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.

Time-Saving Tips for Working Parents: How Batch Cooking Can Simplify Your Meal Planning

We don’t normally talk about food on this blog, but I’ll make an exception for batch cooking because it’s actually intertwined with how I work! 

As a working parent, finding time to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for my family can be a challenge. However, I find that batch cooking is an excellent solution to this problem. It involves preparing large quantities of food at once, which can then be stored and eaten over the course of several days, or frozen for the future.

In this blog post, I’ll share some of the ways that batch cooking has saved me time and made my life as a working parent much easier.

Meal Planning and Time Saving with Batch Cooking

Batch Cooking Can…

Reduce Time Spent in the Kitchen

One of the biggest advantages of batch cooking is that it reduces the amount of time I need to spend in the kitchen. Instead of having to cook a fresh meal every night, I can spend a few hours on the weekend, or one evening, preparing meals for the week ahead. This means that during the week, all I need to do is reheat the pre-cooked meals, saving me time and energy. It’s so useful when there’s an after school club and we get home later than usual, or if I need to fit in a bit of work before the kids go to bed. 

Simplify Meal Planning

Meal planning can be a daunting task for busy parents. When I’m preparing meals in bulk, I can plan out a menu and make sure that I have all the necessary ingredients on hand. This eliminates the need to make multiple trips to the supermarket or spend time figuring out what to cook each night.

Save Money

Batch cooking can also save money in the long run. When I buy ingredients in bulk, I usually get them for cheaper than if I were to buy smaller quantities. Additionally, I’m less likely to waste food when I’m cooking in large quantities, as I can portion out meals and freeze them for later use. This means that I’m not throwing away food that has gone bad, which can add up over time.

Meal Planning
Meal Planning and Time Saving with Batch Cooking

Ensure a Healthy Diet

As a parent, I want to make sure that my family is eating a healthy and balanced diet. Batch cooking allows me to control the ingredients that go into each meal and make sure that we’re getting all the nutrients we need. It’s also easier to incorporate more vegetables and whole foods into our meals when I’m cooking in bulk, as I can prepare large batches of pasta sauce, soups, stews, and casseroles that are packed with healthy ingredients.

Batch Cooking in Conclusion

In conclusion, batch cooking has been a game-changer for me as a working parent. It saves me time, simplifies meal planning, saves money, and ensures that my family is eating a healthy diet.

If you’re struggling to find time to prepare meals during the week, I highly recommend giving batch cooking a try. With a little planning and preparation, it’s an easy and effective way to make your life as a busy parent a little bit easier and it enables you to carve out more time to spend with your family or to earn more money! 

What’s your favourite recipe to batch cook? 

5 Ways Hiring a Freelance Virtual Assistant Can Save You Money Over Hiring In-House

5 Ways Hiring a Freelance Virtual Assistant Can Save You Money Over Hiring In-House

The world is changing fast, and so is the way we work. The rise of technology and the internet has made it easier for people to work remotely, which in turn, has led to the emergence of Virtual Assistants who work online, on demand and on the clock. 

In today’s fast-paced business environment, entrepreneurs and small business owners are always looking for ways to cut costs and stay competitive. One way to achieve this is by hiring a freelance, or on contract virtual assistant instead of recruiting one in-house on PAYE.

Fast Paced World

Here are some ways that hiring a freelance virtual assistant can save you money:

Reduced Overheads

When you hire an in-house assistant, you have to pay them a salary and probably provide their office space, equipment, and various other overheads. On the other hand, when you hire a freelance virtual assistant, you only pay for the hours they work. This means you can save money on overhead costs and invest the money saved in growing your business.

No Recruitment Costs

Recruiting an in-house assistant can be time-consuming and expensive. You may have to advertise the job, screen CVs, conduct interviews, and perform background checks. All of this takes time and money. However, when you hire a freelance virtual assistant, you don’t have to worry about any of that. You can find a virtual assistant online and hire them within a few hours.
1 hour tasks save you money

No Training Costs

When you hire an in-house assistant, you may have to spend time and money training them. This can be costly, especially if the assistant needs specialised training. However, when you hire a freelance virtual assistant, you should be able to find someone who already has the skills and experience you need, or you can work with an agency like YES if you have various needs that can’t be fulfilled by one Virtual Assistant. This means you don’t have to spend time and money on training.

Flexible Scheduling

When you hire an in-house assistant, you have to pay them for a full day, even if they only have enough work to fill a few hours. This can be a waste of money! However, when you hire a freelance virtual assistant, you pay them for the exact number of hours they work. This means you can hire them on a project basis or for a few hours a day, depending on your needs. This flexibility can save you a lot of money in the long run.


No Employee Benefits

When you hire an in-house assistant, you may have to provide them with employee benefits such as health insurance, pension contributions, and paid time off. However, when you hire a freelance virtual assistant, you don’t have to provide any of these benefits. This can save you a lot of money over time.

In conclusion, hiring a freelance virtual assistant can save you money in several ways. You can reduce your overheads, avoid recruitment and training costs, enjoy flexible scheduling, and avoid providing employee benefits. By hiring a freelance virtual assistant, you can focus on growing your business and achieving your goals without breaking the bank.

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