What would you outsource?

in blog •  16 days ago

I made a to-do list this morning of things that MUST get done tomorrow; it includes going to the grocery and the cleaners and the UPS store, paying the bills, and writing three thank-you notes. Oh and I also have to work. And I may have promised to take my kids to the pool in the afternoon as well.

I have no idea how I'm going to get everything done.

Fortunately, if I were so inclined, I could outsource some of my list; according to an article at CNN.com, more and more Americans are doing just that, hiring virtual personal assistants to book doctor appointments, pay bills, and shop for gifts for them. The price is apparently less than you might expect, particularly when weighed against what you would be earning if you were actually WORKING instead of waiting in line at the toy store to pay for that birthday present or crafting that thank you to Aunt Mary for sending dinner over when you were sick.

I like the idea of outsourcing, and I've done some myself -- I have automated bill pay for regular bills, and the dry cleaners picks up and drops off our laundry each week. I can think of a few more things I would like to turn over to someone else -- the grocery shopping, for example, and the cooking, at least a couple of nights a week. But I wonder about things like gift giving and thank you note writing -- don't we lose something if we hire that out? And what does that teach our kids about being gracious and polite?

For most parents, outsourcing errands is less about being able to work more and more about having that time with the family. Have you outsourced anything recently? What do you wish you could turn over to someone else? And what would you do with the time that not dealing with the UPS store or the grocery would free up?

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