How to Beat the Waiting Game?
Life is a waiting game. We wait for people to return our phone calls. We wait for repairmen to show to up fix the kitchen sink or for the cable guy to come install the cable. We wait in lines at the grocery store, at the DMV and at the bank. And we sit in traffic and wait and wait and wait for it to move again.
Statistics on the subject vary, but according to Wikipedia, we wait an average of 45 minutes a day--for computer programs to download, for gas to go from the holding tank at the station into our vehicle’s gas tank, for our toast to brown and pop up, for our bath tub to fill with water, etc. According to the National Catholic Reporter, a person who lives to the average projected age of 70 spends three years of their life waiting. Fairness.com claims everyone waits an average of 15 minutes in traffic a day, which equals about two days a year (and this number is much longer if you commute around big cities).
So how can you get some of this time--that could be seen as wasted time--back? First, try delegating more often. People who delegate at work seem to find it hard to let go at home. If they would use this time management tool at home, they could be more efficient, happier and less stressed at home.
Professional services exist to which you can delegate. These services, sometimes referred to as lifestyle management companies, provide personnel that will perform your necessary, but monotonous, tasks for you for a small fee. These companies also provide trusted personnel to wait for the things in life you don’t want to--like the cable guy or the plumber. Their service providers also run errands--pick up dry-cleaning, do banking, visit the DMV, grocery shop--and book appointments, keeping you from waiting on hold or having to navigate laborious and time-wasteful phone trees.
Laura Browne, author of the book Why Can’t You Communicate Like Me? How Smart Women Get Results at Work, talks about the frustration of not having enough time in each week. "Sometimes I need more hours in the day. And you can only multi-task so much before you lose focus on what you’re really supposed to be doing." Browne mentions trying to type e-mail while being on hold, and trying to answer her daughter’s questions at the same time. "When you do too many things together, you can’t do them all well," she says.
The average person has so many distractions they usually complete only on average up to two tasks (especially errands) an hour. By utilizing a lifestyle management company, people are free to focus on what matters to them, whether it is making more money or spending more time with family and friends.
The key to hiring people to handle your tasks is to figure out how much your time is worth. How much are you paid an hour or for a week’s worth of work? What menial tasks take you the longest to complete? Where do you, or what causes you, to wait the longest each week? Is it something or some things someone else easily could manage? Many lifestyle management companies charge a basic rate of - an hour. For this you may have 3 to 5 errands run, which could save you not only an hour of your time but numerous stops and added stress. This hour could be spent making business calls, closing deals or spending extra quality time with your kids or your significant other.
And all of that free time each week could really add up. Now, what are you going to do with your "free" more than two days a year that you won’t have to spend waiting?
About the Author: Tracey Crockett is the Chief Lifestyle Manager of Chores, Errands 'N More, a full-service lifestyle management and errand / concierge company located in Upstate South Carolina. The company was founded with the objective of enhancing the quality of life for its customers by offering an extensive list of services and service packages - and thus providing its clientele with the opportunity to enjoy life without its day-to-day complications. More information can be found at www.choreserrandsnmore.com, or by calling 888-509-5533.