Creating Time

How often do you hear people say, “I need more time.”?

I typically hear this from people when they are talking about how they simply do not have the time to do the things that they really enjoy; this is quickly followed by a question asking how I manage to have a full-time job, travel, go on adventures and always have the time simply being awesome and doing awesome things.

My first answer to this is that I have created systems that decrease the amount of time it takes to accomplish the day-to-day mundane tasks.  There are a ton of books on this topic, however three of my favorites are Getting Things Done by David Allen, I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi and The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss; and then there is my favorite blog Lifehacker.

Prior to automating your work or outsourcing it, you need to have systems that offer an effective and efficient method to do these tasks.  A few quick examples are: automatic bill pay, processing your email inbox and getting your lost wallet back.

The goal of these systems is to cut the time it takes for you focusing on these tasks; thus enabling you to spend time on the things you enjoy.

The last several years, I have created multiple systems that really provided the flexibility that I wanted, however, I wanted to take it one step further.  I wanted to outsource some common tasks.

In Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Workweek, he discusses how to outsource tasks to a virtual assistant.  When I initially read this book a few years ago, I did not have any clue how to proceed.  This changed this past spring…

I went through the process of hiring a virtual executive assistant through ODesk this past April.  I had her do a number of tasks that was filling my time such as:

  • scheduling appointments (doctor, dentists, car maintenance, etc.)
  • making reservations (clubs, restaurants, etc.)
  • finding local restaurant openings for me
  • researching hotel, car, flights, etc. for a group of people for an alumni event
  • miscellaneous research projects
  • etc.

All in all, the cost was minimal ($3.33 per hour was the rate) and I was having her work 5-10 hours per week; I immediately felt the freedom.  The benefits were much more than time, I was no longer spending my willpower, which is believed to be a finite resource.

Long story short, I have been asked several times how I hired a virtual executive assistant and how we interacted.  I just finished my first e-book which details the how…it’s a very technical how to and short to read.

Download it today…

I welcome your opinion and questions.

Comments

  1. Interesting read – thanks for sharing that Tom. An assistant is an upcoming need of mine and I had previously not considered a virtual PA. Very interesting to see how you manage your calendars and how comfortable you are with sharing responsibility for that. Lots for me to think on. Thanks again

    1. Author

      When I first started, I gave them – and you can do this during the interview process, small tasks to perform. In the event that they could not complete those to your satisfaction, then move on to the next. Build trust over time if you need to. I’m glad you enjoyed the read.

Leave a Comment