The Lazy Geek’s Guide to Outsourcing Everything
In our busy lives we often take on more than we can handle and end up multitasking everything. Many times we find ourselves juggling annoying emails, phone calls, Facebook status updates, and more. We constantly wonder what we can do to try and save some of our precious time. Fortunately, bloggers, 9-to-5ers, and small business owners alike have more options today than ever for delegating tasks and regaining some portion of their lives!
Sure, delegating tasks is not a luxury that comes for free. Some productivity apps or software cost money, and no virtual assistant (VA) will work without pay. Before deciding to delegate some of your tasks, you have to ask yourself, would the return be worth your investment? What is an hour of your time really worth, after all? These questions cannot be answered in a purely monetary sense. You have to consider how else might you spend your time if you didn’t have to waste it checking emails or attending meetings. That hour you spend writing mundane emails could be better spent working on your business, not inside it. Or maybe you could spend that extra hour through leisure time with your family and friends!
The key to saving time and money with outsourcing is to prioritize your tasks. What low-priority items can a VA handle? Having a VA help handle your email, for example, could relieve you of hours of responsibility each day. Did you know that email is the second most time-consuming activity for American workers? In fact, 28% of the average working day is spent emailing – that adds up to 2.5 hours per day without even including the time you spend handling personal emails! Your VA could manage your inbox as a first point of contact. Other tasks you could delegate to a virtual assistant include making phone calls, conducting research, scheduling meetings with tools like GoToMeeting, or even booking travel arrangements with apps like Flightfox, Hipmunk, Kayak, or Airbnb.
Using project management tools like Basecamp can also alleviate micromanagement and help remind you of uncompleted tasks and deadlines and to help you stay on the same page with your team and assistants. Businesses also make use of social media management tools to schedule updates consistently across social networks. Speaking of social media, why not outsource your efforts there, too? According to Experian, 27% of time spent online is on social networks. You could save a lot of the energy you used to spend on social media by outsourcing the management of your social networks – just make sure you contract someone you trust, and always keep an eye on your profiles!
The first step toward outsourcing everything is to rid yourself of the minuscule, time-sucking tasks that keep you from focusing on the course of your business. Look to outsource these tasks by leveraging services from resources like Odesk, Elance, or even Fiverr. Remember, your time is priceless!