I often bang on about outsourcing because for me it has been a total game changer. We have 5 kids and with no extended family nearby to ease the load and 3 businesses to run we have been forced to think laterally about how we manage our enourmous work and life load. A few years ago I read The 4 Hour Work Week, which is full of great ideas for outsourcing and freeing up time. After reading it I began experimenting with a lot of the ideas he suggests and a few ideas of my own. From virtual assistants to share commerce here are some of the ways I’m creating the space and energy in my life to do the things I love most and keep on top of overwhelm and exhaustion (most of the time!!).
My new WordPress theme had sat in my website back end for months before I realized that the 4 or 5 days I was hoping to find to focus purely on upgrading my website was never going to come. I used Fiverr to fix up the aspects of my WordPress site that didn’t translate perfectly to my new theme. The much needed upgrade cost me $200 for a website with multiple sign up forms, widgets, video and around 80 total posts and pages. The job was done quicker and better than I would have managed while I got to take my kids on a school holiday beachside getaway.
Get a Cleaner
We have 2 small boys, 3 teenagers and a home office and as a consequence a pretty big house to meet all our needs. That house is a time leacher of massive proportions. And to be honest I bloody hate housekeeping. We have a cleaner weekly. Initially it seemed a bit bourgouis and indulgent but now there’s absolutely no turning back! The whole family pitches in on a big pre clean tidy up and then I go out to work and come back to a sparkling home. As a bonus because we have a home office part of this expense is tax deductible.
Share commerce – Part 1
I live in a popular tourist area so have been able to leverage my own home in exchange for extended travel (3-5weeks at a time) to South East Asia, specifically Bali. Our usual weekly budget can cover babysitting, laundry service, transport, all meals and housekeeping, freeing me up for weeks to create, work and recouperate whilst connecting joyfully with my family and supporting the local Balinese community where we stay. Love it! From house swaps to Airbnb are there ways you can create opportunities to get away and be pampered?
Share commerce – Part 2
Around a year ago friends who had a Japanese demi pair (this is someone who you in exchange for full board helps you out with your kids and home life) convinced me that having their demi-pair’s friend live with us would be a god-send. I reluctantly agreed on a strictly limited time span because I was overwhelmed to the max at the time. Our demi-pair came for a 4 week stay, 3 months later we cried our way to the airport as she continued her travels. 2 months later we recruited another demi pair from Belgium and her friend for my drummer’s family. Now a year later our original Japanese angel-fairy is back. My friends were right. This exchange is a god-send. Our demi pair gets her own room, wifi, transport and meals, comes on family holidays with us and is a welcome part of our family. In exchange she contributes 20 hours a week to our household of help from childcare and housekeeping to yard work and odd jobs. My Belgian demi-pair was so amazing at English she even did some admin for me and is my ongoing VA for certain jobs! As a bonus this has created a fantastic cultural experience for our kids. You can check out places like helpxx for travellers who will contribute all sorts of help in exchange for food and board.
Even if these specific ideas dont work for you hopefully they will give you an idea of what is possible and inspire you to play around with some lateral solutions in your own life. We are creative people, lets use that to our advantage!
What strategies have worked for you to ease your load? Share your tips in the comments!
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