It’s tempting to think that successful entrepreneurs do everything — from creating the company vision to composing all of the marketing materials, handling all of the invoices, proofing every single document, and showing up at every networking event.
But have you ever wondered why the most successful entrepreneurs seem to be able to juggle so many tasks and still do a great job of it? How do they manage to balance family, business, and personal time?
The truth is, it would take you several lifetimes to do all the tasks it takes to run a profitable business by yourself.
And we’ve only got one to make sure we do all we can to achieve our goals, and have a fulfilling personal life outside of work, too.
So with the odds stacked so highly against us, it’s absolutely vital that we spend our time wisely and truly make the most of it.
Why Do We Need To Delegate?
There’s no way to avoid the fact that the more your business grows, so will the number of responsibilities that will need your attention.
Another fact (which I found out the hard way) is that the more you try to do yourself, the less you’re going to get done.
“How does that work?”, I hear you ask.
First of all, according to a recent study by Stanford University, productivity per hour declines sharply when a person works more than 50 hours a week. If a person exceeds 55 hours, productivity drops so much that working any further hours would be pointless. And based on findings from recent reports, a notable proportion of entrepreneurs are racking up considerably more working hours than the national average. The number of business owners working 60 hours per week or more ranges from 19% in The Alternative Board’s survey, to 33% in Gallup’s survey. Even at the lower end of the scale, that’s still a significant number of people working 12+ hour days, sacrificing valuable downtime, and even risking their health to have almost nothing to show for it in the end.
Secondly, I explored this in greater detail in my article on the topic of busyness but simply put, the more you pack your schedule to the brim or stack never-ending tasks onto your to-do list, the significantly less time you’ll have for planning, new ideas, strategy, and decision-making. This lack of time also means less time to complete your tasks to a high standard, and the quality of your work will begin to drop. And because you don’t have time to plan more high-impact tasks, you end up spending your time and energy on less significant work each day.
See: Why "Keeping Busy" Is A Problem For Entrepreneurs (And How To Solve It)
So if you're just going through the motions in the pursuit of “getting things done”, or spending as much time as possible working in the belief it will pay off down the line, the fact is, you won’t get as far as you’d hope with all the effort and energy you’re investing. If you want to achieve something worthwhile, you must focus on actions that will lead you directly toward your goals. And the only way that’s possible is by offloading the repetitive, energy-zapping tasks from your plate, forever.
Recurring Weekly Tasks To Delegate Today
Whether you want your 60-hour working weeks to be a thing of the past, or more opportunities to work ON your business instead of IN your business, the more tasks you can delegate and the time you can reclaim, the better.
To be clear, delegating doesn't mean getting rid of everything on your plate and leaving yourself with no responsibilities. Instead, you’re giving yourself the gift that is the freedom to really think about how you’re going to move your business forward. Plus, you put yourself in a far better position to successfully put your plans into action once you’ve devised them.
And while we at Time etc are firm believers in freeing up as much of your time as possible, it’s important to remember that not all tasks are suitable for delegation.
The general rule is that if it doesn’t require your specific knowledge or expertise, and it would be possible for someone else to do it with the right instructions, then it should be fine to hand over.
If you’re unsure which of your regular responsibilities are better off handled by you and which ones can be taken off your hands, our free to-do list optimizer can give you quick and easy answers. Just enter your current workload to see exactly which duties you should keep and which ones can be delegated. Or, you can read on for some popular examples of simple tasks that will help you reclaim time every week by offloading them.
You’ll likely have heard this a million times already, but it bears repeating. Effective time management is one of the core pillars of productivity. However, managing and optimizing your schedule to get the most out of it can be time-consuming, so you’ll benefit even further if you can streamline this process as much as possible. This is where an assistant comes in very handy.
- Check and organize my schedule for the following week
- Send me a copy of my schedule for the following week
- Create a to-do list for me for the following week
- Check my schedule for the following week and let me know of any upcoming deadlines
- Create and send a summary of what I’ve done this week based on my schedule or to-do list
Make sure to include any processes your assistant should follow when arranging your schedule for the following week, including any preferences on days or times that are best for you to work on certain tasks or attend meetings, for example. In your summary of what you’ve done this week, briefly describe what information you’d find helpful for them to include.
