“Hire the Housekeeper” and Other Bits of Outsourcing Advice

Do you cut your own hair?  ~Julie Bestry, professional organizer


It’s a simple question, but in true Ivy-League-Socratic-Method fashion, my friend and colleague is encouraging her clients to confront a deeper issue:  most people don’t do everything themselves. We rely on the expertise of other people and should open our minds to outsourcing.

The topic of outsourcing has come into my coaching conversations with clients several times in the past month.  I even gave the following homework assignment to a client:


Hire the housekeeper.


My client had been reluctant to engage a housekeeper because she was under the impression that:

  • Her family should be able to manage the housework themselves
  • She should completely declutter the house from top to bottom before hiring the housekeeper
  • She should help get her mother’s house in order first


That’s a whole lotta “shoulds.”


I think we “should” ourselves away from outsourcing far too often.


When should you outsource?

  • You lack expertise – Although you probably could learn the skill yourself, you have other priorities.
  • You are not swimming in time – You may be better off focusing on areas that bring in revenue and leave other tasks to people who could likely do it better than you.
  • You lack resources – You may be missing the hardware, software, or equipment needed to perform the task. Let someone else acquire and learn how to use it.
  • It’s cheaper to outsource – Weigh the outsourcing cost against your hourly rate. If you don’t know your hourly rate, take your salary, add 30% for benefits, and divide the total by 2080 (52 weeks x 40 hours/week).
  • You don’t like the task anyway – If a chore falls into your “life is too short to ____” category, let someone else handle it.


But what if I want to do it anyway?  ~Almost every client with whom I have discussed outsourcing


Use your time wisely. If the task does not take away from higher priority actions AND you enjoy it, then it may be a task to handle on your own.


Need more convincing?  Ask these questions…

  • What else can I outsource?
  • What would be the impact of outsourcing these tasks?
  • What’s holding me back?
  • What are my next steps?


If you have trouble finding good outsourcing options, ask your social media networks for recommendations. Facebook is a wonderful place to ask for recommendations.


If you are a member of a professional association, you’d be surprised what outsourcing resources those can provide. BNI (Business Networking International) or your local Chamber of Commerce is a goldmine of outsourcing options.


There’s no shame in getting help from experts in your community.  Outsourcing not only helps you better manage your time but creates opportunities for others.  It’s a win-win.


Now, hire the housekeeper.


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at getproductive@melissagratias.com or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.

1 Comment

  1. Sarah Westcott

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

    And, when the next objection is “I don’t know if I can afford it” (especially if it’s something I “should/could” do myself), I’m a great resource to help maximize the best use of financial resources – which yes, often include HIRE THE HOUSEKEEPER! (www.sarah-westcott.com)

    Thanks for the great encouragement, Melissa!


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