Escape the busy trap – how to find a personal assistant
Are you sitting in your office juggling multiple office time-zones, managing a team, liaising with stakeholders and wondering how and when to squeeze in that all-important downtime for the gym, a walk in the park, a dinner date or a family movie?
Maybe you’re dreaming of a holiday – or perhaps you’ve hastily booked one but are stressing that you haven’t found the right hotel in the right place at the right price. What was that place your friends mentioned again? No time to check, no time to book or look. Have you forgotten to pick up your dry cleaning – wasn’t there something you thought you should see the doctor about? Did your partner change the gas and electricity supplier?
We’ve been there at 14fiftyseven, which is why we came up with the idea of multi-tasking personal assistants. OK, we all know about PAs. Most offices have one or two – they do the admin, answer the phone. The willing ones may get your lunch if you’re busy. We’re talking about more than that. We’re talking about how to find a personal assistant who can help free up time for your home life, too.
We’re thinking a little outside the usual PA box, here, and working out how to find a personal assistant who could work across home and office – one that’s backed by a support team. This person will embrace your lifestyle choices and enhance them, by seamlessly working in the background to help you realign that all important work-life balance. We like to refer to them as lifestyle managers – but PA is fine, too.
Busy trap solutions
A few years ago, New York Times cartoonist and writer Tim Kreider documented what he called The Busy Trap, which is where we all do too much and end up in a whirlwind of self-made busyness. He states that it is a product of the way we live today. Fair enough. We’re in total agreement with Tim that stressed busyness is not a good way to live.
Some of Tim’s solutions for calming down our lives are simply to do less, which may be good advice, but he doesn’t have children and leads a calm-sounding existence. There are times in our lives when it feels impossible to simply have less on our plates – so what we advocate is to delegate to a personal assistant, leaving you more time to relax, spend time with those you care about, and generally create some calm in your life.
At the moment this kind of personal assistant is very rare, but some people do have them and manage very well. Why not be at the curve and think about how to hire a personal assistant – or lifestyle manager to relieve you of jobs across your whole life, not just at work. If you work things out with us, it may be a lot less expensive than you imagine. Read our case study of a lifestyle manager who works for a Scottish financial advisor who has delegate tasks she wants to do less of to give her back time to relax. The result – a far more stress-free life. And the lifestyle manager loves her job because it’s so varied and she has a good level of responsibility. Her days literally involves anything from financial advisor admin to feeding cows and cooking meals for the freezer.
How to find a personal assistant to free up your home life
If you don’t work for yourself, it could be tricky to have a person who works across home and office. But imagine in that situation that all the other stuff is taken care of – the holiday, the dog walk, doctor’s appointment, household bills, meals prepared for the family so that you can get to the gym or go for a walk. This would mean that when you get home, you can actually relax rather than have to start work on home admin. We call these personal assistants lifestyle managers, and they can be male, female, part-time, full-time, even live-in if there’s going to be childcare in the mix. Our USP is that we see beyond job titles. A lifestyle manager can literally do that – manage your lifestyle, leaving you time to get on with spending time with those you love, or doing hobbies that enhance your day to day.
And with so much home admin taken off your to-do list, you’re likely to be more efficient at work. So next time you choose that well-earned holiday, you may not need to frantically check the Wi-Fi connection because one of our lifestyle staff will be keeping everything running smoothly, allowing you to truly switch off and treasure the time away.
Whatever it is you think you could do less of and whatever it is you think you’d like to do more of, give us a call. We really can find a personal assistant who would correspond exactly with those needs. Give it a try, what is there to lose?
Susie Osborough, Director
14fiftyseven. Because we’ve been there.