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10 Things to Delegate to Your Assistant Right Now

  1. Email and correspondence.  According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute, we spend an average of 13 hours per week checking, sorting, deleting, reading and responding to email.  Often, the content of these emails are of the no-action-required, for-your-information, confirming-a-reservation or of the junk/spam variety.  Having an admin monitor your emails for you will help you remain focused and interrupted only with the most important, immediate action items.
  2. Travel, hotel and restaurant arrangements.  You turn on your computer, open your browser and a few tabs and begin your quest to find the best possible deal without skimping on your preferences and perks.  This is a process; a long, headache-inducing, penny-pinching process.  Administrative professionals already know your preferences (window seat, vegan restaurant, hotel room away from the elevator), and where to find the best deals.  Saved Time + Saved Money = Win.
  3. Gatekeeping.  Administrative professionals are incredible gatekeepers.  Your time is valuable; you simply cannot meet with everyone for every little thing that comes up.  Assistants help keep the noise out, funneling only the most important people and tasks to you now, and shuffling tasks that can wait for a more optimal time.
  4. Personal errands.  These tasks tread a fine line, but certain personal tasks are appropriate to delegate to an administrative professional; be sure to discuss these errands with an admin during the hiring process so that they don’t come as a surprise.  An admin may be comfortable picking up your dry cleaning, but be averse to picking up your children from school.  Communication here is key.
  5. Keeping tabs on you.  When your business is successful, you’re bound to be busy.  Administrators keep you on track, ensuring you arrive to meetings on time and prepared, ensuring you’re delivering on your promises by meeting deadlines, and ensuring your schedule permits that much-needed “you” time among many other possibilities. 
  6. Accounts payable/receivable.  Paying invoices is tedious, time-consuming, and, more often than not, repetitive.  Receiving payment is somewhat simpler, but still requires the daunting task of—DUN, DUN, DUN—going to the bank.  Delegate these tasks to an admin and save yourself the time and hassle.
  7. Receiving and shipping orders.  The beauty of hiring a great admin is that they’re pros at getting tasks like these done since they’ve done them, literally, hundreds of times before.  You’ll have your package shipped, tracked and delivered in no time, flat.
  8. Research.  Whether you want intel on a competitor, understanding of a potential client’s business needs, or you’re just curious as to why onions make you cry (every time!) an admin takes their research seriously, stopping at nothing to find the answers you’re looking for.  Dedication at its finest.
  9. Act as a sounding board.  Trusting your administrative assistant is an important factor to a successful professional relationship with him/her.  When you have an idea, are unsure about a pitch, or want a document proofread, your administrator is the perfect sounding board.  Great admins will give you honest, constructive feedback because your success is their success.
  10. Anything you can’t do for yourself.  Bad at Excel spreadsheets? Have a design vision but can’t execute because you’re lacking Photoshop?  Need to call a hotel in a foreign country?  Great admins are equipped with a wide variety of skills including software, language, and even the obscure skills (we recently had a candidate who was a certified gemologist!).  Anything you’re unable to do, your admin should be equipped to do—you’re a team, after all.

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