When you’ve got children, time disappears. However well you plan in advance, there’s never enough hours to take them to tennis, go for lunch, pick the other children up, drop them off at a friend’s house and get your own work done. Unless, of course, you have a personal concierge.
Most of you are probably laughing reading that. I get that: a personal concierge sounds like someone you hire at a hotel. An unnecessary indulgence, certainly not someone who’s part of your every day life. Hiring a personal concierge though is exactly the same as hiring a personal assistant at work. Their job is to enhance your productivity, relieve some of your responsibilities and allow you to enjoy your life. They don’t have to be expensive either, especially if you choose to hire a virtual assistant, who you only pay for the time they actually work. It’s a less intrusive alternative too if you’d prefer not to have someone actually in the house.
I find that the thing my clients at AVirtual struggle with the most is letting go. When you’re accustomed to doing certain tasks, it’s hard to trust anyone else to do it to the same standard and handing across responsibility for something you feel you should be doing can make you feel guilty, but delegation is the easiest and most effective way to save time. When you have children, your life administration triples. There’s forms to fill out, uniforms to buy, after school activities to organise, family holidays to plan and play dates to schedule alongside your own appointments. It’s exhausting and stressful, but by handing over these everyday tasks to a personal concierge, you give yourself some extra space to breathe and more importantly, get to concentrate on spending quality time with your kids. Your concierge can help you to organise your schedule so that regular appointments and chores are set with automated reminders, pay bills, help you to pre-order birthday gifts, research travel arrangements, order your weekly grocery shop and even arrange for your family’s laundry to be picked up and delivered in time for speech day.It’s not about giving in, but about accepting help so that you can focus on the things you really care about.
It’s crucial though that you find the perfect partnership. Your personal concierge should be someone that you like and trust. After all, they’re the person who will be in charge of managing yours and your family’s lifestyle. It’s important that their role is clearly defined from the start so that they know their responsibilities and what you prefer to deal with personally, and they should be introduced to your family so that they can understand the way you do things. A truly exceptional assistant will always go the extra mile whether that’s researching recipes that your family will enjoy, sending you articles that you’ll find interesting or suggesting activities that are coming up in the future.
Put simply: hiring a personal concierge is about giving yourself the freedom to enjoy, relax and explore the world with your family.
Richard Walton is the Founder of AVirtual a company that provides virtual PAs to small business, entrepreneurs and start-ups. He is regularly featured in the press talking about topics such as work life balance and productivity.
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