Time, one of life's most precious commodities, often goes by too quickly. You can feel twinges of panic when you begin to realize that you don't have enough time. Once aware of your crowded daily schedule, you can give in to feelings of doom upon realizing that it is unlikely that you will ever (never mind today) have time for yourself.
But freeing time may not be as difficult as you think. In many cases, all you need to do is pick up the telephone to avail yourself of services (or materials) that will happily take over some of your more time-consuming, and often dreaded, chores. Here are 10 ways to help free your time:
Executive Runaround, 847 Sweetzer Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 651-0584. Owned by Barbara Kaye, this is a personalized errand service that has been running around for its clients for more than five years. The service will stand in line for you, pick up and deliver (people, pets or things), do your shopping, and when you forget to pick up something, run back to get it for you. They'll also wait at your location for the phone installer or the plumber to arrive. Kaye believes that you should let another executive do your busywork. Rates are $12.50 an hour. Pet Limo, P.O. Box 67E83, Los Angeles, (213) 651-5466. This service will escort your pet to the vet. They will also take Fido, Kitty or whatever pet you have that fits in their air-conditioned van to the groomer, kennel or airport. The Pet Limo is available 24 hours a day for pet pickup and delivery, as well as for emergency calls for sick and injured animals. Rates begin at $22.
Smooth Moves, 1379 Lucile Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 664-0465 within California or (800) 522-6863 outside California. When you're moving, this firm helps eliminate time-consuming details by coordinating the transfer of your utilities, telephones, magazine and newspaper subscriptions and other change-of-address details, including notification of your bank, the post office and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Smooth Moves' clients include corporations as well as individuals. Fee: $145 and up.
Love Gifts, 8908 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 273-1261. Love Gifts will put together gift baskets to suit any occasion. The shop carries an assortment of decorative accessories, baskets, jewelry, toiletries, gourmet foods and one-of-a-kind personal gifts for the baskets. They're available by telephone or mail order and can be hand-delivered or shipped out of state. Gift baskets start at $35. The firm also offers a shopping service, which includes making purchases from other establishments--such as buying crystal, sweaters or gifts--for a client.
Mother's Work, 505 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, (213) 623-8456. For the pregnant woman who is too busy to run all over town trying to find appropriate maternity wear, this may be your answer. Mother's Work offers one-stop shopping with a complete line of clothing, which includes swimwear, exercise togs, lingerie, sportswear and business clothing for mothers-to-be. They even have exercise tapes. If you are so busy that you can't make it to the store, you can call for their free catalogue and do your maternity shopping by mail. A second store has just opened in Costa Mesa at the Courtyards, 1835 Newport Blvd., Suite A-103, (714) 722-0818.
Office Overhaul, 832 11th St., Suite 202, Santa Monica, (213) 393-1392. A one-time overhaul for almost any office in the home or corporate world can be arranged. Office Overhaul will take care of the boxes and bags of backed-up papers that you don't have time to manage, organize files and reference materials, set up new offices for you and take on special projects that you cannot fit into your already crammed schedule. Fee varies according to project.
"Is There Life After Housework?" Rather than a service, this is a book that tells you how to spend less time on housework. Author Don Aslett offers a real eye-opener; not only does he tell you the right way to tackle housework, he also shows you how to do it in less time. Other books on the same subject by Aslett are, "Do I Dust or Vacuum First?" and "Clutter's Last Stand." Available from Writer's Digest Books, 9933 Alliance Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242. Phone toll-free (800) 543-4644. MasterCard and Visa accepted. Each book costs less than $10.
Services Unlimited, 205 S. Beverly Blvd., Suite 204, Beverly Hills, Calif., (213) 274-2020 or (213) 274-1574. This service will process important documents for you, thus avoiding the agony of standing in endless lines. They'll handle the paperwork for your passport and visa needs (including taking your picture), and, when your presence isn't required, they'll process immigration documents and file court matters to fulfill immigration needs. They'll pick up and deliver documents or help file the papers for corporation formation and fictitious-name statements for businesses. They also offer translation services along with computerized mailing and billing services. Rates start at $15, for such services as to get a passport renewed. Rush services cost extra.
My Favorite Place, 204 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 461-5713. This charming three-story shop in Hancock Park can solve your gift-buying problems as well as assist in your wardrobe selection in one time-saving, well-serviced visit. Owner Everil Bell oversees not only the wardrobe consultation needs of those who shop here, but she will also see to it that an appropriate basket is made up to solve your last-minute "got-to-have-a-gift" needs. They will even put together a gift package that includes clothing or accessories along with the gift items available in the shop. Prices vary, gift baskets start from $10, which includes note paper, sachets and a coffee mug.
The End Result, 13061 Hartsook St., Sherman Oaks, (818) 784-1572. This service, owned by Teddi Kessie, conquers the time-consuming problem of who to call for home repairs, services or remodeling by matching up anxious homeowners (or owners of apartments, commercial or medical buildings) with an appropriate trade person. Kessie has a listing of more than 160 trade people in the repair field, including carpenters, plumbers, roofers, electricians, tree trimers, masons, beehive removers and more. There is no fee to the homeowner.