Some business tasks take up a lot of time.
Things like bookkeeping, proofreading and transcription services, for example.
These tasks take time to perform. We often don’t enjoy them. And we’re sometimes not very good at them.
And so we’ll look for ways to outsource them.
Similarly, some of our personal tasks can also eat up big chunks of time. But sometimes we resist outsourcing them.
These personal tasks don’t feel as important. They’re not directly related to our business —?so we feel a bit guilty or indulgent if we pass them off.
I’m here to let you off the hook.
It doesn’t matter what kind of task you choose to outsource.
If it takes up a lot of time (and doesn’t give you joy), then it’s a good candidate.
As long as you use the time productively (or in a way that provokes joy), then you’ve got nothing to feel guilty about.
(Admittedly, there may be tax advantages to outsourcing a business task vs. a personal task. But talk to your accountant.)
Let’s take a closer look at some of them:
Housecleaning is at the top of my outsourcing list for household chores.
My hands are more than full with family and business commitments. And my wife is in the same boat.
Having someone come in to clean the house really takes the pressure off us both.
Housecleaning can be pricey, especially if you go with a full-service company. But these companies also offer greater scheduling flexibility. Also, they will typically send teams of people to your home, allowing them to get in and out faster — which means less disruption.
If the price is too steep for your budget, you can decrease the frequency of service. Or you can try to hire someone privately.
Having our house cleaned can feel extravagant. But we don’t enjoy these chores, and we’d rather spend the free time that we do have on other, more rewarding activities.
And if you work from a home office, you may be able to write off a portion of the fee. (Don’t take my word on this. Check with your accountant.)
Yard work is another great candidate for outsourcing.
I actually don’t mind mowing the lawn. It’s a good opportunity to catch up on my podcasts. But still, there are plenty of things I’d rather do instead. And there are times when the lawn reaches alarming heights before I can get to it.
In some cases, it makes sense to yard work company to do the work. Or you could pay a local high school student to do it. (This is the only chore I pay my teenage son to do.)
The same applies to other periodic tasks, such as trimming hedges or power washing walkways.
Sometimes, I’ll do these things myself. But if I can find someone to provide these services for a reasonable price, I’ll often go for it.
I’m the first to admit that I’m not the greatest at household repairs.
Because I’m not particularly good at it and have no real interest in it, I don’t enjoy doing it. And it takes me a long time to get it done. (For each task I usually have to watch five YouTube “how to” videos.)
And even then, I don’t always do a great job.
As a result, when my “honey do” starts to get long, I’ll sometimes bring someone in to tackle it.
If you’re a homeowner, you also have to contend with home maintenance chores.
Could I clean the exterior windows of our home and clear out the gutters myself? Yes, I could (and have).
But these chores can be time consuming (and dangerous) if you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t have the right equipment.
Again, it’s often worth bringing someone in who knows what they’re doing.
Shopping used to be a major time hog. But if you’re willing to make use of online shopping and delivery services, it no longer has to be.
Many urban areas now have access to online grocery shopping and delivery options. You no longer have to drive to the store, collect your items, wait in line to pay and then drive back home. Hours saved!
The same applies to many household items. In some urban areas, Amazon’s Prime service has reinvented shopping. According to Statista, there were over 101 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S. in December 2018! That’s a lot of free home delivery.
In addition, most major brands and retailers also offer online shopping and home delivery.
Don’t get me wrong: I still do plenty of shopping in my neighbourhood. I like to support our local businesses. But it’s nice to no longer be forced to walk or drive to a store every time I need something.
Over the course of a workweek, miscellaneous errands can eat up a good chunk of your time.
Some people use Craigslist or Task Rabbit as a way to outsource some of these errands.
I’ve haven’t tried those yet. But I have made use of add-on services that local businesses will sometimes provide for an extra fee.
For example, some local carwash companies will pick up your car, wash it, detail it and bring it back. Mobile car detailing services will do the same in your own driveway. And some dry cleaners will pick up your clothes, launder them and deliver them the next day.
Take a Closer Look at Your Personal Tasks
I’m not suggesting that you outsource ALL of these things, of course.
But it’s helpful to put everything you do on the table at look at it with a critical eye.
Ask yourself what tasks are eating up your time over the course of a month or year (the all add up quickly!). And see if you can outsource them.
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