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Learn How to Distribute and Prioritize Tasks

Jan 20, 2008
Virtual assistants can easily be swamped by the number of requests tossed to them and be bogged down by the sheer volume of the work. In this field as well as in any other endeavor involving team work, delegation of tasks is important. The alternative to this is that you will do everything by yourself and before you knew it, you will be single-handedly doing the work and marginalizing your colleagues in the process.

The benefit of delegating tasks is that your teammates will feel that they are valuable parts of the team and that they contribute to the achievement of the goals and the missions of the organization that they belong to.

The following tips may be followed in order to delegate tasks to different people and make the work more manageable.

The first step would be to clearly define expectations and communicate them. A lot of communication problems may be traced back to unclear expectations and assumptions. By doing this, you will be able to show the team that their contributions are important. This way, they will be more inspired and more loyal to work for the team.

Identify the tasks needed to be done by each team member. In doing this, it will be clear who will do what. This also establishes responsibility and accountability among the team members. If a piece of action should be done by a virtual assistant, then it should be specified. When you specify who will do what, they will be more accountable with the actions they have to do. Part of this task is the setting of deadlines. Without deadlines, it is so easy for tasks to be relegated to the bottommost part of the list. In fact, well meaning people tend to forget to put deadlines and after so many days, or weeks, they then embark on panic mode and seek to accomplish what should have been done earlier.

This brings us to the next tip. You should prioritize! In setting deadlines, you are essentially prioritizing. You specify which actions and goals are completed first and which ones can be done at a later time. Without priorities, you might just commit the mistake of doing everything all at once. When you do that, you end up completing nothing.

As part of the delegation of tasks, you need to assess the knowledge, skills and talents that each of your people have. This will ensure that they are right for the job and that they can complete the task in a reasonable time frame. Without this skill checking, there might be a mismatch of the task delegated to the person and the kind of work that he is rendering.
Lastly, communication lines should always be open. This means that you need to check the progress of the people working on the project. If adjustments are needed, then you simply holler to the person concerned so that he can do whatever it is that you want to be done. In addition to that, through the communication process, you also learn about feedback from your people. Their perspectives may be different from yours and their line of work may also be different but at least, they offer unique perspectives, which may be useful for your project or business.
About the Author
James Stinson is Owner and Founder of Global Sky Inc. For more information about seat leasing visit http://www.global-sky.com or email sales@global-sky.com
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