street investment firm who dreams of making it big in the corporate world. When her boss is injured, Tess sees an opportunity to take on a major business deal and enlists the help of an investment banker, Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford). The movie explores the challenges and obstacles Tess faces as a woman in a male-dominated industry.
Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford: Working Girl movie
In conclusion, these movies offer an insightful and entertaining look into the world of Personal Assistants. Whether you’re currently working as a Personal Assistant, or you use the services of a Personal Assistant, or maybe you’re just curious about the profession, these movies are worth watching. They showcase the highs and lows of the job, while also highlighting the importance of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
  • What’s your favourite movie that features a Personal Assistant?
  • Do you identify with any of the Personal Assistant, or Executive, characters that we have mentioned?

10 Tasks That Each Take a VA 1 hour

“What will an hour get me?” 

10 Tasks That Each Take a VA 1 hour

In today’s fast-paced world, time is a valuable commodity. For busy entrepreneurs and executives, the ability to outsource certain tasks to a Virtual Assistant (VA)  can be a game-changer. With the help of a virtual assistant, you can free up your time to focus on more important tasks, while still getting everything done that needs to be done. 

1 hour tasks save you money

Here are 10 tasks that a virtual assistant can complete in one hour each:


Conduct Market Research

Market research is a critical component of any successful business strategy. A Virtual Assistant can conduct market research on a specific product or service and compile the data into a report or presentation. This can include researching competitors, identifying target markets, and analysing customer behaviour.


Create and Schedule Social Media Posts

Social media is a powerful tool for businesses and individuals alike. A Virtual Assistant can create and schedule social media posts for a business or individual using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This can include creating graphics and writing captions, and setting the posts up on the scheduling tool of your choice. 


Manage Email and Calendar

For busy executives and entrepreneurs, managing email and calendar can be a time-consuming task. A Virtual Assistant can help by responding to messages, scheduling appointments, and organizing events. This can help you stay on top of your schedule and ensure that you never miss an important meeting or event.


Book Travel Arrangements

Travelling can be stressful, but a Virtual Assistant can help make it easier. A Virtual Assistant can research and book travel arrangements for a business trip, including flights, hotels, and transportation. This can save you time and ensure that you have everything you need for a successful trip.

Personal Assistant tasks


Conduct Data Entry and Database Management

Data entry and database management can be tedious tasks, but they are essential for businesses of all sizes. A Virtual Assistant can help by inputting customer information, updating spreadsheets, and organising files. This can help ensure that your data is accurate and up-to-date.


Edit and Proofread Documents

When it comes to business communications, it’s essential to have error-free documents. A Virtual Assistant can help by editing and proofreading documents, including emails, reports, and presentations. This can ensure that your communications are professional and polished.



Presentations, created on PowerPoint or Canva, are an essential tool for business meetings and events. A Virtual Assistant can create presentations that incorporate text, images, and graphics to enhance the presentation. This can help ensure that your message is delivered effectively.


Conduct Online Research

Online research can be time-consuming, but it’s an essential component of many business tasks. A Virtual Assistant can conduct online research to gather information on a specific topic or industry and compile the data into a summary report. This can help you make informed decisions and stay up-to-date on industry trends.


Provide Customer Support and Assistance

Providing excellent customer support is essential for any business. A Virtual Assistant can help by providing customer support and assistance through chat or email. This can include addressing enquiries, troubleshooting issues, and providing solutions.


Schedule Appointments

For healthcare professionals like doctors and therapists, managing appointments can be a time-consuming task. A Virtual Assistant can help by scheduling appointments, confirming them, rescheduling as needed, and sending reminders to patients or customers. This can help ensure that your schedule stays organised and that your patients and customers never miss an appointment.

Many hands make light work

In conclusion, a virtual assistant can help you save time and be more productive by completing tasks that would otherwise take up your valuable time.  By outsourcing these tasks to a Virtual Assistant, you can focus on what really matters: growing your business and achieving your goals.

