Spontaneously, I decided to take a self-care day today and I’m feeling good about it. I was up in the middle of the night for an hour or so, ticking items off my To Do list, stealing a march on the day and so I decided not to get up too early.
Before I knew it, my hairdresser had arrived and she was speedily followed by the man from Ocado delivering the groceries and hot on his heels is the gardening team who are bagging up and disposing of what’s left of winter in my garden.
And, after flooding the kitchen by accidentally leaving the tap running, I was forced to wash all the tea towels used in the mopping up operation and that led seamlessly into my doing the laundry. And before you could say Mrs Mop I had switched into a full-on, unplanned weekday self-care day and do you know what, Gentle Readers? I deserve it; I’m worth it as those L’Oreal gals say.
Some of my clients and colleagues are very good at switching off their home office operation at close of business Friday and not popping up again until Monday morning. My life doesn’t work like that because I use my gadgets for everything, not just work – entertainment, information, communication and so on. So I see the emails come in 24/7/365 (emails are my work) and mostly I reply to them. I like a tidy inbox. You are either responded to, or deleted. You don’t linger round here.
So I allow my work to sprawl across my whole life and mostly I prefer this. It means I can work part-time but all the time, if you see what I mean. As opposed to Monday to Friday full on 9-5 which some might choose, especially those with kids or family commitments or who want separation for work/life balance. Good on you. I’m highly likely to even recommend that to clients with different life circumstances to my own.
My choice means that personal stuff either gets neglected until a day like today arrives or that I need lots of help, so I can keep working whenever I want. And I choose to hire help so I can keep working with my clients and enjoying myself working online with blogging and keeping an eagle eye on my various businesses and investments.
The word is outsourcing. I dislike the word but I love the concept of paying other people to do stuff for me that I don’t want to do (go to the shops) or can’t do (cut hair).
But I take it far beyond that. I do my own bookkeeping, because I was an accountant, but someone else does my tax return. I do lots of things online which I love to do but as soon as I get to something sticky I don’t want to learn, I have a full range of gifted web people to whom I can turn for a variety of their skills. I have someone who provides company secretarial and registered office services to my businesses and makes sure the Annual Return is submitted on time.
I only do what I love or what I take a pride in or enjoy or want to learn or those tasks which need my own personal voice. After that I go looking for someone who is gifted at what they do and affordable. How do I calculate affordable? They charge less by the hour than I could earn in that same hour if I stuck to what I’m good at. Or their price for the task frees me up to make at least the equivalent or stops me pulling out my own hair. Same difference in the end, cost savings can be measured by many different criteria including my emotional wellbeing.
I propose to be outsourcing a lot more this year, including social media marketing. I love contributing to our entrepreneurial economy in this way. I work with people in Europe, the USA and Canada, as well as the UK and that builds my network of talented international virtual pals. We’ve never met but we know each other well; how much fun is that!
What plans do you have for getting people to do things for you and your business in the coming year and how do you see that helping? Is this your first foray into outsourcing in your own small business? What scares you? What entices you? What help do you need? Are you looking forward to mastering the art of delegation so your business can expand and thrive?
And when was the last surprise mid-week self-care day you took? How GREAT does it feel?