Do What You Love, Mercilessly Delegate Everything Else

delegateWhen I walked into the press n’ fold across the street from my S.F. abode I knew I had made the right decision, in my hand was a garbage bag full of my hamper contents and in my mind was the ideal of never again having to do the chore I detest most again: dreaded laundry.

$11 and two hours of saved time later I knew I had made the right choice – the dirty task of laundry was no longer my concern and instead I walked to a coffee shop to spend my newly freed afternoon reading and writing this very post.

What is your time worth?

I have reached a new level of self-awareness (I think) fueled by my epic laziness and my desire to walk the “Zirtual” talk in every aspect of my life. This awareness has opened my eyes to the priceless commodity that is my time. Actually everyone’s time is priceless because it’s the world’s most precious unsustainable resource.

You can think of your time in the context of what each hour is worth (your salary / how many hours you work a year = your hourly rate) or you can think of your time as priceless because no amount of money or begging can buy back a single second spent. So use your time wisely, work hard, play hard and delegate the small tasks that fill up your day so that you can focus that time on activities that offer a better life ROI.

Even if you do decide to break down your time in terms of it’s monetary worth the chances that your time is worth less than what you’d pay an assistant to take over tasks is slim. If your time is worth $50 an hour then every hour you delegate to an assistant at $20 an hour has just earned you $30 that you could be using towards something personally fulfilling or business-savvy.

Some examples

Here are 5 other ways I’ve used my assistant to help free up my time and others this week:

  1. My Zirtual Assistant is in the process of selling my car as I write. It’s taken her several days and 4 hours to get everything set up but the amount of mental time and energy it’s saved me = priceless. I put off doing the dirty work of selling my car online for 3 weeks before I finally realized I could simply send her all the information and a few pictures and let someone else sort it out.
  2. I’ve realized how much I utterly detest cleaning my decidedly tiny apartment. So I’m having my assistant find a inexpensive & effective maid service to come by weekly – she’ll research, phone interview them and present me with the top candidate who I’ll pay after the job is done, perfect.
  3. Outsourced my brother’s birthday shopping.
  4. In the midst of using my VA to find dates for friends.
  5. Having my assistant help friends and family who are unemployed/underemployed get hired.

Some examples of what an assistant can take off your plate:

  • Schedule and confirm meetings
  • Set up dinner reservations
  • Book travel arrangements (flight/hotel/car)
  • Create travel itineraries
  • Do preliminary research for any major decision you have to make (i.e. what neighborhood to live in, % of marriages that last and why, traveling to Thailand versus Vietnam)
  • Scan, organize and catalog receipts/business cards
  • Write blog posts, press releases or newsletters
  • Send flowers to family/friends/romantic interests on birthdays and holidays
  • Hand write and send birthday cards to everyone in your rolodex (what an impression you’ll make!)
  • Proofread/edit copy you write, saving you from embarrassing grammar faux pas
  • Purchase gifts online for family/friends based on your input and info gleaned from their social profiles
  • Act as point person for all offline help to report to (cleaning services, task rabbit runners, etc)
  • Social network management, marketing and interaction
  • Customer support for your business/organization
  • Comparative research to find you the most bang for your buck on any purchase large or small
  • Promoting your business, brand or organization to the press through HARO and managing all press relations
  • Create systems and organization charts for your life/preferences/biz endeavors – making tasks faster and more automated
  • Gives you a reason to use the phrase “my assistant will handle it”
  • Internet research
  • Data entry
  • Help desk support staff
  • Basic article/blog content creation
  • Manage social media accounts
  • Transcribe audio recordings into various formats
  • Turn documents into power point presentations
  • Update address and contact lists
  • Sync online and mobile calendars
  • Live chat support agent
  • Manage, tag and update photo/media sharing sites
  • Keyword research
  • Set up and manage email lists
  • Setting up and managing various software/online applications
  • Updating information on various affiliate sites and dealing with payouts