7 Top Tasks Women Can Outsource to Be Happier, More Successful and More Sane
Have you ever found yourself planning the evening’s meal, the kids’ dance costumes, and your own bi-monthly self-shaving session all at once, all the while hanging on to your phone as you hurriedly fly through the security gate at work? And then wondering if anyone has yet invented the perfect machine to slice and dice your brain into multi-efficient parts that can both turn in the year-end audit plan as well as Christmas dinner on time….
For many professional women, being successful at work while still doing what’s necessary on the home front is an unending battle. We want to do it all, be it all, and fix it all… And still put our lipstick on right (read, not on your teeth, but on your lips), and wear matching stilettos (and possibly stain-free clothes, but let’s be realistic here…)
One of my aha moments as a professional woman with two hyper-active toddlers, one hyper-immune to mess husband, and one-and-a-half of a hyper-functioning brain, happened on an eventful Monday morning (of course, it had to be a Monday). I found both a bottle of bleach spray in my purse, and an email I had sent to my client asking him to “just give me a sex (I meant, a sec) to get back to him with an answer”…. Both the sex /second and the bleach got me over the edge, as I packed up at exactly 8:05am, went home and started making calls to hire a cleaning service…
The reality is, most women still carry a larger share of the responsibilities at home, while trying to “lean in”, smash the glass ceiling, raise decent human beings, and take a daily shower.
And while outsourcing has become a growing trend worldwide, it doesn’t seem to have much affected the lives of professional women. We still are running from one professional front to the other domestic one, pretending we’re fine and we’ll eventually make it to the gym some day…It may be time for a change…
Here are 7 tasks that the modern, professional woman can, and should outsource to be more successful at work, happier at home and more sane everywhere else (unless of course, there’s tequila nearby):
- Cleaning: I have made peace with the broom and the bleach bottle after hiring a cleaning service, and amicably putting an end to my tumultuous relationship with sticky floors and icky bathtubs. While many of us feel guilty admitting we don’t actually enjoy scrubbing gum off the kitchen floors, the rest of us (read:me, myself and I), have no shame to our non-cleaning game. It’s either I sacrifice my week-ends to have a spotless house, or I calculate my time’s worth (divide salary by number of work hours) and pay part of it to a service like TaskRabbit, while I focus on what makes me really happy. End result: I can shave my legs more often, cuddle with the hubby, and not lecture my kids on the dangers of spilling milk everywhere…for the 100th time. Bingo!
- Grocery shopping: Spending hours on week-ends or even worse, after work, buying groceries (and extra chocolate to make up for the ensuing frustration), or delegating the whole thing and reading a great book? Take a wild guess. Besides, how much time do we really have to consciously shop for “healthy food”? If your answer (like mine) is not much, then why not look into having your groceries delivered with services like Stop& Shop’s Peapod in most of their locations. You an even have the hubby’s beer delivered on -site too, with services like Boston’s Drizly. And voila!
- Daily errands: Dropping off dry cleaning, picking up furniture, and losing your mind in the process? Services like Zaarly and TaskRabbit help with some of these pain-in-the-behind daily errands that make you want to revert back to wearing the same jeans everyday or camping for life…But we won’t go there…
- Virtual house manager/bookkeeper: No time to pay taxes, schedule appointments, or deal with household projects? How about hiring a household manager or bookkeeper, who can perform most of these tasks virtually? This may very well be the solution to the non-existing date night in your couple, or the one way to finally make it to spinning class (or to bed for a nap)…
- Childcare: This one is a non-negotiable. You already use some level of childcare to be able to go to work. What about outsourcing childcare on an as-needed basis as well? Services like Care.com, for instance, are great for finding sitters on call.
- Logistics: It took me three weeks to make it to the post-office to mail a friend a gift I had in my car for months. Dinner reservation calls, doctors’ appointments, hair appointments, trips to the post-office, those are all logistical to-do’s we can never seem to get around. How about outsourcing the whole thing with services like FancyHands, MyTasker, TimeSvr, and TaskBullet for instance.
- Research: Remember that time you had to do a market research for a work report due the next day, as you cursed the entire Internet at 2am trying to find more information? There are services out there like Elance, Freelancer, and Fiverr, that connect you with professionals who can do the job for around $5, while you sleep. Now who’s cursing the Internet?
Which tasks do you outsource as a professional woman?
The Corporate Sis.
Originally published at www.thecorporatesister.com on December 23, 2015.