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Have you ever wished there was at least one more hour in the day? Or one more day in the weekend?
Let’s be real: who hasn’t?
It’s safe to say that times have really changed since the ancient Egyptians made that first shadow clock.
We’ve got a lot more responsibilities, expectations, hobbies, and distractions, and it can be incredibly difficult (and frustrating) to get it all done.
But alas, we’re stuck with what we’ve got. And while it may seem that 24 hours isn’t nearly enough, there is a silver lining: We’re all in the same boat.
Your 24 hours is the same as my 24 hours is the same as Oprah’s 24 hours. (It’s not often I get to compare myself to Oprah, so best believe I’m taking advantage when I can.)
What’s not the same is how we spend those 24 hours.
And that, my friends, can make all the difference.
How Can You Create More Free Time in Your Days?
As millennials, we’re incredibly lucky to live in an age where the Internet is a way of life and using it to outsource tasks is a quick, reliable option.
Outsourcing your life means that someone (or something? Hi, robots.) else takes care of routine tasks for you.
So instead of spending time on that task, you free up 30 minutes, an hour, or more of your day to do as you please.
(Now the exchange for outsourcing is typically money, so you’ll have to make sure the financial tradeoffs are worth it to you.)
13 tasks you can delegate to outsource your life
Now, in efforts to compete with Amazon as it takes over the world, other grocery stores like Walmart and Publix have stepped up their game to offer grocery delivery too.
If you don’t even want to spend time figuring out what you want to eat and preparing a grocery list, you can outsource that too! Meal kit delivery services like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Plated will send you boxes full of all the ingredients you need to chef up yummy meals during the week.
(The hubby and I used Hello Fresh for about 2 months and really enjoyed the meals & recipe cards, especially the vegetarian-only options. Ultimately it didn’t suit our lifestyle but if you have 20-30 minutes to cook a meal on weeknights, it could be a fun option for you!)
Meal prepping could be a game-changer for you because it’s a double-hitter:
- You save time during the week because you don’t have to worry about food prep.
- You make strides towards eating better.
I meal prepped consistently for years before my son was born. And while I love the concept, it can really take…forever.
So if you want the benefits of meal prepping without the time requirements, consider outsourcing to a local company. (Just Google “meal prep services” or “meal delivery” to find options local to you. If you’re in the Atlanta area, here are 3 meal prep services you could try.)
washing (and folding!) Laundry
I didn’t realize laundry outsourcing was a thing until college when all the rich kids’ parents would send the truck to their dorm rooms.
While I personally don’t mind doing laundry, it can easily be the bane of your existence, especially if you’re doing laundry for more than one.
Flycleaners is one of the more popular, app-based laundry cleaning services, but to be honest, their Google reviews are pretty trash. *thumbs down*
Google “laundry service” or “wash and fold laundry” to find high-quality options in your area.
This. This. This. If you’re a parent and, like most of us, can barely manage to keep yourself clean, let alone your house, seriously consider a housecleaning service.
Even if you don’t need or want a cleaner who comes to your place regularly, getting a housecleaning service to come in right before or after a big holiday (especially if you’re hosting dinner or a party at your place) is a LIFE SAVER.
You can thank me now.
A yard is nice to look at but it’s not that fun to tend to. Unless that’s your thing.
For the 98% of us whose thing it is not, lawn maintenance, landscaping, and other yard-related services are super clutch. It’s pretty inexpensive to have someone cut your grass at the very least.
You could start by asking your neighbors who cuts their lawns? (They may throw in a discount as an incentive for potential clients in the area…like you!)
Does your work schedule not match up well with your kids’ school or daycare hours? We all know childcare has been outsourced for ages, but child transportation can be outsourced too!
Some sitters and nannies double as chauffeurs and school dropper-offers and picker-uppers. Hubby and I used Care.com to find a great sitter for the LittleGuy. If school pick-ups or drop-offs are a service you need, you can definitely make that clear in your job postings.
You may also live within the service area of local businesses dedicated to busing kids to and from after-school activities. It may be worth looking into!
