The whole point of having a personal assistant is that it frees you up to be completely focused on what you alone can do. For example, a movie star must memorize their lines, sit through makeup, be in the shot, etc. These tasks can’t be delegated. But lots of other stuff can be. Most big celebrities have full-time personal assistants. Delegating frees that celebrity up to be where they need to be when they need to be there and to be completely focused.
Unless you are a movie star or the CEO of a major corporation, you probably can’t afford to hire a full-time personal assistant. And, you probably don’t need to.
However, most middle class Americans are burning the proverbial candle at both ends. Many will hire someone to maintain their lawn and landscaping. Some will hire someone to come in once a week and clean the house. When you eat out you are, in effect, hiring a personal chef. Why? There are only so many hours in a day. You can spend those hours trying to do it all yourself. Or you can improve your overall quality of life and your professional efficacy by outsourcing some of these tasks.
So, exactly which tasks should you outsource/delegate? Here are a few thoughts:
- Anything you hate to do and can easily hire someone else to do. Hate dusting and vacuuming? Maybe you should consider hiring a housekeeper. Hate pushing a lawnmower? Maybe you should hire a lawn maintenance service. Conversely, tasks that you find relaxing or cathardic are ones you should consider keeping for yourself.
- Anything that can be done less expensively via outsourcing. By this I mean, anything for which the price to have someone else do it is less than how much your time is worth (your normal hourly pay multiplied by how long it would take you). For example, think about tax preparation. Someone who does taxes for a living might make more per hour than you, but if they can complete your taxes in half the time, hiring a pro might be a great decision.
- Anything that requires a particular skill set that you don’t have. Most people would never think to rewire their home or rebuild their transmission themselves…..and for good reason: they don’t have those specialized skills.
- Anything that interferes with your normal work day. A trip to the vet might only take an hour or so, but it can easily mean two or three hours away from the office. Some errands have to be run during business hours, but that doesn’t mean you have to run them yourself.
Using the above criteria, think about what you should delegate & watch for Part II on this topic coming soon!