Your consulting or coaching practice is growing, you’re knee-deep in client work, and everything is piling up on your already full plate. You’re overextended and it’s impossible to get ahead. Sound familiar? Then it’s time to seek out help from an executive assistant.
Here are a few checklists for you to evaluate whether it’s time for you to get an assistant.
3 Reasons You Might Need an Assistant
I recently did a presentation and these 3 things kept coming up:
- My to-do list is growing and never clearing. I can never get ahead of my to-do list.
- Important things are slipping between the cracks. (This could be at work or at home.)
- I’m burning the candle at both ends.
Any of these sound familiar? If one or two of these are happening, that’s a red flag that you need help sooner than later.
Now let’s take a closer look at a few problem scenarios when it comes to having an assistant.
3 Things That Your Virtual Assistant SHOULD Be Doing
- Email – You’re triaging your emails because you want your clients or team to get great responses, of course. But if you’re overextended, you’re not able to do that! Get the right email support. Stop writing and replying to emails. Your assistant can and should be filtering and responsible for your inbox.
- Calendar – You don’t have time. What we have found in servicing hundreds of clients is that they are the first to sacrifice their time for someone who needs them. If you have someone managing your calendar, your appointments, and your capacity, then you won’t accidentally bite off more than you can chew or worry about work/home conflicts again.
- Gatekeeping – This goes along with calendar management. Your assistant or “gatekeeper” should be like a calendar magician, they can work it like a puzzle.
A lot of the stuff that hits your inbox isn’t important or could be grouped and reviewed once per week. When you’re going through every single email your time gets fragmented and so does your energy.
We could also include managing logistics, project support and management here, but if any of these are still your responsibility, you’re not able to be your best leader.
3 Mistakes When Delegating
Once you’ve made the decision and hired your first assistant, make sure to avoid these common pitfalls and roadblocks to the delegation process.
- Hiring too fast – if you don’t fully understand the type of support you need, you’re bound to make a mistake when hiring. You’re not looking for a needle in the haystack, you just need to identify your needs and communication style to find the right assistant.
- Delegating too fast – once you’ve found the right assistant, don’t unload tasks on them and watch them sink or swim. Our rule of thumb is always to start with 3 things per quarter at the most. Putting tasks into buckets of responsibilities and divvying everything into chunks will help you maximize your delegation efforts.
- Not fully delegating – you’re going to be handing over tasks that you’ve been doing for a long time, and that will have a learning curve. You’ll have to fight the urge to just do it yourself and fall back into your old habits. You need to let your assistant figure out how to handle these things, it just takes commitment and learning to work with another human. By letting them support you in this way you can let go of the vine.
If you’re still unsure whether you’re ready for an assistant or not, take our 3 Minute Readiness Quiz or send us a message at assistpro.com/contact-us and we’ll help you assess your needs.