If you run your own business (or just have a lot of administrative tasks in your personal life…) hiring a virtual assistant aka VA can provide some tremendous relief!
Leaving the administrative tasks to someone else allows you to dedicate more time to the essence of your business.
If you’re not one of those people that’s comfortable with doing her own home repairs, outsourcing these tasks is a must.
Technology makes it super easy to find people to help, and Thumbtack is my absolute favorite resource. (I’ve used Thumbtack for everything from finding a painter for our nursery to finding a dessert caterer for my wedding!)
Finding it hard to get to your furry friend while you’re stuck in a meeting or rush hour traffic?
There’s no shortage of people who’d love to take your precious doggie out for a walk.
Wag, a dog-walking/dog-sitting app, puts all of those eligible dog-walkers right at your fingertips.
I bet you’re thinking this one’s gonna be all about Uber & Lyft. That’s only partially true. With ride-sharing services like Lyft, getting where you need to go without your own personal transportation has never been easier.
But there’s another service that you world-travelers out there may want to keep in your back pocket: Bla Bla Car! Think of Bla Bla Car as a long-distance Lyft.
If a driver is heading from one place to a distant other, she can post how many available seats she has in her car. That way, if you want to catch a ride to the same place, you just reserve your seat, meet up, and head to your destination!
The photo above is from my first Bla Bla Car experience from Pamplona to Barcelona, Spain! (If you want to know more about the trip, let me know! It was quite the adventure.)
The Roadie app is available in all 50 United States and comes in handy if you’re looking to move an item (rather than a person) from one place to another.
For example, I once needed a massive sectional couch transported from one city in Georgia to another. I did it for only $70 using the Roadie app!
How to Find People or Companies to Outsource Your Life To?
For tasks that you need done in person, Thumbtack is my go-to. I’ve used thumbtack to find painters, plumbers, landscapers, and several of my wedding vendors!
Of course, reviews are everything, and each person who bids on your proposal on Thumbtack has reviews for you to read through.
TaskRabbit is another option that’s similar in concept to Thumbtack. I prefer Thumbtack, though, because they have a much wider variety of services that you can search for.
For example, on TaskRabbit, there aren’t specific categories for videography and makeup artistry. I wouldn’t have been able to find my wedding vendors on TaskRabbit the way that I did on Thumbtack.
Fiverr is another website where freelancers offer their services and people like you request them. Fiverr is great for virtual tasks like making a logo, doing a voiceover, or even building a website!
The name “Fiverr” comes from the fact that prices for tasks and services begin at $5 a pop. Pretty cheap right?
Google needs no explanation. You’re a millennial. You get it.
I will give you one pro tip though: Don’t stop at the first page! Just because a website isn’t on the first page of Google doesn’t mean it won’t meet your needs.
Some of the best recommendations come from friends! Real friends will give you the real deal. (And REAL real friends will also share real discount codes, coupons, Groupons, etc. with you.)
When it comes to referrals, even general associates like coworkers and social media followers can be really good sources of information. People love to share their experiences – good or bad.
Pin me to come back to this post later!
Now that you can create more free time, don’t waste it!
Hopefully you’ve found at least one or two weekly activities to outsource, so you should have freed up a few hours.
More free time is useless if you waste it.
One way to help you make the most of your newfound free hours is to decide before outsourcing exactly how you’re going to spend that time.
For example, on Saturdays, I can either spend 2 hours on a trip to the Farmer’s Market or I can request an Amazon grocery delivery. Obviously, most times I’m going to choose the latter (because Amazon Prime, hello!)…
But if I then spend that free 2 hours scrolling IG (or more likely binge-watching Jane the Virgin), well I might as well have gone to the Farmer’s Market.
Instead, I’ll say:
Okay Meg, instead of spending 2 hours on a Farmer’s Market trip, spend 20 minutes placing an Amazon Fresh order.
With the remaining 1 hour and 40 minutes, you can watch one episode of Jane the Virgin BUT you have to wash the dishes or workout while you’re watching. And you have to finish responding to emails when it’s over.
Cool! I have a plan. I’m much more likely to fill that time with something productive than I would have been otherwise.