See: 3 Ways Your Calendar App Can Make You More Productive Every Day
Meetings and appointments
In 2006, business strategy expert Michael E. Porter and former dean of Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria tracked 27 CEOs for 24 hours a day and seven days a week over the course of a full quarter (13 weeks) to find out where, how, and with whom these business leaders really spend their time. Their results showed that on average, the CEOs had 37 meetings in any given week, which accounted for 72% of their total work time.
There’s no doubt that meetings are an essential and unavoidable aspect of running your own company and doing business with other people. However, while attending meetings should definitely stay in your remit, all the work that goes into arranging, planning, and following up on meetings can be done just as well in the hands of an assistant, saving you up to 6 hours per week.
- Check to see if I have any upcoming trips or travel plans
- Send follow-ups for meetings I have attended
Be clear on how you would like your virtual assistant to check your upcoming plans, for example, checking your calendar or asking you via email. Will any further action be needed if you do have upcoming trips? Briefly describe what your assistant should include in meeting follow-ups. Are there any meeting types they should avoid following up on?
Marketing and social media
With so many actions involved in executing an effective marketing strategy, there’s no shortage of ways to free up valuable time.
Blog posts and articles, for example, are a great way to share not just company news but knowledge, tips, and advice your audience would find valuable. But with recent reports stating that the average time to write an article in 2022 is 4 hours and 10 minutes, writing just one article can take a serious chunk out of your week. Not only that, but finding time to create and promote content, creating quality content consistently, and coming up with relevant topics are some of the biggest challenges facing content creators today.
You’ll be pleased to hear, though, that you can easily avoid all of these issues. If you want to be free to focus on the bigger picture, delegating these marketing tasks is a great place to start.
- Research and curate interesting content for my audience
- Research potential new topics for social media posts
- Research potential new topics for blog posts
- Research potential guests for my podcast
- Help me schedule a guest for my podcast
- Create and schedule posts for my social media accounts
- Create graphics/visual assets for social media posts on Canva
- Create and publish an update to my blog
- Take a piece of my existing content and diversify it to be shared on different platforms
- Create and send an email to my mailing lists
- Check my platforms for spam comments and remove any that you find
For these kinds of tasks, the more information and detail you can provide, the better (for both you and your assistant!). For example, a description of your audience, any content guidelines they should follow, the company branding or tone of voice they should adhere to, the purpose of your posts or emails, the process you would like them to follow for scheduling guests, and so on.
When you’re dedicating so much time and energy each day to growing your business, you can only keep so many plates spinning at a time. No matter how organized they are during working hours, many entrepreneurs find that their more personal admin can easily slip through the cracks.
The good news is that the benefits of delegating weekly tasks don’t just start and end at work. If you want to reclaim even more time each week – while making sure you never drop the ball when you’re off the clock – you should consider handing these personal tasks over to an assistant.
- Check for upcoming birthdays or anniversaries in my calendar, and source gifts and cards
- Help me put together an online grocery order
- Place an order for household or office supplies
- Research local restaurants for date night options with my partner
- Research local fun activities for me and my family to do at the weekend
Explain the process your assistant should follow when arranging your online grocery shop or placing online orders, i.e. should they email you to confirm the items you need? Will you give them access to a shared document that you will update with a list of items you need? Should they add gifts to your basket and leave the payment to you?
What’s The Bottom Line?
While they may seem harmless enough, delegating these weekly recurring tasks will go a long way in enabling you to effectively prioritize your time and eliminate many of the distractions and timewasters that hold you and your business back from reaching its full potential.
If you need strong, competent people on your side to handle these tasks, don’t risk wasting even more of your valuable time trying to find a suitable candidate yourself. Time etc is dedicated to helping hardworking and ambitious entrepreneurs take their businesses further by matching them with the best virtual assistants for their needs.
To ensure that you have a great experience as well as great results, we have a rigorous 10-stage application process for VAs looking to join us, with only the top 2% of assistants making it through, on average. Not only that, we offer all our users a lifetime happiness guarantee.
Speak to our expert team to get started or try a skilled virtual assistant for free today.