Let go…

…at the office
If your business is expanding, hiring a personal assistant can dramatically change your life for the better.

A personal assistant is not a receptionist, secretary, or someone whose duties you share with two or three other people. A true personal assistant is totally dedicated to you and excels at the tasks you don’t enjoy. A personal assistant should free you from the mundane jobs that clutter your week so you can focus entirely on your most brilliant activities.

Carefully selecting your personal assistant is critical to your future health. Select the right person and your life will become a simpler, your stress levels will diminish, and you’ll have a lot more fun. Select the wrong person and you will only compound your current problems.
When hiring a personal assistant, list the tasks you want your assistant to be completely responsible for. Most of your list should comprise activities you want to discard from your own agenda.

When you interview, have the top three applicants complete a personal profile evaluation. There are several good ones on the market. (Check out kolbe.com) Make up a profile of your ideal candidate before you begin your selection campaign. Usually the person who is the closest match to your ideal profile will do the best job. Of course, you must also take consider attitude, honesty, integrity, and experience. Do not select someone just like you, as you want someone who complements, rather than competes with, your skills.

It is essential to surrender to your personal assistant. Executives often think that “nobody can do these things as well as I can.” That may be true. However, what if your assistant could do these tasks 75 percent as well initially? With proper training and communication, your assistant will eventually do these activities as well as you, and may outperform you in many of them.

So give up the need for total control—it’s holding you back. Ask yourself, “How much am I worth per hour?” If you are running around doing low-income activities, give them up to someone with better organizational ability and a passion for details.

Schedule time frequently—at least once a week—to discuss your agenda with your personal assistant. If these potentially great relationships disintegrate, it is usually from lack of communication.

Also, allow reasonable learning time for your new partner. Set up screening methods with your assistant that protect you from all the potential distractions and interruptions, so you can focus on what you do best. Be open to input and feedback. Often, your assistant will create better ways to organize your office. Rejoice if this happens—you’ve found a real winner.

…and at home
No matter where you live, keeping a home in first-class condition requires maintenance. If you have children, the problem is magnified according to their age and ability to destroy. Think of all the time spent in a typical week cooking, cleaning, fixing things, and running errands. These activities are the ongoing stuff of life and, depending on your mood, you enjoy them, put up with them, or resent them.

What if you could find a way to minimize these tasks, or, even better, eliminate them? Freedom and relaxation would be sure to follow. Simply put, if you want to free up your time, get help. Although the initial price may seem steep, the benefits far outweigh the cost.
Most of the help you require will be part time. For example, hire someone to do house cleaning once a week, or every other week.
   We found a wonderful couple who have cleaned our home for twelve years. They love their work. They are honest, caring people. Not surprisingly, they do a fantastic job. The investment? Only sixty dollars per visit. The benefit? Several hours freed up and more energy to enjoy the week.

Is there a retired handyman in your neighborhood? Many experienced older people have terrific skills and are looking for little part-time jobs to keep them busy. These activities give them a sense of fulfillment. Usually, money isn’t their primary need.

Make a list of all the things at home that need servicing, fixing or upgrading and that you never seem to get around to. Release your stress and hire someone.

That someone will be happy to use his or her skills. And you can eliminate the frustration of trying to do all those fix-up jobs that you’re no good at, and don’t even have the tools for.

Cutting grass, weeding, trimming, watering plants and bushes, and raking all need to get done, and can be done well by students. Look around your neighborhood for an enterprising teenager—there are lots of young people who work hard and get the job done right. It’s inexpensive compared to the professionals, though it is important to compensate your labourers fairly.

Think of all the extra time you’ll have. You could reinvest those valuable hours into your own best money-making activities, or have real time to relax and re-energize with your family and friends. Maybe this new freedom allows you to embark on that hobby you’ve always wanted to pursue, or enjoy more time for sports. You’re employing others while freeing time for yourself. So why aren’t you doing it already?
    
Les Hewitt, author / business coach
(403) 295-0500    www.thepoweroffocus.ca

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