VIRTUAL ASSISTANT: A NECESSITY FOR TODAY’S BUSINESS EXECUTIVES
When was the last time you took stock of your productivity? If we’re honest, most of us are too busy to devote time to this important task. But if we did (and I’ll share more on how to do that below), we’d likely find hours of time wasted on mundane tasks each week.
A Workfront survey actually found U.S. employees at companies of 1000 workers or more only spent 45% of their workweek on primary job duties. Where did the rest of the time go? Well, 14% of their time was spent on email and the other 40% was spent on meetings, “interruptions,” and … administrative tasks.
This gets a little fuzzy when you consider what an “administrative task” is. An administrative task for a salesperson is different than that of a real estate agent or graphic designer. But we all have them. They clutter up our days and keep us under water and sometimes underperforming.
Luckily, technology has given us a new opportunity to get ahead: virtual assistants. But who are these mythical creatures? How do you know if you need one? And where do you look? I’ve got all those answers and more, below.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are contract workers companies or individuals hire to complete specific projects and duties. They often handle administrative tasks like data entry, answering emails, and calendar management. However, virtual assistants in niche areas like real estate and graphic design are also available.
When to Hire a Virtual Assistant
Entrepreneurs often think, “I can do that better myself.” In fact, most of us often think that. And while it might be true, it doesn’t make each task worthy of your time and attention.
There’s a difference between self-discipline and martyrdom — even at work. Here are a few ways to tell you’re ready for a virtual assistant:
When you have a list of repetitive tasks you complete regularly – Do you spend 90 minutes a day answering emails? Write it down. 30 minutes a week booking hotels? Add it to the list. 15 minutes filling out expense reports? You know the drill. You might be surprised at how much time these small tasks chip away from your week — and which ones pop up most regularly.
When you know the process backwards and forwards – Generally speaking, you should be quite familiar with the tasks you’re assigning to your virtual assistant. Because the goal is to get menial tasks off your plate, these should be projects you complete regularly. This also helps you find qualified help you can train thoroughly.
When you’ve conducted a cost-benefit analysis – You’ve heard the old adage, “20% of the tasks provide 80% of the value.” Use your list of repetitive tasks to add up how much time you waste on these projects each week — and just how much of your salary is being spent completing them.