Do you need a personal assistant?

There’s a new lifestyle experiment circling the world right now: personal assistants (on the other side of the world). Tim Ferriss definitely popularized this concept with his book The 4-Hour Workweek.

As I sat and read the book I was in the mindset that “I’m a simple guy, I will never need an assistant.” In hindsight, I realize that was the wrong way to consider the idea. For some reason we’re of the thought that a lot of tasks we do are essentially “ours” that no one else could take over. That’s ultimately wrong.

Take e-mail for example: Tim has even outsourced (through a series of rules) his own email. You and I aren’t in the same position as Tim but think about other mundane tasks that can easily be translated to an assistant:

  • Booking travel (15 minutes)
  • Researching the iPhone and how to jailbreak it for T-Mobile usage (15 minutes)
  • Researching the pro/cons of upgrading to a Macbook Pro (15 minutes)
  • Researching the pros/cons of trying FireFox Beta 4 and if my addons will work with it (10 minutes)
  • Monitor my financial accounts weekly and pay credit cards monthly (15 minutes)
  • Write a nice thank you/nice to meet you note for people met at SXSW (15 minutes)
  • Contact a company to get a refund (10 minutes)
  • Contact another company to get a new download/activation code (10 minutes)

I created that list during the first two hours of my Friday morning. I put myself in the mindset: if I had an assistant right now, what would I ask them to do for me? I’ve already come up with almost 2 hours worth of work… during my two hours of work. That seems like a compelling reason to consider it.