Did you know that even the busiest entrepreneurs can actually create more time to do what they love? Modern-day productivity is more than just getting stuff done. What use is ticking off tasks from a list if, at the end of the day, you’re so overwhelmed and drained that you can’t even muster any energy to focus on the parts of your work and life that you want and need to.
The first key to freeing up your time is to find your “genius zone” and outsource everything else. Once you’ve identified the tasks that you’re best at and most passionate about, then it’s time to accept that qualified assistants can handle the rest. But before that, make sure that you’re prepared to hire a Virtual Assistant, so you can avoid these top hiring mistakes when recruiting virtual staff.
In time, you’ll become supremely efficient at managing Virtual Assistants, and part of being a great manager is having the capability to give step-by-step instructions and explain the reasoning behind them in a clear and concise way. Most Virtual Assistants possess a wide range of skills, so you need to communicate what exactly you need to get done rather than assume they’re on the same page as you.
An inherent characteristic of an effective manager is the ability to create results through other people. Understandably, most managers make the mistake of neglecting to spend the time needed to train their Virtual Assistant. However, training is a crucial part of outsourcing. The more you prepare and coach your Virtual Assistant, the less you’ll have to worry about repeated mistakes and regular (and often unnecessary) retraining.
The 30X Rule
According to Rory Vaden’s 30x Rule, you should spend 30 times the amount of time training someone to do a task than it would take you to do the task yourself one time. For example, if a task takes you 5 minutes per day to complete, then the 30x Rule suggests that you could comfortably spend up to 150 minutes (i.e. 2.5 hours) training someone to do that task.
Now, you might be thinking, “That’s insane! Why would I spend 2.5 hours training someone else when I can just do it myself in 5 minutes?” Well, it’s all about perspective. Inadequate managers focus on the urgency of evaluating tasks within the construct of one day. In contrast, great managers make the significance calculation and see its value the long term.
Great managers a.k.a. Multipliers know that any task that takes you 5 minutes per day * 250 working days in a year = 1250 total minutes that will be spent on that task over the course of a year. So investing 150 minutes (30 X 5) in training someone to do a task that takes 5 minutes a day is still a very effective use of time. The reason is because if you divide 150 (time you spent training) into 1100 (the net amount of time it saves you over the course of a year after you deduct the time you spent training), then that yields what we refer to as a 733% ROTI – Return On Time Invested. Rory Vaden
Once you understand the 30X Rule, you’ll realize that while it’s true that someone else won’t be able to do it as well as you the first time — or even the second or third — over the course of time, and especially with proper training, your Virtual Assistant will be able to master the task just like you did.
Short Video Training
One of the most effective ways to provide online training is by documenting processes onto videos and hosting these videos in an easy-to-access training portal. In doing so, you’ll find that it’s so much easier to onboard new Virtual Assistants.
Make sure that your videos are engaging and easy to digest: not too long! Tutorials 3 to 7 minutes long should be enough. Keep in mind your own video watching habits when creating them. You can use applications like Recordit, Screenflow, Jing, or QuickTime if you’re using a Mac.
Couple this method with the 30X Rule and you will have a great foundation for training your Virtual Assistant and equipping them with all the resources they need.
While it is the Virtual Assistant’s role to make your life easier, it is also your responsibility to provide everything they might need to complete their work. Make it easy for them to understand how they can best support you and why it is important to do so.
Keep in mind that training involves investing at the beginning to reap the rewards later on. Not only will you free up your time, you will also be developing another leader. Once you have this system in place, you’ll notice that you’ve shifted away from simply putting out fires left and right to monitoring what’s actually being done about the issues and how to prevent them.
Put the 30X Rule in action to provide proper training, which includes regular feedback and constructive criticism, to guide, empower, and supply the platforms your Virtual Assistant needs to help you succeed.