I’ve written before about the totally unsexy but totally ass-saving SOPs document and why you need them in your business.
In it I mentioned handing over a project to my new assistant. Scary right?
(Did I mentioned that my assistant, Tara, lives in a different country and we’ve never actually met?)
There was a collective gasp of shock and fear – NEW? HAND OVER? To someone you’ve never MET? Have you lost your tiny mind? Supposing she screws it up and makes you an internet laughing stock, bringing your business and reputation down with it??
Well, that ain’t ever gonna happen because my assistant is super cool awesome. Plus, I have a foolproof way of delegating tasks to virtual team members which means they get completed exactly how I want them done.
Sound like an impossibility to you? Then read on to learn the golden rules for stress free project delegation…
- Only hand over one project at a time
- Make like Spielberg
- Only add new tasks once you’re happy with the current one
- B.O.G.O.F (buy one get one free)
By project I mean any new process, however big or small.
This is really important, especially if you’re working with a new assistant.
In the past I made the mistake of handing over too many different projects at once expecting my trusty assistant to get the hang of them all at once.
What would normally happen is she’d feel overwhelmed, I’d expect her to read my mind, and often my hastily written, emailed instructions were only clear to me, (and in all honesty, sometimes not even to me – oops!).
This didn’t create the most productive of working relationships.
So now, I hand over one project at a time. I’ll use the uploading of my weekly blog and newsletter as an example to explain how that happens…
Next time you do the task flip on your screen recorder (I use Quicktime to either record my screen, me or to record audio) and record yourself completing the task as you want it done.
Be absolutely painstaking in the detail, it’s likely your assistant will have experience with the task but we all do things differently and this way leaves no room for error and no need for any mind reading. When I was handing over uploading my blog I made 6 (count them) yes SIX videos. Just for that part. Six.
Once you are both happy and confident with one part and ONLY then you can start to build on it. When I was happy with the blog the next logical stage was to add the creation of images, once I was happy with that we moved on to the newsletter and guess what I did? That’s right, more videos. I’m on more digital film than a Paris Hilton lookalike.
When I feel like she’s got the hang of it I relax and let my assistant pick up on formatting, style, punctuation and grammar etc.
The reason I can relax about it is because I am confident that she knows exactly what I want. It might seem like crazy control-freakery to start with but it actually gives me more freedom in the long run because the foundation is there from the beginning. There are no what ifs, no wondering if it’s right or wrong and I don’t get 100 questions fired at me either.
If you ask my assistant she’ll tell you that not having to mind read or guess what I want is a godsend, she can get on with her job and leave me free to get on with mine.
Oh yes – double the value because guess what you can get your assistant to do with your videos? 10 points if you said make a SOPs document with them, no points if your answer involved Paris Hilton and the internet.
What systems do you have in place for smooth delegation? Is it something you wish you could do but just can’t make it work? Share in the comments below – let’s brainstorm!