In a modern, technology-centric world, the rate at which work can multiply and pile up is incredibly fast. Once that happens, having a virtual assistant is your best bet at getting things done. Virtual assistants can be a great help when it comes to organizing and completing tasks efficiently and quickly—all they need are instructions and they will be good to go.
However, giving instructions to a virtual assistant may not be as easy as it seems. Instructions that aren’t specific may lead to miscommunication, which will surely lead to incomplete tasks, or worse, botched assignments. Here are some guidelines to giving correct instructions to ensure task completion:
1. After writing the instructions for a task down, review and read them out loud to yourself. Listen—does it sound correct? Double-check, and review again, before sending the instructions (or the list of) to your virtual assistant
2. Be direct—do not beat around the bush. Additional commentary may confuse the virtual assistant.
3. Make a list of your priorities, starting with your most important task, to the least important task. Weigh your priorities.
4. Make sure there are verbs in your instructions. (For example: “Write an article…”) Doing so will emphasize what the virtual assistant has to do.
5. Use a positive tone when you write instructions, like using “Do this” and “Pass that”. Using a negative tone will make your list seem like you are talking down to your virtual assistant.
6. Include hyperlinks in your list. Doing so will help your virtual assistant save more time and more effort, compared to having to search for a site or product image themselves.
7. Remember to be consistent. When you make a list that enumerates tasks in a “1-2-3” sequence, do not switch patterns by using “A-B-C” in your next list. When you have your pattern, either in enumerating tasks or sending messages, stick to it.
8. Ask your virtual assistant if he or she has received your instructions. Wait for their confirmation, and ask them if they have any questions, or if they have anything they want to clarify. Asking questions about a task is a good sign that means the virtual assistant wants to help you complete it correctly and as efficient as possible.
9. Give the virtual assistant a deadline. Be specific—if you need the task finished at a certain time and date, tell him or her about it. Virtual assistants may be there to help you finish those assignments, but they are not mind readers.
Lastly, here is a final tip: when your virtual assistant completes a task well, commend him or her with a job well done! Any kind of work, be it menial or not, requires effort— make your virtual assistant feel that theirs is highly appreciated. Just as mistakes require constructive criticism, a good job requires positive acknowledgement.
Now that you know the right way of relaying instructions to your virtual assistants, it is important to remember that they are there to help. Help them in order for them to help you—once you have that part worked out, working with a virtual assistant will be a breeze