In the final part of this four part series, I determine whether or not I deem the experiment a success, and what other findings I had along the way.
I’ve recently wrapped up my month of virtual assistance, and along the way I learned a lot about what a VA can do for you…if you let them. That last part is they key, and it’s the part that I felt I didn’t make happen nearly as much as I needed to in order to make this experiment less successful than I’d hoped.
During my four weeks of virtual assistance, I didn’t really dig deep and figure out what I needed to offload to my assistant as much as I’d liked. Beyond what I’d mentioned in the earlier posts in this series, I rarely assigned anything outside of that scope. The funny thing is that as I prepared this final post, I realized there were things I definitely could have had my virtual assistant do had I spent the time exploring what I really wanted to accomplish.
Why’d I fall short on this front? I think it boils down to me worrying about finding things for my virtual assistant to do instead of doing something that my friend Chris Johnson said to me: focus on delivering quality outcomes. I was spending too much time struggling with specific tasks to outsource instead of looking at what I really wanted to do and then figure out what my VA could do to help me achieve them.
So I’m sticking with my VA for at least 90 days now to see if I can get better at what I didn’t do in the first 30 days.
In order to make sure I make the most out of the next couple of months, I’m going to start by doing the following two things:
- Read Chris Ducker’s book, Virtual Freedom. I probably should have read it before taking on this experiment, but maybe by having spent some ‘warm-up time’ with a VA already I can get more out of the book now.
- Look at my projects and use them as a guide for assigning tasks. Over the next two days I’m going to take a long look at my projects and then figure out what elements of them I don’t need to do myself (or aren’t doing at all) that will help me realize their full potential. I’ll likely use The Eisenhower Matrix to help with sorting this out and I’m going to create a label in Todoist called “Elise” that will allow me to filter out what she can do and keep me on track in terms of assigning tasks.
I don’t look at this experiment as a failure – I look at it as a work in progress. I’d go as far to suggest that it will always be a work in progress, but it will get easier over time. Productivityist reader Joshua Holt left a comment on an earlier post in the series that offered a great comparison:
“I compare the experience to building up my TextExpander library. There’s no way you can just create 100 snippets and start using them immediately. The TextExpander library is built slowly, one snippet at a time. Same is true for using a VA.“
I know I need help with all of my stuff, I just need to make sure I figure out where that help is best applied. As with anything, it’s best that I work at getting more effective at that before trying to be more efficient first.