Originally published on 9 June 2006.
When does it make sense to do things yourself? And when should you pass them on to someone else to do?
I’ve thought a lot about this in the past week. My philosophy is that if I don’t enjoy doing something, or someone can do it better and faster than me, or if it really isn’t fitting into the plans of my larger goals, I pass it on.
The first incidence of this was when a friend of ours stopped by. He’s retired and details cars as a way of keeping busy. He is meticulous and really does a fabulous job. If I tried to detail my car to the level he does, it would probably take me three days. And I don’t particularly enjoy it. He does. Outsourced it is.
The second incident revolves around grocery shopping. While I don’t mind grocery shopping when I have the time, cramming it into my weekend really takes up time that I would rather be spending it with my family. Enter Kay , who takes my grocery lists and delivers our groceries to our door. Yes, it has a cost. But when I consider my time and effort, balanced against the absolute 100% correct job that Kay does (and the fact that she knows our shopping patterns well enough that she catches missing items on my lists), I am willing to let it go. Plus it also means I don’t impulse shop! She does it better than I do. Outsourced it is.
The third incident has to do with this blog. I have been bitten by the decorating bug recently, and last night I decided my blogs needed a new look. I looked at the templates out there, and decided I could make my own. 4 hours later, I didn’t have a great looking one, and I used one of the pre-builts instead. This was probably the hardest of the three to let go, because I enjoy doing this kind of stuff. But the truth of the matter is that there were better uses of my time. So I let go, and chose a great template that only needed slight programming changes. Outsourced it is. (9/8/2007: this applies to the old blog layout)
Outsourcing can really be good when it’s applied appropriately. And I need to realize that other people can and should do things. My time isn’t infinite. I am much better off applying my talents to my interests where my time allows.