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.

The 4 Ds: A Simple Framework for Productivity and Time Management

The 4 Ds:
A Simple Framework for Productivity and Time Management

The 4 Ds: Do, Defer, Delegate, and Delete, is a simple yet powerful productivity tool that can help you manage your time and tasks efficiently. It is a framework that can be used to prioritise and organise your to-do list, making it easier to focus on what is important and avoid getting overwhelmed.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the 4 Ds and how they can be applied:

The 4 Ds: Do, Defer, Delegate, Delete


This is the first and most obvious option when it comes to tasks on your to-do list. If a task is urgent and important, then it needs to be done immediately. These tasks should take priority over everything else, and you should focus all your energy and attention on completing them as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Some tasks on your to-do list may be important but not urgent. These tasks can be deferred to a later time or day when you have more time and resources available. For example, if you need to schedule a meeting with a colleague, but it doesn’t need to happen right away, you can defer it to a time that is more convenient for both of you.


Delegating tasks to others is an excellent way to free up your time and energy for more important tasks. If there is a task on your to-do list that someone else can do just as well or even better than you, then you should consider delegating it. This could be anything from assigning a task to a team member at work to outsourcing a task to a freelancer or contractor.


The final option is to delete tasks that are not important or necessary. This could include tasks that are no longer relevant or necessary, or tasks that are simply a waste of time and energy. For example, if you have been meaning to organise your closet for months but never seem to find the time, it may be time to delete this task from your list altogether.

How to Apply the 4 Ds

By applying the 4 Ds to your to-do list, you can save time and energy while still accomplishing everything you need to do. Here are some tips on how to apply the 4 Ds effectively:

  • Start with the most important tasks: Begin by identifying the tasks that are urgent and important, and make sure you tackle these tasks first. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you are making progress on the tasks that matter most.
  • Be realistic: When you are deferring tasks, make sure that you are setting a realistic deadline for completing them. Don’t defer tasks indefinitely or set unrealistic deadlines that will only lead to more stress and frustration.
  • Know your strengths: When delegating tasks, it’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure that you are delegating tasks to someone who is capable of doing them well, and who has the necessary skills and experience.
  • Practice good time management: To make the most of the 4 Ds, it’s important to practice good time management. This includes setting realistic goals, creating a schedule, and using tools like calendars and to-do lists to stay organized and focused.

The 4 Ds, in Conclusion

In conclusion, the 4 Ds can be a powerful tool for managing your time and tasks. By focusing on what is urgent and important, deferring tasks to a later time, delegating tasks to others, and deleting tasks that are not necessary, you can stay focused, productive, and efficient. With a little practice, you can apply the 4 Ds to your daily routine and watch your productivity soar.

Do you practice the 4 Ds? Let us know in the comments how this helps your productivity. 

Photo by Sable Flow on Unsplash

The Top 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Your HR Admin

The Top 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Your HR Admin

Human Resources (HR) administration can be a drain on your time as a business owner. Ideally speaking, when you are recruiting, you should be able to concentrate on finding the perfect candidate for the role, and not have to deal with the mountain of paperwork and endless hours that come hand-in-hand with recruiting. Outsourcing your HR admin tasks to a Virtual Assistant could be just the solution you’re looking for.

Outsourcing admin work

In order to free up your time and to enable you to concentrate on the recruitment itself, as well as the day-to-day running of your business, you can outsource the following HR admin tasks: 

  • Drafting job specifications 
  • Creating online job advertisements
  • Registering vacancies on relevant job boards, websites and LinkedIn 
  • Collating CVs
  • Doing the first CV sift 
  • Organising interviews 
  • Sending assessments to relevant candidates
  • Liaising with candidates

Can you imagine how much time you would save? Here are the top 5 Benefits of outsourcing your HR admin tasks: 

A healthy potted bonsai tree sits on a cubicle shelf

More cost effective HR admin

There’s no need to employ or train a full-time member of staff to carry out HR admin tasks. You simply pay for the task you need completed, without any extra staff.

Increased productivity

This will allow your, and/or your team, to focus on the most important tasks in your business, increasing productivity and even income.

Reduced stress

This can have a positive impact on your wellbeing! Do you often feel like you’re drowning in paperwork? Having someone to take care of HR admin tasks will significantly reduce the risk of burnout, and leave you feeling calm and assured in the knowledge that it’s being taken care of.

Attract better HR admin candidates 

By having a professional Virtual Assistant, experienced in HR, draft your recruitment advertisements, you can attract the perfect person for the role with minimal effort.

Simplified recruitment process 

You can concentrate on getting to know the short-listed candidates, and making better choices, by simplifying your recruitment process. This will make the process much more enjoyable and will help to ensure that you make the right choices.

Why struggle with HR admin tasks when you can outsource them and focus on growing your business?

Do you currently outsource your HR admin tasks, and if not, which of your HR admin tasks do you think you might outsource in the future?  Please let us know in the comments below!

Images by Austin Distel on Unsplash and PIRO4D from Pixabay.

Are You Team Trello or Team Asana?

Are you Team Trello or Team Asana?

Project management is an integral part of any business, and with the availability of many digital tools, it has become easier to manage projects remotely.

Two very popular project management tools are Trello and Asana.

