Whether you’re hustlin’ hard as a virtual assistant or remote worker, taking care of family, or furthering your education by taking online courses, I’m sure you can agree that it takes A LOT of energy to stay on top of everything!
It would help if you had both the physical energy and the mental capacity to keep up.
Let’s be honest, though – trying to multitask while you work from home can be challenging.
Some days, you’re good! And other days are filled with distractions, lack of motivation, and so much OVERWHELM that you’re left wondering if you’re the only one struggling to manage all the things.
I’ve been there and STILL go through this, even after working online successfully for over 7+ years.
So, what can you do? Outsource, baby!
What is outsourcing, and can I afford this?
Outsourcing is when you hire outside help for your business and/or home life – the (not so) secret to alleviating any stress.
You can outsource for both your business and your personal life.
For business, you can hire your own VA to help with tasks like keeping track of emails, your schedule, client tasks, etc.
But what many people don’t realize (and is the main topic of this blog) is that they can also outsource household chores – laundry, cooking, or anything you need help with.
If you’re like, “This sounds expensive. How can I afford this if I’m trying to build my VA career and pay the bills?”
It’s always best to check your finances first. And if you’re not where you want to be financially yet, that’s okay too.
The purpose of this blog is to let you know that outsourcing household duties are an option that many people don’t even consider! Instead, people say things like, “Oh, must be nice.” or “I could never afford this.” And that’s just not the case.
Look at your budget and determine what you can or cannot afford and what goals you can set for yourself to hire help now or in the future.
Let’s say you’re working at your full-time job, and VA work is your side hustle. You’re making an extra $400/week with client work.
One thing you could do is use some of that extra income to pay someone $15/hour to help with household chores.
It doesn’t have to be 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. You can hire a family assistant to come to your home 2 days/week for 5 hours each day, and that alone gives you 10 hours/week BACK!
That’s 10 EXTRA hours to do what you need to do, spend more time with your family, or work on the specific areas of your business that you want to work on.
How can you start outsourcing in your home life?
Outsourcing has been an absolute game-changer for me, and it can be for you too. I know the concept can sound unfamiliar at first, so I will show you EXACTLY how to outsource in this post. We’ll be covering these topics:
- Decide what to outsource
- Find who to outsource to
- Determine what the going pay rate is
- Create systems and communication processes
- Decide What to Outsource
First, you want to start taking inventory of all the tasks that need to be taken care of. This is important as you’ll have an idea of the kinds of tasks you want to outsource.
Write a list of what you do to manage the house, your kids, and maintain your home. You can include things like pet care, lawn care, and doing the dishes. Be specific in writing this list, and break it down in detail as much as possible.
Grab a pen and paper or use a time tracker like Toggl to see where your time is going. You may be surprised to find that you’re spending way too much time on a specific task and discover that this may be something you could outsource.
Tracking your time also gives you some perspective on tasks that can be prioritized, what matters more, brings you joy and what doesn’t.
Here are 3 steps to help you find exactly who you’re looking for:
Step 1 – Find Who to Outsource To
Now that you have created your list of tasks you’d like to outsource, it’s time to find exactly who to outsource to.
When it comes to hiring a family assistant, I recommend Care.com.
Note – this is only available in the US, but check to see what’s available in your country.
You can also use other job posting sites like Indeed or Craigslist, and even Facebook to advertise.
My family’s personal experience with Care.com has been great as they do background checks on their employees. We find that the quality of applicants is higher, which is essential to consider because this person will be at your home and near the kids. So, you want only reliable and vetted people.
Just remember that wherever you post the job, make sure the applicant lives close by.
Step 2 – Determine What the Going Pay Rate Is
The next piece of outsourcing is figuring out the pay rate for family assistants. This part will be different for everybody as it depends on where you live, your budget, etc.
Also, you need to know that there is a difference between a minimum wage and a living wage.
Determining the pay rate solely off of minimum wage in your area is not ideal. In reality, no one can really make a living off that amount. So you want to look up the living wage. Then, add between $3 to $5 to that amount.
For example, I live in Asheville, NC. The living wage is $16.
$16 + $3 or $5 = $19 or $21 USD
Now, if you’re wondering, “Why not hire at minimum wage, Esther?”
Here’s why – You can get lucky and find someone happy to help at minimum wage, but most people who take on a job at minimum wage will eventually leave.
It’s not enough for someone to stick around and want to keep working with you and investing in your family because you’re not investing in them.
You want to invest in people because they’re taking care of you and your family, so you want to take care of them.
As a result, they’ll want to keep working with you. When we lived in Bali, this is how we paid our family assistant (who we LOVED). She ended up staying with us the whole time we lived there.
Step 3 – Create Systems and Communication Processes
Lastly, you need to have systems and communication processes to make the transition easier for your family and your new family assistant.
We use Asana with our family assistant. It’s a fantastic program management tool that allows me to keep everything in one place. I can make notes of the things our family needs help with that week and communicate there if necessary.
Another great way to communicate with someone you’d outsource to is by video training. If you’re going to be out of town or want to show your new hire something specific because you can’t show them in person, you can film a quick tutorial and add the link to an Asana task so they know exactly what needs to be done.
Providing a video on how to do something clears up any confusion your new hire might have.
Some other great ways to communicate with your family assistant are through text messaging, Zoom, or even Slack.
Zoom is an excellent tool for occasional check-ins if you never see your family assistant in person for whatever reason. You can easily schedule a call or meeting and can discuss any updates and changes.
Avoid email at all costs! It’s too easy for messages to get lost.
Keep in mind that working with a family assistant is no different from working with your clients.
Now that you know how to outsource, you can prioritize your time on what matters to you the most – whether it’s growing your VA business or enjoying quality time with your family.
It’s okay to feel like you can’t do it all. Give yourself permission to NOT have to do ALL the things.
Outsourcing is the #1 (if not the BEST) thing you can do for yourself to get back some extra time to focus on the things you want to focus on.
And if you’ve made it to the end of this post, wondering how you can become a virtual assistant and live life on your terms, check out my FREE Masterclass here.
Click the button below to get started. I can’t wait to catch you inside!