I have to say that I used to have the best personal assistant on the planet: Marybeth. “Used” being the operative word since she left me! Yep, you’re on your own, c-ya, ga’bye! I’m sorry, give me a second….*tears*…..ohhhh gaaaaaaaa!!!! WHY?!!!!!…..*snif*….ok I’m back. Sorry about that, where was I, oh yeah, she had to get married to this really cool, funny, charming, (Dare I say handsome…no, that’s crossing a line) great guy Joel and moved to DC. But I’m not bitter. At least I got to dance with her at her beautiful wedding…which again is why she left me. Did I already mention that?
The greatest gift that I got from Marybeth was her friendship. And the fact that she laughs at my jokes; even when I don’t pay her anymore. She knows I would take a bullet for her, and I know she would for me. Marybeth made my life easier! She took care of me like nobody’s business…or…like it was her business. Whatever, it’s a saying. But I can say that it wasn’t always that way. Not with MB, but before she got there. Before MB I had GREAT assistants who did fabulous jobs taking care of my department. But there’s a difference between an assistant, and a personal assistant.
I realized this when life was getting so busy that I couldn’t even get to the emissions place to have my car….emissioned. I don’t know. As I looked around my life, things were getting missed. A lot of personal time was being taken up with work. Everyday became slammed with meetings, every lunch was a meeting, most nights were meetings, or dinner interviews, or connecting time with team members, and then I traveled a ton on the weekends (still do) as well.
I would be in my office realizing that I needed water or a snack, since I had been nailed down to my desk for hours straight, and I couldn’t take the time to get up to get it. Many times I would work straight through lunch and would miss it because there just wasn’t time to go get something. There were times I would miss a birthday, or forget to send flowers to someone in the hospital, or I would leave work too late to pick up my dry cleaning…or…or… And it was these things that would then take up the personal I time needed in my life. Instead of living life outside of the office, I was spending time doing all the “chores” instead of enjoying the down time that was so needed.
I discovered that my personal time was too important to lose doing menial things. That’s when I hired a “personal” assistant. Someone who took care of my department, but also did all of the personal stuff needed so I could have a balanced work and personal life. That’s when a bunch of stress left my body.
Does everybody need a personal assistant? Oh gosh no. Most leaders I know don’t have to travel, don’t have to work through lunch, don’t have evening meetings. And I’m SURELY not suggesting that you start working like that so you can have one. What I am saying is you need to look at what balance is. If you have a position that requires more of you that can’t be passed off to someone else, and it has an effect on your personal life, then you might need reevaluate your needs.