As women take on more work, as well as family and home pressures, they are even less likely to think about health,says Jane Ogden, professor of health psychology at the University of Surrey. Photo: Supplied

Johannesburg - I can’t count the number of times I’ve silently wished for a PA. I have one of those jobs where it’s difficult, if not impossible, to leave the office during the day to run personal errands.

This means most days it’s a mad rush through peak traffic to get to a Woolies before it closes at 6pm. Picking something up from an establishment that closes at 5pm is not even an option, which leaves me spending half my weekend running errands.

I had resigned myself to the fact that this was the way life had to be, until I found out about Ask my PA.

This is a company made up of three women (all ex-PAs) who identified a gap in the market for an affordable, easy way for everyone to get assistance with their daily admin.

Customers have two options – the first is a monthly membership for R250 which includes five tasks a month, and the other is an ad hoc fee of R250 per hour, per request.

Tasks include grocery shopping and unpacking, returns and exchanges, holiday-booking, collecting items from the post office, housesitting, meeting suppliers at home, booking appointments… the list goes on.

What’s more, they’ve negotiated special rates with suppliers such as electricians and plumbers, so your task may end up costing less than anticipated. If you have a specific regular requirement, Ask my PA can structure a special package for you.

They also assist corporates as fill-ins when regular PAs are on leave, as well as on an ad hoc basis, where they are able to take minutes in meetings, plan company events and type up documents.

Having experienced the services of Ask my PA, I highly recommend them. After squeezing a trip to the chaotic Indian visa processing centre into my lunch break and getting nowhere after an hour, I realised there was no way I could apply for a visa within my working day. So I enlisted the help of Ask my PA.

The next morning, a representative was waiting at my office to collect all the documents required. He stood in the queue over multiple days, paid the fee (which was later added to my invoice), and that was that.

Once the visa was in the processing stage, I received daily updates from Ask my PA, who were tracking its status online. The completed passports were delivered with a smile by an Ask my PA representative on a Friday evening.

I realised that to maintain our sanity in today’s fast-paced life, we have to outsource those tasks that are always put on hold. After all, time is money. - Sunday Independent

* To contact Ask my PA, call 082 802 2868 or e-mail [email protected] Or visit