Feeling time crunched? Hoping 2011 brings with it an extra day, or week or two? You’re not alone. So many of us feel the pinch of time at the end of each day wishing there were more minutes to accomplish all that fills our never ending to-do lists. So just what can we do to create more time given the demands and pressures of work, family and our social lives? I say Delegate!
Sometimes to delegate simply means to share the workload with others in your family, sometimes it means hiring someone. You decide. Here are my top 11 suggestions of things you can get others to do for you leaving you more time to do those things you’re really good at and want to take on.
11. Renovations: We’ve all watched the shows on HGTV, we’ve all been inspired by the before and after. I know… That doesn’t mean we should all take on the projects. Picture Brian Baumler of Disaster DIY walking up your driveway. Some things are simply best left to the professionals so unless you’re a journeyman carpenter, call in the pros and enjoy the fruit of their professional labour.
This also holds true for decorators and home stagers. It’s not as easy as it appears to transfer the look on the magazine page to the walls, floors and furnishings of your home. Even if it’s to simply hire someone for a couple of hours to walk through your space and give you a color palate to work with or a re-design scheme for the furniture in your family room, it’s worth the expense to get their professional input.
10. Food Prep: This can be everything from slicing, dicing and shredding to doing the actual cooking. Eating well is so important and can often be neglected when schedules are tight. There are companies that offer these services or peruse the fresh counters at your local grocer to see what they have to offer. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it does need to be nutritious.
For families, this is a job to be shared. It strengthens a family to come together for a common purpose. Making a meal together is very rewarding and offers a chance to get caught up on the days events. The after-meal clean up should also be shared.
9. General Office Administration: This is more for the busy work-from-home professional, but can also be for those needing someone to help create a mailing list at Christmas time or a one time visit to set up a wireless modem and printer. For those who are self employed, having someone come in even once a week to help with faxing, mailing, filing and general correspondence can be a valuable time saver.
8. Yard Maintenance: Unless your patio is 4×10, yard work can be extremely time consuming. There is a somewhat romantic notion that puttering in the yard will be relaxing after a long, hard work week, but the reality is it’s just one more bit of work that needs to be accomplished. And usually on your day off! At the very least hire someone to cut the lawn in the summer and shovel the walks in the winter. Even a company coming in seasonally to weed, prep gardens, prune trees and clean the yard is great. If you have a teenage son, all the better!
7. Dog Walking: This benefits your schedule and your dogs need to frolic. Especially helpful when the weeks are incredibly full and Bowser is spending way too much time indoors.
6. Personal Trainer: You’ve bought the gym membership but are not seeing the results you hoped for. A personal trainer can provide the motivation and knowledge necessary to help you achieve your fitness goals. This can be a short or long term relationship. Short term you get a kick start and some accountability during the difficult first stages or as a way for more seasoned individuals to reach their next fitness goal. Long term, trainers can help you prepare for that first marathon or recover after an illness or injury.
5. Car Maintenance: Drive through oil change companies are so quick and efficient and are often warranty approved. Why spend all day on something that takes them 20 minutes?
Car washing and detailing is also handled quickly and efficiently by drive through and hand wash locations.
4. Taxes: They are not only time consuming but quite stressful if you aren’t confident in your abilities. Even using tax preparation software can take a fair bit of time. Using an accountant saves valuable time and also provides some peace of mind.
3. Shopping: Everything from groceries to Christmas, having someone shop for you saves a great deal of time. There are many online tools to create shopping lists, fill them out and delegate the job.
2. Esthetics: Manicures, pedicures, waxing, hair cuts – professionals tend to be quicker and provide quality results.
1. Housework: No surprise this is #1 on my list! Far too often I see households where the full time working mom also does the majority of the housework. All family members need to participate. Remember, your kids need to leave home one day and actually manage their own home, give them some practice. When feasible, it’s also great to hire someone to come in as often as possible to clean so a busy family can focus on daily maintenance.
Not all of these are important for all people, but everyone has something they could use some help with. Sometimes the biggest challenge is admitting there is a need and asking for help. Once you do, your over-burdened schedule will thank you.