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How To Make Your Life Worse With A Virtual Assistant

LD Staff Writer

The point of a virtual assistant is to save a busy person time… But I bet hardly anyone who has hired one can say they felt less busy or had more time within the first month, or even the first 90 days.

It’s all because, well, people do it wrong…. Working with a virtual assistant is not about making the client more efficient, or helping the client do more work. With that approach, the client just becomes a bottle neck – and busier than ever. Working with a virtual assistant is about making the client’sĀ company more efficient.

Imagine if Henry Ford designed his assembly lines to efficiently deliver all the parts to a single individual for assembly. The efficiency of the system would be limited by the efficiency of the individual. That is a bad approach, and it is exactly how most people approach working with a VA.

Let’s say a busy person with a lot of tasks signs up for a 20-hour plan with LongerDays. Two things generally happen:

    1. The client brain dumps a bunch of tasks – let’s say 10 hours of work. Our sizable workforce can knock out 10 hours worth of tasks in 24 hours. Rather than saving the client any time, we just substantially increased their workload. The client has to take action on our results (review that research, buy that plane ticket, prepare for all those meetings we just scheduled, etc.). PLUS the client’s new virtual assistant is now sitting idle, asking the client to provide another 10 hours of tasks. Feeding a team of virtual assistants with a steady supply of tasks can be a job in itself.
    2. After about a month, the client runs out of tasks to delegate, but they are still busier than ever. The mountain of tasks is never as tall as you think it is…

The problem here is tasks. If you want your quality of life to improve, don’t just delegate tasks to a virtual assistant. Our happiest, most successful, longest running clients delegate responsibility.

You delegate responsibility by creating a process that someone else can execute. If a process is too complicated to be delegated, the process is the problem. Simplify it.

If you think your company can’t be processed, you’re wrong. Every business in your industry larger than yours got that way by converting responsibility into a delegatable process. With out processes, your small business will stay small. Of course, there is nothing wrong with staying small… If that’s what you want.

My mom always told me “don’t take advice from people who don’t have the fruit on their tree.”

Here’s mine: in 2014, I took the summer off to go sailing. My business continued to run with minimal involvement from me.

Then in 2015, I took March off to travel. During that time, a key employee quit without notice. My business not only continued to run, but grew. Part of this is certainly due to the exceptionally awesome people who work at LongerDays, but the otherĀ part is having processes for those awesome people to execute.

It’s the responsibility that matters – effectively taking something off your plate entirely, instead of making you the last stop for every task delegated – and processes are the cornerstone of getting yourself out of the way.

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