It would be the understatement of the year to say that I’m a fan of outsourcing work tasks.
I’ve got a treasure trove of articles outlining the ways in which outsourced work can boost your business and make your working life a million times less stressful.
But I ALSO believe that personal outsourcing is valuable since it allows you to get more out of your allotted 24 hours each day!
While you are busy working, a trusted personal assistant (PA) can be doing your shopping, paying your bills, scheduling your haircuts, and handling all of those life-management tasks that suck up your precious time.
Not sure that hiring someone to run your errands is a good use of your money?
It is, I promise, but you certainly don’t have to take my word for it. As with all outsourcing, if you can pay someone else a lower hourly rate than your own, it’s a good value.
So start by figuring out how much your time is worth. You’ll need to calculate an hourly rate, even if you don’t charge by the hour since, since you’ll be outsourcing to someone who is paid by the hour.
Use my Time Calculator to help with the math, and determine if personal outsourcing will get you a worthwhile ROI. (It will, right? I knew it would!)
Personal Tasks You Can to Outsource to Pros
Now, a dedicated personal assistant is a marvelous addition to your team, but if you’re not ready to commit to that level of support just yet, there are other ways to outsource. Tons of them, in fact!
Here are the simplest ways to buy back your time so you can focus more on your business:
- Outsource your laundry: Even if you don’t typically send out your clothes for laundering, entrusting your laundry to the pros can be a fabulous time-saver. (And extend the life of your clothes!) General errand app TaskRabbit can connect you to someone who’ll bring your dirty duds to your preferred cleaner, or the Flycleaners app will handle everything from pickup to vendor selection to drop-off.
- Dog walking: There is probably a local teenager who could easily take over this task for you, so ask around. If no one turns up, try dog-walking service, Wag.
- Meal planning and grocery shopping: You can hire a meal planner to plan out your meals, set up a weekly grocery list, and then order your groceries from your preferred store using Instacart. (This is especially helpful if you or family members have food sensitivities.) Or, if you want the prep work done too, you can opt into meal delivery services such as Hello Fresh or Dinnerly.
- House cleaning: Hiring a professional cleaner to tidy up your house on a weekly basis seems like a luxury to most people, but it doesn’t have to be wildly expensive! If you use Craigslist or local classifieds in your area, you may find someone within your price range who can clean your whole house in half the time it takes you.
Tasks to Assign to a Reliable Personal Assistant
Everyday errands and assistance can also be handled by task-specific outsourcing services, but anything that involves sensitive personal information or family members is better handled by a dedicated personal assistant.
A PA can help with things like waiting in line at the post office, booking airline tickets for you and your family, calling your credit card company, ordering gifts, or even visiting the bank.
Give her access to your full calendar, and she can even handle coordinating personal appointments including oil changes, haircuts, doctor and dentist visits, and more.
Since your PA will be acting on your behalf in some situations, you’ll want to cultivate a healthy and trusting relationship with her from day one.
Start with clear instruction and communication, then make sure she feels comfortable asking questions.
The last thing you want is for your personal assistant to guess what you need, guess wrong, and mess up an important task! Find out if written instructions or voice recordings are helpful to her, and be patient whenever you ask her to take on a new task or workload.
That way, she’ll feel valued by and comfortable with you.
Once she’s trained in, get creative with your PA! There are probably a bunch of tasks—like running to the hardware store or unloading groceries—that you assume fall outside her comfort zone.
But it’s worth asking, especially if she’s on the clock for a set number of hours and looking for things to do.
If you’re new to outsourcing for your personal life and aren’t sure where to start, pick just one or two tasks from this post.
Begin with the most unpleasant and time-consuming tasks—stuff that you’d be overjoyed to hand off to someone else—and build up your comfort level a little at a time.
Then, invest the time you would have spent doing these things on a restorative activity you enjoy: a coffee date with a dear friend, an extra-long shower, or a mani-pedi.
You’ll see right away that outsourcing to a personal assistant was the right choice for you!