Most of us have a never-ending to-do list. For every task that’s crossed off, it seems we add two more. What doesn’t get done today is re-written on tomorrow’s list. Try as we may, we cannot always accomplish as much as we’d like. So how do you know when it’s time to call in some help?
I like to categorize the tasks on my list. There are those items that I know I must do myself, as well as the items that I want to do myself. For example, as much as I’d love to send someone else to the dentist on my behalf, I cannot. This is a must do item. Then there’s taking time to visit friends and family. Again, I can’t send someone else as my representative, nor would I want to. So these types of tasks are labeled priority 1. I don’t ever delegate these.
Priority 2 tasks are those that, if given the time, I’d prefer to do but am willing to delegate in order to get them done in a timely fashion. Examples of my priority 2 tasks are shopping for a gift, baking something to bring to a party, or personally delivering something to a friend. I will do my best to get these things done myself, but if I can’t, I’d rather delegate than postpone it any longer.
My priority 3 tasks are those jobs that repeat daily, weekly, or monthly and don’t require my personal touch. These tasks take my time and add very little, if any, value to my life. Examples of priority 3 tasks include doing the laundry, prepping meals for the week, grocery shopping, and picking up dry cleaning. I prefer to delegate these items, but I will take care of them, out of necessity, if I’m unable to delegate. The time I’d spend doing these mundane chores could be spent more wisely on priority 1 or 2 tasks, or just relaxing and spending time with family and friends.
Once you have “prioritized” your list and have a clear idea of what you can, and are willing to delegate, who can you call on? If you have friends or family with extra time on their hands, who are willing to help, that may be a great option. However, there are a couple of things to consider when recruiting these people. One is that they may be willing to pitch in once in a while, but not consistently. Secondly, it can be difficult to tell someone you love that they’re not doing something exactly the way you would want it done.
Another option is to hire a personal assistant to help you. Now, you may think that personal assistants are only for celebrities and the very rich. That may have been the case years ago, but not anymore. Most concierge services have reasonable rates. You should also take into account the time you’re saving that you can spend on more enjoyable things. Your personal assistant will get to know you and your preferences. You can direct your assistant as you wish without the fear of hurting anyone’s feelings. Your personal assistant is here to serve you and to make your day and your life run smoothly. An assistant who loves her job and takes pride in her work will take initiative and “go the extra mile” to make sure you’re satisfied. If you haven’t considered hiring a concierge service, perhaps now is the time to look into it and start taking control of your to-do list.