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How to Clone Yourself!

How to Clone Yourself!
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    How many of us have wished at times that we could clone ourselves? Delegating to a personal assistant is a simple way to reclaim hours of your time and free you up to do what you are best at doing. Think this is not for you? Think again and read on! We’re going to cover how to afford it, how to find one, how to pay them, and ideas for what they can do.

    “Isn’t a personal assistant just for rich people and celebrities?”
    I am talking about a responsible high school or college student with a car who would love to make a little extra cash helping you out, kind of like a babysitter. You can utilize this person as little as 1-2 hours per week, so almost anyone who can afford a babysitter can probably afford a personal assistant. You can reclaim 2 hours of your time for about $16-20 per week, depending on the going pay rate in your area. This is like foregoing one or two lunches out, a few lattes, or a night at the movies. Of course, you could also hire a professional personal assistant or household manager, but that is definitely a full- or part-time job and a whole other article.

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    Don’t forget about the value of your time! You can do the math with your salary to find out how much you make per hour. Does it make sense for you to be sitting and waiting in a Jiffy Lube when you could be getting more productive things done?

    “What about the ‘nanny tax’ issue? I don’t want to be an employer.”
    You can pay someone as much as $1500 in one year (in 2007 in the US) and not have to worry about being an employer and paying taxes. That amount means that you could pay someone about $28 each week for 52 weeks without worrying about it, which if you pay the person $8 per hour, that is 3.5 hours of your time reclaimed! (Readers in the US should check the IRS Publication 926 “Household Employer’s Tax Guide” for questions.) If you plan on exceeding $1500 in one year, you can hire a service to handle all of the details for you. Breedlove & Associates, for example, is a leading provider of payroll and tax services for household employers that can take all of the headaches away.

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    “How will I find this person?”
    If you’ve ever hired a babysitter, it’s just as easy to hire a personal assistant. Your friends and co-workers probably all know some really sharp young person who does babysitting who may not have considered this type of work. Most universities have a job bank or other means for connecting students with work. If you attend a place of worship, they sometimes have babysitter directories and classified ads for members that can help. And you can even post your job on Craigslist.org. Do be careful and check references on anyone you are considering, and get a copy of his or her driver’s license and car insurance information. Do whatever is necessary to make you comfortable with this person.

    “What can this person do for me?”

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    • Groceries and other household purchasing
    • Car washes, oil changes and other car maintenance
    • Watch and jewelry repairs
    • Dry cleaning and alterations pickups
    • Shopping returns and exchanges
    • Prescription pickups
    • Video store and library returns
    • Bank deposits
    • Pet-sitting, pet care, taking animals to the vet
    • House-sitting while you travel
    • Business card entry, spreadsheet maintenance, or other simple data entry
    • Calling for reservations or making other arrangements on your behalf
    • Scanning, filing, shredding
    • Transporting items to and from home, office, or school
    • Transporting children
    • Dishes, laundry, straightening up the house

    One way to do this is to save up your errands and have this person come over once a week. Think about how wonderful it would be to reclaim even just 2 hours of your week for other things that are more important! Make it happen!

    Lorie Marrero is a Professional Organizer and creator of The Clutter Diet, an innovative, affordable online program for home organization. Lorie’s site helps members lose “Clutter-Pounds” from their home by providing online access to her team of organizers. Lorie writes something useful, funny, interesting, and/or insanely practical every few days or so in the Clutter Diet Blog. She lives in Austin, TX, where her company has provided hands-on organizing services to clients since 2000.

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    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

    What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

    What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

    If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

    So, what to do in free time?

    Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

    Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

    1. Reading Files

    Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

    Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

    2. Clear out Inbox

    Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

    If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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    3. Phone Calls

    Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

    Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

    4. Make Money

    This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

    If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

    5. File

    No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

    But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

    Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

    6. Network

    Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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    7. Clear out Feeds

    If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

    8. Goal Time

    Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

    If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

    Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

    9. Update Finances

    Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

    Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

    10. Brainstorm Ideas

    Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

    11. Clear off Desk

    Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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    Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

    12. Exercise

    Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

    13. Take a Walk

    This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

    It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

    14. Follow up

    Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

    When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

    15. Meditate

    You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

    Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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    16. Research

    This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

    If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

    17. Outline

    Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

    18. Get Prepped

    Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

    You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

    19. Be Early

    Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

    Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

    20. Log

    If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

    Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

    More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

    Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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