Vaporize Your Chores by Hiring a Personal Assistant

February 28, 2013

Do you enjoy booking your own dentist appointments, waiting on hold to talk to your cable company, or researching the DMV procedures for getting a driver’s license in your state?

Me neither. So I hired someone to make all that go away.

I first experimented with personal assistants in 2010 after coming across Tim Ferris’s account of using virtual assistants to increase his productivity.

I had pretty weak results at the time though. Yes, the virtual personal assistant services Tim talked about were cheap. But there was a language barrier, I couldn’t choose who I worked with, and the virtual assistants didn’t know my local area well enough to make informed decisions.

So this time around, I interviewed and hired a real live human from my local area.

With someone local, there’s no misunderstandings when I say Harris Teeter, Capital Boulevard, Brier Creek, or Ravenscroft (all references to the Raleigh area).

Local assistants are also much better at visiting physical businesses than the virtual assistants were.

So back to the distractions. I don’t want them.

What I do want, however, is the ability to focus my time on the things that are most important to me. Family, business, traveling, and hobbies fall into this category.

Outside of focusing my time on the activities I enjoy, personal assistants are also much better for my own financial bottom line.

Here’s what I mean by that.

Scenario A

Scenario B

Once I had mentally run through this cost-benefit analysis, I decided to try hiring an assistant as an experiment for one month.

Here’s the ad I posted on Craigslist:


Looking for a personal and business assistant

One of my goals for 2013 is to be more productive.

I’m looking to hire a personal assistant for 15-20 hours per week to help me start achieving that goal.

A qualified candidate would be able to handle tasks like the following:

A qualified candidate also:

When replying, please answer the following questions:

Please also include a link to your public LinkedIn profile or equivalent.

Compensation: $15.00/hour contract for minimum one month

Feel free to download this job description and use it as a template.


After finding someone I liked, we used GitHub Issues to communicate about and manage the tasks. Things have gone well this month.

So far, I’ve gotten help with the following tasks:

This week is the last week of my one-month experiment. It looks like I’ll definitely be opting in for another month.

If you enjoyed reading this, or have your own set of tips for personal assistants, you should follow me on Twitter.