Both Trello and Asana have unique features that make them suitable for different kinds of businesses and different types of projects. I tend to find that people usually have a strong preference for one over the other! Here, we will explore the benefits of using Trello, versus the benefits of using Asana.

The Benefits of Trello

User-Friendly Interface

Trello’s interface is one of the most user-friendly interfaces out there. It has a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop system that allows users to move tasks around easily. This makes it an ideal tool for small businesses or teams that do not have the luxury of a dedicated project manager.

Trello Logo


Trello is incredibly flexible in terms of its usage. It can be used for anything from managing projects to tracking personal tasks. The tool can be customised to fit the needs of a specific team or individual.

Visual Approach

Trello’s visual approach to project management is another advantage. The tool allows users to create visual boards with cards that represent tasks (think notice boards with post-its). Users can add comments, labels, due dates, and attachments to each card. This makes it easy for everyone on the team to know what tasks are being worked on and what needs to be done next.

Mobile App

Trello has a mobile app that makes it easy for users to access their boards on the go. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices and has all the same features as the desktop version.


Trello integrates with a wide range of third-party applications, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and Slack. This makes it easy for users to collaborate with others outside of Trello and ensures that all project-related data is centralised.

The Benefits of Asana

Task and Project Management

Asana is primarily designed for project AND task management. It allows users to create projects and subtasks and assign them to team members. The tool also provides a clear overview of project progress and deadlines.

Asana Logo


Asana is designed with collaboration in mind. It has a feature that allows users to comment on tasks and share files. ‘Doers’ of a particular task can also add followers to their tasks to keep everyone in the loop (removing the need to send update messages, for example).


Asana provides users with detailed reports on project progress, team performance, and individual productivity. This makes it easy for managers to identify areas that need improvement and make data-driven decisions.


Asana offers a range of templates for different types of projects, including product launches, event planning, and marketing campaigns. This saves users time and ensures that they don’t miss any important steps.


Much like Trello, Asana integrates with a range of third-party applications, including Slack, Google Drive, and Dropbox. This makes it easy for users to collaborate with others outside of Asana.


Both Trello and Asana have unique features that make them suitable for different kinds of businesses. Trello is ideal for small businesses or teams that do not have a dedicated project manager. It has a simple and intuitive interface, is flexible in terms of usage, and allows users to create visual boards with cards that represent tasks. Asana, on the other hand, is designed for both project and task management. It offers detailed reports on project progress and individual productivity; provides a range of templates for different types of projects; and is designed for collaboration.

Ultimately, the choice between Trello and Asana will depend on the specific needs of your business.

Are you already ‘Team Trello’ or ‘Team Asana’? What are your favourite features?

If you’re new to project management tools, which one do you think you’ll choose?

How to Give Up Control and Start Delegating

How to give up control and start delegating

As a small business owner, it’s understandable that you want to have control over every aspect of your business. You’ve put in the time, effort, and money to get your business off the ground, and it’s natural to want to be involved in everything. However, trying to do everything yourself can lead to burnout, frustration, and ultimately, the failure of your business. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to give up control and start delegating.


Delegating is an essential skill that can help you grow your business, reduce stress, and free up your time to focus on the bigger picture. 

Here are some tips on how to start delegating:

Determine what tasks you can delegate: 

Before you can start delegating, you need to determine which tasks you can delegate. Make a list of all the tasks you’re responsible for and identify which ones can be done by someone else. For example, administrative tasks, customer service, social media management, and bookkeeping are all tasks that can be delegated.

Identify the right person for the job: 

Once you know which tasks you can delegate, you need to identify the right person for the job. Look for someone with the skills, experience, and temperament to do the job well. You may need to train someone if they don’t have all the skills necessary, but it’s important to find the right person for the job.

Different tasks for different people

Communicate clearly: 

When you delegate tasks, it’s essential to communicate clearly. Provide clear instructions, deadlines, and expectations for the job. Make sure the person you’re delegating to understands what’s expected of them and has the resources they need to complete the task.

Trust your team: 

Delegating means trusting your team to get the job done. It’s important to have confidence in your team and their abilities. Micromanaging or second-guessing your team members can be counterproductive and undermine their confidence.

Provide feedback: 

Once the task is completed, provide feedback to your team member. Let them know what they did well and what they can improve on. This feedback can help them grow and improve their skills, making them an even more valuable member of your team.

Delegating can help you grow your business in several ways:

Free up your time: 

Delegating tasks can free up your time to focus on the bigger picture. You can spend your time on strategic planning, networking, and growing your business instead of getting bogged down in administrative tasks.

Improve efficiency: 

Delegating tasks to someone who is skilled and experienced can improve efficiency. They can complete tasks faster and more accurately than you may be able to, freeing up even more time for you to focus on growing your business.

Build a strong team: 

Delegating tasks can help you build a strong team. By giving team members more responsibility, you can help them grow and develop their skills. This can lead to a more engaged, motivated, and loyal team that is invested in the success of your business.

Delegating tasks and sharing the workload

In conclusion, learning to give up control and start delegating can be a game-changer for small business owners. By delegating tasks, you can free up your time, improve efficiency, and build a strong team. It may be challenging to let go of control, but it’s essential for the long-term success of your business. 

Use the tips above to start delegating and watch your business grow!

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