“There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
We’ve all said it and of course it rings true to every working parent, stay at home parent, business owner, and entrepreneur.
Imagine how much more you could get done if your day was, say 30 hours long instead of 24? Now that would be amazing. But what about even just 25 hours or 24.5 hours? I can think of a million things I’d do with that extra time every day. I’d spending it reading with my daughter, writing another blog post, talking to my husband about the next date night we have planned, or helping a new coaching client.
Guess what? I’ve found a way to get an extra half hour added to my day and I’d like to share with you my strategies on how you can do it, too.
Yesterday was a fantastic day. Why, you ask? Because the woman who cleans my house came. My husband and I both agree that it’s one of the best days of the month. We both put away as much “stuff” as we can the day before and then for the next week or so the house looks immaculate (minus all the toys and baby items that are strewn across the floor in any given room of the house).
Having the house cleaned and mostly organized gives me a sense of not only calmness and pleasure but of productivity, too. Even though I wasn’t the one who actually did the cleaning, I am still able to be more productive in a house that is cleared of clutter, dust, and fingerprints on windows. Especially since I primarily work from home.
Here is my formula for what you can do to outsource that housework that you may dread doing but that so desperately needs to be done on a regular basis:
1. Cleaning the house
This includes dusting, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, and other household chores that you don’t do every day but need to do semi-regularly.
I have my house professionally cleaned twice per month and it typically takes her 4 hours to complete.
4 hours x 2 times per week = 8 hours per month
2. Grocery shopping
I don’t know about you but going to the grocery store is one of my least favorite activities to do. It’s always crowded so I’m of the ‘get in get out’ mentality…but I see so many people just strolling around slowly like they have nowhere else to be.
Plus, add a toddler in the mix while being pregnant and it’s just that much harder to get the shopping done.
I use Peapod to have groceries delivered to my house once a month and it’s amazing. They are an online grocer partnered with local grocery stores across the US to deliver groceries to anyone within their distance range. I simply log on to their site, add whatever I want to my cart, and set a time for delivery. This is great for those big food orders that take up a lot of your time (which I why I use them once a month or so). Plus, they are constantly promoting deals and coupons to get you money off your order and you can also use manufacturer’s coupons to save even more.
I used to spend an hour every week at the grocery (and sometimes even more).
1 hour x 4 times per week = 4 hours per month
3. Yardwork & Landscaping
I’ve never been a big fan of cutting the grass or pulling weeds or shoveling snow. Who is, really? Well the people who run companies that do this for the living, that’s who!
One of the smartest things my husband and I did was to hire an incredible lawn maintenance and landscaping company after we moved into our house. Especially after I had a baby, that service became invaluable. Plus, we both would rather spend that time with our new baby and each other instead of doing the yardwork that is necessary to maintain the property.
We’re on a corner lot, with a pretty large backyard, so this is easily a task that takes an hour every week that we now don’t have to do ourselves.
1 hour x 4 times per week = 4 hours per month
This is a grand total of 16 hours per month that I’ve outsourced to other people. I don’t enjoy any of those 3 tasks and I now have that time back to do with what I please.
I’ve also heard of people who hire errand services to do things like; take their pets to the vet, wait for the cable company, plumber, or electrician to come, drive the kids to and from school or lessons, and much more.
Paloma Lisa McGregor discusses outsourcing your chores on her site, WorkingMother.com. When it comes to hiring out errands she advises, “When posting Help Wanted ads, don’t mention money. People will often do a chore for less than you’d think. And if an errand doesn’t require a pro, you can hire a student at a discount rate.”
I personally don’t use any errand running services, but I’m curious if others have any recommendations for our readers to help them save some more time in their day?
Hiring out your housework does cost money. Most things do these days. But that’s why you work hard at doing what you love. Whether you’re on the path to working from home, just started your side business, or you already have a successful business, you deserve to spend your money on things that will make your life easier. You deserve to have the flexibility to choose what you want to do or not do with your time.
Farnoosh Torabi at DailyWorth.com breaks down a good rule for spending your money on hiring other people to do your household tasks for you.
“Take your annual income, subtract the last 3 zeros and divide by 2. That’s your personal hourly rate (give or take). So, if you earn $60,000 a year, that’s $30 per hour. If it costs you less than $30 an hour to outsource a task, then it may well be advantageous.”
That formula makes it pretty easy to decide whether the price is worth it for the service you’d be paying for.
A parents, we will never have complete control over our time. Kids are the biggest and best responsibility in our lives. We chose to have our children and so we’ve already chosen to devote as much time as we can to them. This is why we do what we do. This is why we work but also why we look for ways to not do things in order to spend more time with them.
Money is precious but time is priceless. Spend it how you want and start eliminating some of those things in your life that don’t bring you joy.