Something I have been thinking a lot about lately is the value of time. Other than your health, time in my opinion is a Single Dude’s most valuable asset. Money, chicks, stuff, you can always get more of those. Time, however is finite, and we all only have a certain number of hours to spend before we shuffle off this mortal coil into the waiting noodly appendages of our Creator. This is why I strongly recommend that every single dude try to find a good assistant to help make sure that his time is being spent in the most useful and productive way possible.
My time is valuable. I figured out a way out of the corporate prison years ago and when other people pay me for my time it is not cheap. So why would I waste my valuable time doing things that someone else could do just as good of a job as I can for much cheaper?
“But Charlie, I don’t need an assistant, I wouldn’t know what to have them do.”
Horseshit. Once you have one you will never run out of things to have them do. Furthermore, with the time it opens up for you will reach higher levels of professional success, be healthier, and increase your productivity exponentially.
In the Single Dude’s life there are many things that need to get done, some of them need to be done by you directly. Those include activities like:
1: Doing the main part of your job or business where your true expertise lies and maintaining or making important business relationships with the people that pay the bills.
3: Keeping your stress level down and making sure that you are firmly pointed in the direction of happiness and emotional balance.
4: Making sure you get enough sleep, rest and relaxation.
5: Learning new skills and concepts that will help you stay relevant, creative, and forward thinking. Things such as reading this blog, a new book that will further your knowledge in your chosen field of expertise (or even a new one) or mental training programs like Lumosity.
6: Travel and other leisure activities, playing music or doing art.
7: Mind expanding drugs.
Here’s a list of some activities that must be performed but don’t require you to do them.
2: Grocery shopping.
3: Cooking, cleaning toilets and washing dishes.
4: Chasing down people that owe you money.
5: Going to the post office, waiting in line at government offices, and picking up new wineglasses at Ikea.
7: Scheduling appointments and making sure your calendar is well organized and you know where and when to be how to get there.
8: In a country where you do not speak the local language fluently, communicating with the locals on your behalf and making sure you don’t get ripped off with tourist, expat or “white guy” price scams.
9: Saying no on your behalf so that you don’t have to ever be the bad guy.
This is a very incomplete list of course, but you get the idea. Some things need to be done by you and some things just need to be done. Remember the 80-20 principle: 80% of your success will result from 20% of your efforts. If you’re running around trying to do everything yourself you won’t be fresh and thinking clearly when important opportunities present themselves. Delegate the 80% that doesn’t matter and you will be more successful, have more money, have more free time, be healthier, and have a happier, lower stress lifestyle.
Here’s an obvious example: let’s say you get paid $100 an hour for whatever skills you have developed over the years with hard work, intelligence and persistence. Let’s say you hire a lower wage person to work 20 hours per week for you at $10 an hour. For the cost of $200, you free up 20 hours of your time, and if you can work for 2 of those hours you break even financially and have 18 hours free to engage in higher level activities that make you a better person.
Having an assistant is guaranteed to up your productivity because you will keep your mind sharper, more rested and you will now have the time to actually execute that next business idea instead of just thinking about it. If I want something done I just send a quick email or text to my cute and charming young assistant and it gets done, almost magically. Something I would have earlier procrastinated for weeks on is done in hours. Also, to properly manage an assistant you must be organized so my personal level of organization has drastically improved as a result.
But wait, there are still more advantages; people have more respect for you if someone else is making your cold calls for you. I don’t like to ask people how much things cost all the time as I don’t want to look cheap, but an assistant asking that question is a whole different story. It is also quite fun to have my assistant call up my girlfriends and make dinner plans. Gold diggers in particular are easily fooled by this tactic. Really though, it comes down to the following equation: time = money. If your time is worth more than an illiterate Filipino maid, then why do your own dishes when you could be making money or going to the gym? Why waste time dealing with crappy airline websites and booking hotels in Bali when you can get a college educated kid to do it all and just hand you a folder with all the details on your way to the airport? Why waste an afternoon at some government office when you can have someone else do it for you for less that the cost of what your clients pay you for one hour of your expertise? Remember, we have a global youth unemployment problem. Be a job creator. You can even experiment with Tim Ferris’ idea of having someone working remotely for you if the local workforce is too expensive or retarded, however, unlike Tim Ferris I’d highly recommend Eastern Europe for remote assists and not India where retardation levels are often unacceptably high. Get an assistant. Be efficient with your time and let someone else do the grunt-work and watch your health, happiness, relationships and career flourish.