Making the Most of Your Time

Time is the “great equalizer”: we all get only 24 hours a day! And with teams to manage, meetings to run, family to care for, and a million other little tasks filling up the calendar, it’s nearly impossible to complete everything on your to-do list most days.

How, then, do small and medium-sized business owners make the most of their time without having the resources of a larger corporation at hand?

Brad Stevens sitting in a chair, smiling at the camera.

In his series “Outsourcing for Entrepreneurs,” thought leader Brad Stevens shares his #1 secret to success: outsourcing! This life-saving option is far more affordable and accessible than most people realize, and it can provide a comfortable source of income for amazing young freelancers looking for new opportunities.

What to Look For

The key to making outsourcing work for you is finding the right virtual assistant for your business’s needs. When you start searching for a VA, know the types of tasks you need the most help with.

For example, if you need:

  • Help creating images for your social media accounts: Limit your search to people with graphic design experience.
  • Overnight coverage of your support desk: Look for VAs with experience running whatever system your company uses (Zendesk, Help Scout, HubSpot Service Hub, etc.)
  • Someone to handle your scheduling: Switch your search from the broader umbrella of “virtual assistants” to the more specialized “remote personal assistants” to find a high quality PA without needing to cover the rate of an in-person assistant

It’s also important to consider time zones when deciding on a VA. Do you need someone who can be online during your working hours, or would you prefer someone who can work while you’re sleeping, so that your operation hours cover a wider range? Make sure you decide ahead of time the hours you’d need your VA to work, then look for freelancers with availability during those times.

Image of Brad Stevens on stage, mid-presentation

Thought leader Brad Stevens presents his talk on the value of outsourcing. 

Where to Look

There are over 300 virtual workforce platforms available to you today. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with options, which is why it’s best to start small. Select one or two of these platforms to begin with, then expand your search if you’re not finding what you’re looking for. Stevens suggests that business owners start with Fiverr, then move to sites like UpWork and Guru.

Remember: these platforms are choosing from you as much as you’re choosing from them. In order to get the most out of your VA search, be specific about what you’re looking for. Screenshot and screen record examples of the tasks you need done, list out the qualifications you want from a future employee, and show that you’re ready and equipped to manage virtual workers.

Thought leader Brad Stevens presents his talk on the value of outsourcing. 

Brad Stevens standing on stage, pointing at a large screen which lists examples of available virtual workforce platforms.

How to Get Started

So you’ve hired a virtual assistant – now what? 


VAs can handle a ton of different tasks for you, from responding to emails to editing blogs to booking appointments, there’s really no limit to what’s possible. In order to determine how best to outsource work to your VA, start by making a list of everything that needs to be done for your business to run. Try our method below for effectively assigning VA tasks:


  1. Split your list into two categories: big ticket items and everyday tasks. Put the larger duties on the big ticket list (stakeholder meetings, producing your product/service, managing clients, etc.) and put smaller items on the everyday tasks list (email management, copywriting, scheduling, etc.)
  2. Make subcategories under each task you’ve listed: what steps go into each of these tasks? How much time is needed to complete them? Continue this process until you have a complete breakdown of your daily operations.
  3. Next, assign tasks to your existing staff members. If it’s just you, mark down the things that you can realistically do in a work day. Start with the most important tasks, then add smaller tasks if you have the space. If you don’t assign these to your VA. If you have multiple employees, have them look at the list and mark the tasks that they currently have time to complete in a day as well.
  4. What you have left is a list of possible VA assignments. How long/short this list is will vary – depending on the length of your list, you can number it in order of importance to your VA and give them the whole sheet, or you can segment it into smaller pieces and start with 1-3 tasks to begin with.

This approach focuses on prioritizing your time, your staff’s time, and your virtual assistant’s time so that you can run your company as efficiently as possible without sacrificing what’s important to you.