Not Enough Time!
We’re pretty much all of us “too busy” on a regular basis. Modern life is becoming more and more information-rich, streamlining processes that help us get more done…at which point there’s usually even more to do! This means we need to exert even more agency over what we choose to do when, if only to stop us from going crazy!
We’ve looked previously at how being mindful of what we’re using our time for can help us get a handle on how we should be dividing up our day, and certainly knowing how and when to delegate can help us even further. Even looking at tasks as either “have-to-do” or “should-do” can help refocus us around what’s pertinent to our day.
Productivity Traffic Jam.
Oftentimes, without realizing it, we become bottlenecks to our own productivity. Probably unintentionally, we try to get too much on our plate and then wonder why nothing’s getting done. Having an assistant can help us realize that we’re actually the ones who are getting in our own way. When you get down to the nitty gritty, bottlenecks are usually either long-term or short-term.
Short-term bottlenecks are both tricky and straightforward at the same time. Straightforward because they’re usually a pretty easy fix, but tricky because they can be caused by almost anything.
So Many Dead Trees.
An often-overlooked bottleneck is paperwork. Even with today’s push toward paperless everything our lives often involve orbiting masses of bills, forms, certificates, and licenses. Having your assistant create e-versions of all non-essential bills, and forms (basically anything that’s not a birth certificate) can help de-clutter your life. Of course, then it’s up to you to actually get rid of the offending bit of paper afterwards!
Look Before You Leap!
In the same vein, you might be creating a bottleneck by jumping into new projects without a clear plan of attack. While the brainstorming phase of any new project is a vital one, we too often leap straight from brainstorming into enacting what we think we want. With an assistant you can take an important step back to bounce ideas of another person and then ask what they think will be the first steps to begin. In this way, you can avoid becoming a bottleneck while you’re trying to work backwards from the ideal finished product you have in mind. You can enjoy being the “ideas person” while your assistant worries about the details.
Don't Put Off Til Tomorrow...
Finally, you need to be honest about procrastination. We all have projects we’ve been putting off, usually because they’re tedious, time-consuming, and straight-up no fun. The thing is, the longer those projects get put off, the more of a bottleneck they become, and soon something that was just a small-scale data entry project, is now a major-scale overhauling of multiple spreadsheets. As soon as you begin working with an assistant, in addition to filling them in on what your big “dream projects” are, make sure you let them know what old, forgotten data entry projects are lurking in the back of the closet, waiting to begin. Any decent personal assistant will be able to chip away every day and eventually what seemed like a mountain will more closely resemble an ant-hill!