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Month: January 2020

It doesn’t have to be this way…

Money-rich, time-poor. It’s a phrase that comes from a book by Rob Parsons, called The Heart of Success: Making it in business without losing in life. And it’s a phrase which probably doesn’t need an explanation. Basically, though, it’s about achieving a proper balance between achieving business goals and maintaining a high quality of life. If you’re reading this, the chances are that it’s a problem you’re very familiar with.

But being familiar with a problem doesn’t necessarily make it easier to solve. Which is why so many people in this position fail to solve it – they make lots of money, but they continue to do all the drudge work. As a result, they miss out on many important aspects of life, such as having quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the downtime they deserve.

Of course, it’s a problem that been around for decades, even centuries. And the concept of a concierge dates back just as long. In fact, the roots of the word, “concierge” come from the Latin conserves, meaning “fellow slave”, though the word itself (“concierge”) is French, and means “keeper of the keys.” During the Middle Ages, you see, when the nobility entertained guests at their castles, someone (a concierge) was appointed to look after the keys to the rooms, and ensure that guests had everything they needed. This evolved into a more general role, so that, by the 1800s, many European organisations, ranging from government offices to prisons, employed their own concierge.

Today, of course, the word “concierge” is essentially just another term for personal assistant. And it’s a service that has proved so popular that it’s given rise to an entire industry. As more and more people find themselves victim of the money-rich, time-poor phenomenon, the demand for personal concierges have skyrocketed.  The (2018) global concierge services market size was valued at over half a billion pounds (£500 million) and is expected to grow by about 5% year-on-year, from 2019 to 2025. This should be no surprise when you consider that many top managers, VIPs, celebrities and other high net-worth individuals have recognised the enormous benefits of outsourcing routine or specialised tasks to help them achieve a better work-life balance.

Interestingly, though, the very popularity of the concept among the rich and famous has led, in recent years, to a misunderstanding. Most people think that a personal concierge is something which is affordable only by the ultra-wealthy. This may have been true once, but it’s no longer the case. True, a personal concierge isn’t within the means of everyone, but they are surprisingly affordable – especially when they are made available through specialist companies like ReQuest which offered tailored packages to suit individual budgets. If you’re looking for someone to work closely with you on every aspect of your life, and assume key responsibilities on a 24/7 basis, we can provide that person. However if you’re looking for somebody to work in a more limited capacity and take responsibility for the tasks you hate most , we can supply someone to meet those needs too. Basically, whatever your budget, we can work to it.

So, if you’ve been thinking for a while that it’s time you gave yourself more time to sit back, relax and enjoy the things you enjoy doing most – give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.

Learn to let go – and lead a fuller life!

Here’s a question: are you – right now – living the best life you could? And if the answer is ‘no’, why is that the case? There’s a good chance it’s because you’ve got a lot on, and you find it hard to let go. To delegate. You insist on doing everything yourself. Which is understandable, as ours is a culture which, historically, has rewarded – both financially and socially – a hectic, crowded lifestyle. But things are changing. Today, there is a significant body of research which shows that working long hours with little rest takes a high physical and mental toll, with a negative impact on life expectancy.

All the same, many people find it hard to let go. Often, even those who can easily afford to delegate routine tasks are reluctant to do so. Again, this is understandable. After all, letting go – which is often symbolic of losing control – can be a painful and difficult process. But the rewards can be high: less stress, a better work-life balance, and a more relaxed lifestyle are all likely results of entrusting someone else with your everyday tasks.

So, once again, why aren’t you letting go? Here are the principle reasons which, according to psychologists, could be behind your reluctance to hand over the reins. 

Guilt

We live in a culture with attitudes dominated by received wisdom. And that received wisdom is heavily, if not wholly, shaped by advertising. And according to the narrative of advertising, you’re not a real man or a real woman unless you do everything yourself. It’s a DIY world. According to the world of advertising, you should be able to work full-time (and be brilliant at whatever job you do), while managing every aspect of domestic life, from car repairs to major home improvements. It’s hardly surprising that so many people feel as though they’re a failure if they reach out for help.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, a strong work ethic is a good thing. But a relentless focus on having and doing everything yourself can lead to intense feelings of inadequacy and – therefore – guilt. It can also make us forget that there’s a better way: delegation. By handing off tasks we don’t really need to do, we can feel happier and more fulfilled. A good Lifestyle manager can help you take a step back and inject some calm into the chaos.

