Of all the non-style related questions I’m asked the most frequent is how I find “balance” and get so much done. So today I’m sharing some of the ways I delegate tasks to help me be as efficient as possible. I’m a productive person by nature, so I thrive when I find my rhythm and am crossing items off my to-do list. I can’t preach to the balance part, and luckily I’m not trying to gain any. True balance isn’t feasible. Instead, I focus on leveraging my strengths and the areas I’m not so great at, I outsource.
Frankly, I have too much to do. Between running our businesses, traveling with clients, managing a household and raising a family, I learned the hard way I can’t do it all myself. If you are considering outside help in your life, think about it strategically. I know I can’t do it all myself, and that I can’t outsource all of it. I had to figure out what would be best for me to do and what would be more efficient for someone else.
Most of what I outsource is for personal/household activities. I found that in my business, I have little need for an assistant. Technology allows me to manage all of my professional obligations from anywhere in the world seamlessly. By delegating certain domestic duties; I have more time to work and am able to spend real quality time with my kids.
As for the cost, well, that’s always been a big factor to consider. I went through a phase when I opted for no help in the spirit of saving money, and it was a disaster. Basically, nothing was done. Over the last two years, these have been the ways we get a little extra help, and it’s made all the difference in the world for how we function as a family. If you are wondering what you can afford, Learn Vest has a helpful calculator that will give you greater insight.
What I Outsource to Save Time:
Instacart: I’ve talked about Instacart before, and it continues to be one of my favorite services. Every Sunday morning, I sit with my coffee and order all of my groceries on my phone. Within 2 hours, your food is sitting in your kitchen. What’s great about Instacart is that it connects to your local supermarket (we go to Whole Foods) and you are in communication with your shopper via text. They’ll let you know if something isn’t in stock and checks to make sure you approve the replacement. We’ve been using it for a long time now and are always very satisfied. It’s given me back my one free morning with my girls.
Etsy: Not having crafting ability doesn’t stop me from looking like Martha Stewart. My secret? I get everything from Etsy: classroom favors, invitations, party bags, gift baskets, all of it. I used it most recently when the kids were told to bring in Valentines for the class. I just order them on Esty, and in 7 days you have homemade favors that the kids are proud to give out and I look like a rockstar.
Meal Delivery: This is a newer discovery. It use to be that when we had a few consecutive over-scheduled weeks, our meals suffered. We were ordering in or eating out too much, which isn’t healthy and is a waste of money. Prepping for meals in advance is a great theory, but I didn’t have the discipline or time to do it. Over the holiday break, I was determined to find a better way to handle the times when we were staring down a crazy week. That’s when I found Home Appetit, a local (to Philadelphia) chef service that creates home-cooked, local, healthy meals and delivers them to your home. You place your order off their weekly menu, and by Monday night your have fresh, pre-cooked, ready to eat family style meals you feel good feeding your kids. I don’t do it all the time, but when I’m traveling, or my husband is away, or we both have deadlines, this allows us to work right up until dinner and then sit down as a family and reconnect.
Weekly housekeeper: I’ve had a housekeeper in some capacity for over 10 years. Back before we had kids we had someone once a month; then when the girls were little, we went to two times a month. Today, we are weekly. It makes a world of difference. It allows me to get right to work, in an organized, clean space. The house stays tidy longer, and when we inevitably have friends pop over, I don’t have to freak out about the guest bath being a mess.
In my dream world, I would have someone do our laundry and a full-time landscaper, but for now, we do that ourselves:)
What are some of the tasks you delegate to make your day-to-day a little more productive?