6 Things You Never Thought Of Outsourcing But Should
Time has – without a doubt – become our most valuable commodity. So what can we do to get a little bit more of it?
Being switched on 24/7 and trying to do everything won’t do any good for your health and wellbeing – or sanity – in the long run. Outsourcing can be the solution to boosting productivity and for time-poor individuals to achieve more work-life balance. With the rise of online marketplaces like Airtasker and Freelancer.com and a nudge from people like author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, delegating some load off your plate (personal and/or professional) is pretty damn easy.
Here are six things you never thought of outsourcing but should.
#1 Present shopping
Shopping isn’t everyone’s forte, especially when it comes to buying gifts. Why not outsource this to a creative shopper who can come up with a unique present idea and sort out the tedious logistics for you? Now you can avoid the weekend shopping centre rush and your present will look extra thoughtful.
Tip: Get organised ahead of time by writing down all the presents you need to buy at the beginning of the month (refer to Facebook if you can’t remember all your friends’ birthdays). Then brief it into your ‘shopping assistant’ in one go so they can tackle everything at once.
#2 Planning a travel itinerary
Holidays are always exciting but all that prep work beforehand can be stressful. From booking hotels and flights, to reviewing TripAdvisor feedback, organising transport logistics from one city to another and researching the best local places to eat, these are jobs that can be outsourced to a savvy virtual travel assistant. It just may be your best holiday yet.
Tip: Do dedicate some time to check everything. For safe measure, organise the really important elements yourself (for example, flights and accommodation) but seek out a helping hand for the research phase. Simple tasks like organising museum tickets and making restaurant reservations are perfect to outsource.
#3 Romantic gestures
Don’t have time to surprise or spoil your significant other? Just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you need to give up on the romance. You can hire someone to gift your SO a grand gesture. From simple things like delivering flowers and chocolates, to serenading them in public or planning a surprise picnic, either way you’ll score some serious brownie points.
Tip: Sometimes the best gift is the gift of time – especially true if your partner is as time poor as you are. For example, hire someone to do your SO’s weekly cleaning to take some pressure off their load.
#4 Pet chores
Busy pet owners no longer need to feel guilty about neglecting their favourite furry-legged friends. If you’re on deadline for one week and don’t have time to take your dog out for a walk or to the groomers, instead of disappointing your pet, you can outsource the job to a fellow animal lover. Similarly, you can get someone to do your pet supplies shopping in bulk and deliver it to your home, saving you time from having to make the trip.
Tip: If you’re about to head overseas, hire a pet sitter to mind your dog so you don’t have to burden your family and friends.
#5 Event planning and logistics coordination
Birthday parties and elaborate family celebrations are exciting and fun, unless you’re tasked with the job of planning them. Researching suppliers, doing the prep work, managing RSVPS and coordinating logistics are all major time suckers. Outsource the whole thing to enjoy the occasion for once.
Tip: If it’s too costly to outsource an entire event to a party planner, why not delegate certain parts of it so you only spend time organising what you enjoy i.e. picking the wines.
#6 Photo scanning and filing
Got a cupboard full of old photos that need to be digitally scanned and filed accordingly? Scanning and filing photos is a time-intensive project that most people tend to put off for another day. Don’t let your fond memories sit in boxes collecting dust – hire someone to tackle the job for you once and for all.
Tip: While you’re at it, get a helper to sort out your digital filing too. From organising folders on your desktop to syncing up your iCloud account across your devices, there’s a tonne that you can offload.
Outsourcing doesn’t make you lazy. Often, it’s about smart delegating so that you can be more productive and get more done. Or so you can finally enjoy that rare phenomenon known as ‘me time’.
Jennifer is a Digital Content Specialist from Sydney with a background in PR and communications. A foodie and travel buff at heart, Jen enjoys writing and blogging about lifestyle topics.