Perfectionism

On the face of it, perfectionism sounds like a good thing. But it can also create procrastination and displacement – in other words, cause you to avoid tasks you don’t like doing on the pretext of not having the time to do them properly. If you recognise this in yourself, outside help could be major step forward for you, and help you increase your sense of wellbeing, even if you fear that you may lose control.

Why? Simple. It’s because you don’t have to do everything yourself in order to feel in control. Our Lifestyle managers are experts at partnering with clients to help them better manage their time and can live the life they prefer.

Privacy and Trust Concerns

As well as perfectionism, many people have have privacy and trust concerns that keep them from partnering with someone who could help them live more enjoyable lives. However, there are huge benefits to working with a full-service Lifestyle manager. While the virtual assistants made available by today’s technology may be able to carry out a limited number of tasks around the home, a personal Lifestyle manager can help you fundamentally reimagine your life.    

In summary, don’t put off having fun! Enjoy life now, rather than kowtow to the abstract expectations of cultural norms. Bringing a lifestyle management company like ReQuest into your life will make a tangible and significant difference. Basically, you’ll have lots more fun!

New Year Resolutions: how a Lifestyle manager can help

So. Another year dawns. And as it does, millions will make – or have already made – a New Year resolution. But do they really work, or are they just a social cliché that we go along with for form’s sake, with no real intention of sticking to them? The evidence seems to point to the latter – a recent YouGov poll showed that only a quarter (24%) of Britons who made resolutions in 2018 kept all of them, while 28% said they kept none of them.

Despite this, though, few would deny that New Year resolutions are a good idea in principle. After all, the beginning of a new year is a great time – both psychologically and practically – to implement changes for the better in our lives. But, although most people recognise this, few – as we’ve noted – seem able to follow through on their commitment to themselves. Why should this be?

Well, according to recent studies, your chances of success in carrying out a NY resolution depends heavily on where you are in the ‘acceptance process’ of change. In other words, those who are still in the ‘contemplation phase’ (still thinking about making a change) are much less likely to succeed than those who have reached the ‘action phase’ (that is, they have already accepted the idea of change, and are ready to take action). So progressing from the Contemplation stage to the Action stage is critical. Interestingly, studies also show that help from an external partner, such as a professional lifestyle manager, who can share in accountability, can help this progression enormously. That’s where we can help.

If you’ve decided that you could benefit from a fresh start in some area or another of your life, and you want to kick things off with a New Year Resolution, you’ll find that one of our Lifestyle managers can play a key role in helping you achieve your goal. Below are three of the most common areas in which people set resolutions with some suggestions about how you can be successful in staying on track.

Health and wellbeing

Health objectives – such as losing weight – are extremely popular goals, but they’re also among the first to be ditched when life gets busy. The key is to be specific, and to plan. Decide things like: How much weight you want to lose, and by when? How often will you exercise, and in what way? Next make a contingency plan – decide what you’ll do if you ‘fall off the wagon’ – being mentally ready for this to happen will make you less prone to despair and giving up if it does (and it’s likely to!). A Lifestyle manager can help with all these things – by creating an eating plan, for example, or helping with the shopping, or accompanying you to, and motivating you at, gym sessions.

Making your Bucket List happen

No matter what your Bucket List contains, a Lifestyle manager can help you tick off the items on it. Once you’ve decided on the item, and what’s required to make it happen, your Lifestyle manager can take over the planning, while keeping you in the loop at every step.  You can have as much, or as little, involvement as you want. This way, you’ll ensure that you bucket list event is everything you dreamed it would be.

Learning something new

This could be anything from reading more, to learning a new language.  But, whatever it is, remember that it helps to be specific. How many books will you read each month? Will you visit the country of your chosen language for some real-life practice? If so, when? How, exactly, will you learn – online self-study, for example, or by using a specialist coach or tutor? Once you’ve made your plan, your Lifestyle manager can help you carry it out – by picking up books, for instance, or enrolling you in local classes, or by researching other opportunities that will help you reach your goal.

To find out more about how our Lifestyle managers can help you – simply call us!

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