We share a lot about business support systems because I’m a firm believer in getting help to grow your business to avoid burnout and frustration. But what about all the time we don’t spend working – can we infuse some support elsewhere in our lives? Absolutely – here are 4 simple ways to get support to make your life run easier!
This is by no means an exhaustive list but grab a pen and jot down ideas for yourself and, if you need help hiring, check out the 5 Days to Finding Fabulous Help video series.
1. Cleaning & Organizing – If you’re like most entrepreneurs everything else can fall away when you’re focused on work, including housework! Whether you prefer to keep your house clean so you can work without distraction or use your space for entertaining, getting some help with cleaning can be amazing!
If the thought of someone else making beds and doing dishes fills you with dread, remember that in your business it’s recommended that you pass off the chores other people can do so you can focus on your brilliance. Clothes need to be washed, does it really have to be you that does it?
If you have a home office you may also find yourself disorganized when it comes to paperwork, resources and electronics. A professional organizer can help you assess your space, get the tools you need and create some custom systems that work for your office. Investing in the space you work from can increase your productivity and keep you focused on work instead of the stack of books you meant to ebay.
You’re not exempt if you live in an apartment, often times the smaller square footage means a lower cost and can help ensure you get your security deposit back.
2. Shopping & Errands – Personally there are few things more frustrating than grocery shopping, especially since it has to be done every single week! Here, a combination of software and support can save you time and energy. Shop around for a service you like and put your most purchased on autopilot – such as Amazon Checkout which allows you to subscribe to getting toilet paper delivered every 5 weeks.
For local errands, having a trustworthy assistant in town is invaluable. Whether it’s dropping off library books, picking up coffee from your favorite local cafe or getting mail from the PO Box, not having to leave your office in the middle of the work day can really boost productivity.
And make the most of your local support by finding or training someone to help you by preparing meals or simply prepping the ingredients for you. How many times have you torn yourself away from the computer only to be exhausted at the idea of making yourself dinner from scratch? Instead of heading straight for the TV dinner route, have meals ready to go so you’re not wasting food and making the most of your time.
3. Maintenance & Repairs – entrepreneurship seems to fill up 100% of our attention and most of our days as well. But many times we need reminders and time to stay on top of regular maintenance and repairs. If you have a vehicle that needs tire rotation, oil changes and tune ups look into hiring an auto shop that does full service pickup or look for a local assistant who you can trust to take it in for you. Home repairs are similar, cleaning gutters, installing new appliances and fixing leaky faucets should probably be left to professionals. If you enjoy these tasks try to contain them to the weekend so you make the most of your work week.
Now if you live in a major city, use a zipcar or public transit and rent your apartment you’re not off the hook yet! Consider having someone get your favorite shoes repaired when the soles wear out or upgrade your computer when it begins to falter. While a house or car may be the most valued assets, they’re by no means the only ones that need service.
4. Childcare – I saved this one for last because I am not a parent but draw on my experience as a nanny to six kids. However you balance child care and work is for your family to decide but there are a few ways you can consider getting extra support. Carpooling can be shared with another family or one family can pay for gas while the other always drives. For school aged children you might have an older student serve as a tutor, ensuring homework is complete and accurate while being another set of eyes after school is out.
It’s possible you’d never consider asking someone else to take your child to the doctor or orthodontist, to picking up school supplies or getting a haircut. But each of these tasks has planning steps which can be outsourced, such as securing appointments, reviewing advertisements for deals and comparing them to a school provided supplies list, etc.
The idea has never been to outsource your life and relegate your family to an assistant. But the more you’re able to delegate the tasks that don’t need your attention, the more time you can spend and enjoy on field trips, eating healthy meals, driving a well maintained car or relaxing in a clean home. As you become relaxed and appreciate the support you have to run your business you’ll see your company grow and flourish with the new attention its received.