The above 10 tasks are just some examples. Can you think of any other ways that a virtual assistant has helped or could help you in just one hour?

The Art of Taking Minutes

Top tips to help you get the most out of your minutes!

Having accurate written records for your meetings is essential. Not only are they an official and legal record of the meeting, but they can be incredibly useful for individuals who may have been unable to attend, or to refresh the memories of those who were there so that any post-meeting follow-up actions aren’t missed.  Minutes aren’t designed to be a word-by-word record of a meeting, but a clear and concise report of what happened at the meeting, what decisions have been made and what actions need to be taken following the event.

When it comes to minute taking, it’s essential that the minutes are objective and neutral statements of fact.  As a result, outsourcing minute taking is becoming an increasingly popular option for many organisations, particularly for Board meetings, to ensure that the written record of the meeting isn’t influenced by the conscious or unconscious biases of existing team members.

If you are planning on outsourcing your minute taking, there are a number of things that you can do to help your minute taker provide the best quality written record of your meeting possible. Here are our top tips for before, during and after your meeting:

Before the meeting…

  • Non-disclosure agreement: If you are outsourcing your minute taking, an NDA is a must to prevent the disclosure of confidential information discussed in your meetings with any third party. This is standard procedure for many organisations, and a professional and experienced minute taker should have no issue with signing an NDA prior to joining you for your meeting.
  • Collate a list of invitees (and their company/organisation name, if appropriate) and make it clear prior to the meeting who will be attending and who sends their apologies.
  • Finalise your agenda for the meeting, and provide your minute taker with this along with any relevant papers and presentations that will also be used in the meeting.
  • Provide the minutes from your previous meeting so that your minute taker can review them. These can help form a useful template and to ensure consistency across your meeting minutes, but can also be helpful if there are certain items that you would like expressed with greater detail or in a slightly different way in future minutes, as you can point these out clearly to your new minute taker with the help of an example.
  • Provide a list of business specific terms (including acronyms and technical terminology) that are likely to be used in your meeting, so that your minute taker can clearly communicate the points discussed without being overwhelmed by business-specific jargon. It may also be useful to provide a brief overview of the projects being discussed, as this context may prove valuable when it comes to recording the key points of the meeting clearly and concisely.

During the meeting…

  • Take a few moments to introduce yourselves! This is particularly useful if you are on a video call, as usernames aren’t always indicative of your actual name! If you have an in-person meeting planned, name cards can be really helpful for minute takers to accurately record who said what when it comes to important points.
  • Stick to the agenda – This may seem like an obvious recommendation, but we’ve all been in meetings that have meandered dramatically! Having a meeting attendee (or two!) who can keep an eye on the agenda and gently steer the conversation back to primary topics at hand is really helpful if you want to keep your meetings as timely and effective as possible. In addition to the above, we would also recommend clearly communicating to your minute taker when you are moving from one agenda item to the next, as although topics and discussion points may seem strikingly different to you, it may not be obvious to an external minute taker, and this simple action can help to ensure that your minutes are formatted clearly.
  • Try to progress from topics raised during the previous meeting, and take topics off the table that aren’t relevant to the primary conversation. Useful minutes rely on useful meetings, so if you want to be able to see what your team has accomplished, what decisions have been made and what action steps need to be taken over the coming weeks or months, these things need to be discussed in the meeting!

After the meeting…

  • Be available to clarify or confirm finer details, if required. As we mentioned earlier, there is plenty of business-specific jargon that you and your team may use on a regular basis but which isn’t immediately obvious to external professionals, and may have been missed off the original terminology/acronym guidance you provided prior to the meeting! Similarly, it may not be immediately obvious to your minute taker who is responsible for some of the action points discussed in the meeting, so further clarification may be required to ensure that the minutes are as useful and accurate as possible.

Minute taking is an important and uniquely challenging task; lots of people can write notes during a meeting but very few of those notes can provide an accurate and detailed snapshot of the event and provide a valuable insight into decisions made and actions to be taken! If you’d like to speak to us about minute taking for your next meeting, please contact us for more information.



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