Cross These Tasks Off Your To-Do List

I love outsourcing. I mean who wouldn’t? You get to take your to-do list and hand it off to someone else!

What’s not to love?

However it’s one of the few productivity suggestions that when I mention to people, the response I get tends to be dubious.

The answer I always get is, “Well, I dunno, I like to do things myself.”

Sound familiar?

I’m a control freak, so I get it. Letting someone else be responsible for a part of my business (even if it is only a very small one) can feel scary. But if I can get past the control freak fear, then why can’t other people.

I think that most people actually aren’t afraid to outsource – they just don’t know where to start!

For example, if you asked a child if they wanted to give up their chores, of course they’d be happy. But when you tell them they have to pick just one — the choice becomes a bit more difficult.

Should you outsource the thing you hate doing the most? The most time consuming task? Or the task that you’re least concerned about? You know — just in case the person you outsource it to messes it up!

I find that for every person it’s different and to find out what kind of outsourcing works for you, first you have to try it. But one of the questions I get most often is “what should I outsource?”

Here’s a list of ideas for you:

  1. Scheduling and calendar management
  2. Researching topics for your business/book/blog, etc
  3. Making travel arrangements
  4. Researching travel plans
  5. Running personal errands
  6. Managing your social media channels
  7. Graphic design like making PDFs, Powerpoint, etc
  8. Keeping your accounts and taxes up to date (so it’s easy to file when April comes around!)
  9. Doing your online shopping
  10. Cleaning your home
  11. Doing your laundry
  12. Managing your email
  13. Organizing your online documents/cloud storage
  14. Listening to your voicemails
  15. Setting up furniture
  16. Creating and sending client invoices
  17. Setting up reminders for you! (So you never forget birthdays again!)
  18. Subscribing to new forms of social media
  19. Creating website images using sites like Canva
  20. Dealing with customer service when you have an issue

Great – so now you know exactly what you want to outsource. Here are some of the companies that I use to get through these mundane tasks:

  • Fancy Hands – you pay a monthly retainer and they take on virtual tasks that take about 20 minutes to accomplish. I use it for making appointments, doing research and creating spreadsheets.
  • Task Rabbit – billed per task and they offer both physical and virtual assistants. I’ve used the service for outsourcing trips to Home Depot as well as clothing donation tasks.
  • Fivver – $5 per task, good for outsourcing small design or copywriting tasks. I’ve used this to make PDFs, have audio transcribed and create some web designs.
  • Zirtual – another service based on a monthly retainer offering a certain amount of hours per task.
  • Leverage – this one was started by productivity expert Ari Meisel who I interviewed for my book Listful Thinking.
  • Priority VA – A pay per use virtual assistant service. I used them recently for help organize my webinar for my productivity course Listful Thinking Masterclass. It’s full now, but you can still join the wait list if you’re interested.
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