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.”
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:
- Scheduling and calendar management
- Researching topics for your business/book/blog, etc
- Making travel arrangements
- Researching travel plans
- Running personal errands
- Managing your social media channels
- Graphic design like making PDFs, Powerpoint, etc
- Keeping your accounts and taxes up to date (so it’s easy to file when April comes around!)
- Doing your online shopping
- Cleaning your home
- Doing your laundry
- Managing your email
- Organizing your online documents/cloud storage
- Listening to your voicemails
- Setting up furniture
- Creating and sending client invoices
- Setting up reminders for you! (So you never forget birthdays again!)
- Subscribing to new forms of social media
- Creating website images using sites like Canva
- 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.