3 Ideas for Effective Delegation

A lot of people know they do too much in their businesses. Some might realise they need a virtual assistant; fewer will actually do something about it.

If they’ve really got their thoughts in order, those few might even know roughly what they want to delegate. But it’s the next stage that most people don’t think about – how to communicate the task to their assistant, so that they can replicate exactly the same process and come out with the same result every time.

So this week I thought I’d share some practical ideas for facilitating effective delegation to a virtual assistant. These are tried and tested tips that I’m using in my business to delegate to my team! Here we go:

1. Write a procedure

The simplest and most obvious thing is to write it down. The next time you undertake the task yourself, have a notepad beside you and jot down the key steps and actions that you take to get the job done.

When you are writing your procedure remember that you have a responsibility to make sure that your notes are clear to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding. It is always good to keep in mind that you are writing the guidelines for somebody who is unfamiliar with your day to day tasks so, before pressing send, read the instructions out loud and follow them yourself to make sure they are set out clearly.

2. Document with images

The next level would be to add some screenshots into that written process. Some people learn better from visuals, and it might leave less room for error if your assistant can cross check what they see on their screen with yours. Or if it’s not a digital task, then you could simply take some photos of the key stages in the process.

Most virtual assistants find this method extremely helpful as it lets them know that they are on the right track with the task. Having screenshots will also prompt your virtual assistant to ask questions throughout the project if their screen does not match the image in your procedure document, rather than complete the task incorrectly and use more time in going back to correct the mistakes.

3. Create a video

You could go even further and create a short tutorial video. This is surprisingly quick and easy to do, perhaps even quicker than writing out a procedure. Many of us use gestures or tone of voice to help us explain something, making it difficult to get across our true meaning with just the written word.

There are a number of free softwares out there, like Jing, which allow you to record your computer screen as you are doing the task and talk over the top of it. This way you can show your virtual assistant exactly what you want, as if they were there looking over your shoulder, making it a fantastic tool for delegation.

So that’s it, no excuses now! 😉 Remember, the more detail you can provide in your instructions at the beginning, the better result you will get in the end. Do you have any other tips for delegation? Leave a comment!



  1. Thanks for sharing these great tips. I’d like to give another input about writing simple instructions. Upon writing instructions for your Virtual Assistant, make sure that it will be relayed to your VA the way you intended. Reading it aloud to yourself would be helpful. Here’s additional guidelines on how to give correct instructions to your assistant: http://goo.gl/pN80jd

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