These 5 tips will help you outsource tasks and prioritize your life.
Whether you’re new to the entrepreneur life or a veteran, you know that time is money. It’s your most valuable and finite asset, which is why it’s important to outsource certain tasks, allowing more time for the work that needs your attention, like high-level planning or important client meetings.
Despite the benefits, it can be hard to relinquish control, worried that someone won’t do it as well, or even worrying about appearing bougie or elitist. Eliminate this fear by quantifying your value: approximating your hourly rate. Once you have this rate, you can use it as a measure for what’s worth paying for. For example, if you’d make $500 in the three hours it takes you to sit at the DMV, it’s easy to see that would be worth paying an assistant $100 to do it instead.
If you can overcome your initial hesitation, you’ll see there are many more cases where it pays to spend and here are a few to consider.
1. Virtual or Executive Assistant
Virtual Assistants (VAs) tend to be part-time and remote, which makes this a good way to ease into having support staff for the first time. From there, if needed, you can hire additional VAs, or an in-office Executive Assistant (EA), both of whom can handle a range of tasks like the following.
Calendaring and Travel Arrangement
The back and forth dance of coordinating meetings or researching travel options is likely not worth your time.
Your inbox is an explosion at any given time, which makes it a great task to outsource where possible.
“Email is the last thing people let go of. Fortune 500 CEOs, bestselling authors, celebrities—I know dozens of top performers who delegate everything but email,” says entrepreneur and life coach Tim Ferris. His email outsource strategy allowed him to cut down from 6 to 8 hours each day to just 10 to 15 minutes. Bottom line: Most email is low-level communication that you do not need to burden yourself with.
That’s not all: many assistants can also do lead qualifying, video editing, social media management, and more. Determine where you need the most support, and find someone who can do that.
2. Reputation Management
Entrepreneurs are their own brand and need to have an online presence to stay relevant. Managing the work that goes into that, however, is time consuming. Let someone else, preferably someone who’s experienced in this realm, do it for you. Start by setting up a personal branding guide that defines your voice, message, and beliefs and then find someone who can handle social media updates, blog writing, and community outreach.
You can hire freelance or contract marketers from services such as UpWork, Hubstaff, or Toptal. A qualified EA may also be able to do this for you, allowing you to hire one person for a wide range of tasks.
The average American commute is 26 minutes (one way) and growing, according to The Washington Post. That equates to 4.5 hours per week, and almost 10 days per year spent behind the wheel instead of focusing on growing your business. If you travel frequently, research private driving services, which may be more cost-effective than Uber or Lyft. Better yet, consider mixing up driving services with public transportation. Train rides are perfect for living a busy entrepreneur life, allowing you to get work done or catch up with the newspaper. On a side note—setting this up is the perfect project for your new assistant.
4. Household Chores
When you’re focused on leadership, and trying to keep some semblance of work-life balance, personal maintenance can be the first thing to fall to the wayside. Your home is your sanctuary, it should not suffer because of a busy schedule. Luckily, many of the typical household chores can be done by someone else.
Home cleaning services are often inexpensive and well worth the price tag when you don’t come home to a sink full of dirty dishes. If you want to start slow, hire someone for a monthly cleaning, which will slow roll the mess for the following weeks.
Many entrepreneurs live in large cities, which means in-house laundry, even for the most successful individuals, isn’t guaranteed. Even with a washroom, laundry is a time consuming weekly task that you don’t need to waste effort on.
Wash and fold services are prevalent in all cities and ultra-convenient for the entrepreneur life because it ensures your best clothes are ready when you need them—which could be at the drop of a dime.
“One of the worst things is when you forget to clean your favorite shirt or pair of dress pants and you have nothing to wear for the big event in your life. With wash and fold you can keep your clothes fresh without finding a couple hours of time that it takes to do laundry,” according to 10 Reasons to Use a Wash and Fold Service.
Four-legged companions are (wo)man’s best friend, and even with the prevalence of dog-friendly offices, it can be hard to get out and walk your pup. Instead, use a service to keep your best friend healthy and happy while you run your business. When you come home at night, they’ll be just as happy to see you. To find dog walkers, check out this list of dog walking apps.
5. Meal Prep
When you’re busy, often the only solution is eating out. However, if you want to actually spend time in your home, maintain a healthy diet, or enjoy cooking, restaurants are not the answer. Luckily, there are an array of meal-prep services that can deliver ready-to-cook meals to your doorstep. Better yet: have groceries delivered from services such as Amazon Fresh. If you are craving take out in comfort of your home (or office).
Make Your Entrepreneur Life Easier
The entrepreneur life is a busy one, and the more your business grows, the less time you have. Especially when you’re trying to maintain a work-life balance, and keeping an intact personal and social life. Outsourcing the menial tasks in your life for a cost is likely worth the money you’d be missing if you didn’t have that extra time—or worse, the money you’d be losing.