In this day and age, it’s amazing the number of services designed to make your life easier. I actually just ordered my groceries online in less than five minutes, just before writing this article. And it’s still a challenge to be a working mom and do it all.
It’s important though to think about leveraging these solutions as an investment. In yourself.
When you start a new business you have to invest first, then reap the rewards second. Investing in outsourcing things in your life that get in the way of time, and your career, is no different.
One strategy I’ve used is that any time I got a raise, I would put aside a portion of that additional money to outsource another piece of our lives.
So, I thought it would be fun to start a conversation about outsourcing. I’ve outlined my top five outsourcing tricks. I would love to hear from all of you about your favorite tricks as well!
5. Cleaning Services
This was one of the first I outsourced, and I’ve never looked back. I use a local team and encourage you to ask friends or look for a service if you haven’t already.
4. Meal Making
HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Freshly, etc, are great ways to outsource meal prep. Often times dinner time, if you’re lucky, are some of the only precious minutes you have with your family. Investing even just that one day a week can make a huge difference in taking the weight off of you and/or your partner, and give you more time together or with the kids.
3. Grocery Delivery
Peapod is our local service, although I think others are emerging soon — we live in a fairly rural suburb. I loathe grocery shopping and this makes life so much easier. And I often find I spend less total than when I go to the store, even with the delivery charges and tip.
2. Basic Tasks
I have a good friend who started a local service, Simply Done, where they will help you with everything from picking up dry cleaning to braiding your child’s hair for a dance recital. Task Rabbit is another service to look into as well.
1. Child Services
I often tell people that Care.com is one of the biggest reasons I was able to take my first “big job”. My husband had just taken a new job that had a one-hour commute each way. I knew there was no way I could travel and have him be able to handle getting the kids on the bus and then at daycare or an after-school program.
I knew we needed someone to help. But I started asking around and found it’s really hard to find someone who wants to work only about 15 hours a week.
And then I found Care.com. It truly was a game changer. Since we first started using the platform more than five years ago, we have found four amazing women help us with the kids (not all at once — consecutively).
With a platform like Care, it makes it so easy to find that grad student looking for part-time hours or that mother looking to get back into the working world part-time. And I didn’t feel like I was outsourcing being a mom. We were gaining a partner who could help us all succeed.
I would love to hear from you. What outsourcing solutions have you used to help you balance and say “yes” to the job?