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7 Ways Outsourcing Can Make Your Home Life Easier

7 Ways Outsourcing Can Make Your Home Life Easier

Daily life is filled with a seemingly never-ending list of chores and errands that need to be completed in order to make your household run smoothly. Unfortunately, this eats into your quality time with family and friends. The time deficit also makes it difficult for people to do important things for themselves such as committing to a regular exercise routine. Chronic stress is well-known as being linked to the leading causes of death, and it’s also responsible for at least 75 percent of American doctor visits. The good news is that there are many tasks you can outsource in order to free up some of your precious time and improve your quality of life.

1. Online Grocery Shopping

The average person spends at least 41 minutes in the grocery store during each shopping trip. This doesn’t count the associated driving time, nor does it calculate in loading and unloading your vehicle. Additionally, grocery stores have a tendency to be busy, which adds to the overall stress of the experience. Fortunately, many grocers have begun offering online shopping and curbside pickup services that dramatically reduce shopping times.

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As an added bonus, selecting everything online makes it easier to stay within your budget and avoid impulse purchases. You simply put items into your virtual shopping cart and a store employee will do the actual shopping, bagging and car loading for you.

2. Home Repairs

Most people seek out a contractor for major home repairs, but what about smaller home improvement projects? Although you may be completely capable of meeting the demands of these tasks, it’s also wise to consider whether or not they are the best way to spend an entire weekend. Instead of skipping family time, turn to a home repair website or app instead. For example, Smith enables homeowners to quickly and easily receive bids from local contractors for projects of all sizes.

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This type of service is especially helpful because when contractors know they’re bidding against each other, they’re more likely to give you the best possible price. Using a website instead of calling contractors is also a great way to reduce the total amount of time you spend on the project.

3. Family Caregiver Services

An astounding 43.5 million Americans serve as a family caregiver in addition to their normal daily tasks. This puts a massive emotional and time drain on these individuals, but it’s also a crucial aspect of keeping ill family members safe. Many people fill this role because they can’t afford to hire full-time care. It can also be very comforting for the person who is sick to be assisted by someone they know. However, one of the most important things a family caregiver can do for everyone involved is to give themselves some respite care at least once a week by utilizing professional family caregiver services or getting another family member involved.

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4. Monthly Subscription Boxes

Do you enjoy trying new recipes but feel overwhelmed by the time involved in collecting them and gathering the necessary ingredients? Monthly subscription boxes may be the perfect way to keep your creative spark alive in the kitchen without taking an exorbitant amount of time and energy. Services such as Blue Apron put all of the components together for you and send them to your door once a week. You can also experience exotic fare without leaving home with Try the World, which sends food and other items from a different country each month.

5. Laundry Services

Laundry is something that never, ever ends, and it takes a lot of time to sort everything, wash and dry it, fold it and put it away. This becomes even worse if you have to lug your laundry to a shared laundry room or laundromat. You incur the cost of using coin operated machines or of paying for water and maintenance to your own machines. Additionally, there’s the expense of detergent and fabric softener.

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However, there is an alternative to this large time suck: hire a per-the-pound laundry service. These services start at an average of only .93 per pound, and this typically includes sorting, washing, drying and folding. For a slight upcharge, you may even be able to get your laundry picked up and delivered.

6. Use a Lawn Care Company

The typical American spends 70 hours a year on lawn care, which comes out to more than 1.3 hours a week. There are so many other things you could do with that time that would be more emotionally fulfilling. Weekly lawn care services start at only $35, so you need to ask yourself how much your time – especially your free time – is worth. If you have the extra money and don’t take pleasure in doing lawn care, it makes perfect sense to outsource this stressful task and do something more enjoyable instead.

7. House Cleaning Services

Is your house always dusty and cluttered because you don’t have time to deal with it? Or perhaps you spend more than five hours per week keeping everything clean, but you’d rather spend that time at the park with your kids or enjoying a date night with your spouse. Well, the good news is that this is definitely possible by hiring a house cleaner. These services can range drastically in price depending on a wide variety of factors, but the average single family home pays $130 per clean. To put this into perspective, the hourly rate is usually around $25, so you’ll be getting a clean home and recover several hours weekly to attend to personal matters.

As you can see, there are numerous ways that you can free up some of your time without neglecting any of your weekly chores. The cost of these services is often much more in line with what your time is worth than you may have otherwise thought. In fact, most online grocery shopping services charge $5 or less, and that’s definitely worth avoiding the hassle and lost time associated with doing the shopping in-store. There are also several apps available that will help you better manage everything from spring cleaning to assigning cleaning duties to each family member.

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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