Improve Productivity by Outsourcing Small Tasks

How many “small” tasks does it take to make one BIG problem? The answer might surprise you…

I just finished reading this article about Cheryl Yeoh, a busy entrepreneur and founder of ReclipIt, who recently hired a Virtual Assistant to help her handle a slew of seemingly “small” personal tasks she just couldn’t get to because she was too busy doing what she does best–running her business.

Looking at the list–which included things like chasing down “a previous landlord who has owed me my apartment security deposit for the past five months,” it hit me: It only takes one  seemingly small unfinished task to cost a busy person thousands of dollars, just as it did in Ms. Yeoh’s case!

Ms. Yeoh is not the only busy entrepreneur to have discovered the benefits of Virtual Assistants. Michael Hyatt recently published a book about working with Virtual Assistants, and he made the following observation:

Soon, I was spending the bulk of my time responding to email, managing my calendar, booking my own travel, and handling the hundreds of details that go with running a small business.

This went on for about three months. I felt like I was drowning.

Like Yeoh, Michael Hyatt discovered there were things he just couldn’t attend to that still needed to get done or he would feel like he was “drowning” in them, like they were creating a “big” problem for him in the aggregate.

When you’re busy doing the things only you can do, any number of small things can slip. And any one of those small things might cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, or when added to many other small things, become one big problem–like clients who can’t reach you consistently, or conferences you miss because you failed to plan the travel to get to them.

At the same time, if you tried to take care of all those things yourself–especially those things that have nothing to do with your core business–it might cost you just as much, or even more! What if you took the time to make those personal calls, or track down that landlord, and in the process had to push the work that benefits your business to the back burner? How big a problem would that “small” task have caused?

Like all entrepreneurs and small business owners, Cheryl Yeoh and Michael Hyatt were forced to choose between focusing 100% of their attention on their work, and letting important “small” tasks slide, OR sacrificing some of their work time to attend to those matters, and in Hyatt’s case, to attending to tasks he actively hated or didn’t feel particularly good at.

It’s not just busy entrepreneurs who make these choices every day either, it’s also busy parents, and others running households. Sitting on the phone, or at the keyboard, making reservations, dealing with customer service, and the often lengthy process of questioning billing statements, tracking down missing credits, questioning mysterious charges, making or canceling appointments, or simply maintaining a calendar for multiple people, can take hours–hours you need to spend elsewhere, doing other things, during “business hours.”

What would it do to your schedule if you decided to do just one of those things, and it took longer than you had between nap times, or before it was time to pick the kids up from school? What if you sat on hold for 30 minutes, only to realize you couldn’t wait any longer or you’d be late for the doctor’s appointment you waited two months to get? How would you feel having to hang up, and just accept all that lost time? What if you regularly put off taking care of things like that, for fear of that exact scenario? What would that “cost” you?

The point is, even personal tasks that seem small–small enough that you should be able to do them (you think), or small enough that they don’t seem to cost you if you don’t do them right away–can add up to high costs in time, dollars, and stress. Thus, any one of those tasks can be both too small, and too big at the same time.

Whether you are a busy professional, or household manager, it matters not; The reality is you are only one person, and there are only so many hours in a “business” day. The cost of not doing small tasks can add up, and that’s why it can be so cost-effective to work with a Virtual Assistant, to prevent those small tasks left undone from turning into big problems requiring your immediate attention.

Get in touch today to find out how I can help you get out from under the pile on your desk!



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