Outsource work related tasks.
I’ve been using a virtual personal assistant from time to time and the reason is obvious. If I can earn let’s say 50 dollars per hour for performing a task and I can let someone do it for me for 10 dollars, I can perform another task at the same time to be twice as productive, or get some time off. I got the idea for the first time from the book 4 hour work week.
The trick is to get salary or clients in the rich part of the world where you can charge well for your time, and outsource tasks to the poor part of the world where the salaries are low.
Or use the assistant to increase your offer. Let’s say that you want to provide support 24h for a service or a product you’re selling. Let the assistant take car of it, at least during the night shift, and they can at least ask the FAQ and see if it solves the problem and if not wake you up to solve the problem and at the same time order you pizza and coffee for delivery from a restaurant nearby.
Delegate private tasks
But I’m not only talking about outsourcing work related tasks, you might also outsource some from your private life to help you to solve the life puzzle. Of course it’s difficult to outsource to someone around the world to pick up your kids form school. But you may outsource the task to order a taxi to pick up your kids although I should normally not recommend it, as it takes as much time to describe the task as to perform it (given that you know the number to the taxi company and can arrange payment etc).
If you’re buying some kind of a service and would like to have different proposals for that service and you don’t even know who can provide that service (a plumber for your summer house or a premise for a huge wedding party or whatever). Ask the assistant to do the research and ask for proposals. Or let’s say that you need to check with your mother in law that she’s alive and not have fell and you just can’t stand to talk to her. Let the assistant do the daily call. And why not once in a week order flowers to your wife to make sure she’s not to upset with the fact at you can’t stand her mother.
What to think of before you hire an assistant?
But there are some aspects to consider before you sign up with an assistent:
What kind of tasks will you outsource?
That’s the main question. If you don’t have some really obvious tasks I would sugget that you make a list of at least 5-10 different tasks that you may consider to outsource to an assistant. Do also think of how the task will be performed. Will you be able to describe exactly what you want? Will the task be performed as you would like to have it performed?
Is language an issue?
If you’re doing most of you work in English, there are ton’s of good assistants to pick from. I have positive experience from Get Friday. But they might not handle Spanish, Swedish or German language.
On the other hand, if you’re doing a lot of work in Spanish I’m pretty sure you can find an assistant in Latin America to help you.
Do you need a backup for your assistant?
If you really need to be relying on your assistant, you should use a company with various virtual assistants so someone can take over if your personal assistant is absent for whatever reason.
If you need an assistant physically close to you?
Most of the article is about a virtual assistant to keep cost down. But if you need an assistant to for example take care of your garden. Well look at your neighbors kids. Maybe one of them would like to earn some extra money. Or would you like to do some charity at the same time, how about askind the guy begging outside your closest super market? If you don’t like of these to solutions, well, an virtual assistant can certainly do the research and provide some answers for you, don’t hesitate to ask.