Create work life balance with help from others.


Liz Jenkins

kids at summer camp

How is your work-life balance?

Get more organized and create work-life balance by letting others help you.

I never realized how much I was a control freak until I decided to hire. My company, a fresh space, has been growing for a while and now has several employees. And I was doing everything except having any time for myself and my family. Or having coffee with a friend. You know, that whole work-life balance thing.

Sometimes you have to let go.

Following the advice I give my clients, I looked at what I’m really good at, what I want to do with my time, and what really stresses me out. So I hired a bookkeeper and a payroll service. I hired someone to help me with my new website, a new logo and and do technical work on my website. I hired a business attorney to draft new contracts and confidentiality agreements. I even asked a friend to sew the patches on my daughter’s girl scout sash. Those suckers are really hard. Just saying.

You can’t do everything.

And each time I ‘outsourced’, I realized that while every one of these was a terrific move on my part, it was stressful. As in, keep me awake at night stressful. Some stress was the fear of letting go. Some was feeling that if I was really a great business owner, mom, wife, boss, whatever, I should be able to do all of these things with grace and skill. Some was simply wondering if the money was worth it. But you know what, it was.

But you can get help.

It was hard to get everything done because so many of these things were outside of my area of expertise. Not that I couldn’t do them, but there are so many things I do better. Things that I enjoy and things that grow my business. And time was at a premium as I, like so many, struggle to maintain a work/life balance.

Interestingly, so much of what my business does is helping people get things done that are overwhelming, out of their comfort zone or simply just too big of a project to accomplish within their time frame or skill set.

People outsource to me all the time. Why was it so tough to be on the other end?

It’s getting easier.

Each time I get the email from the bookkeeper that my monthly books are all in order, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders.
Each time the payroll is processed and I didn’t have to worry about every detail because that is what they do, and do it well, I relax.
Each time my website gets updated and glitches are fixed, it’s a relief.
And when those patches are sewn on the girl scout sash, that’ll be even better.
Just like when I, and my staff, help people get organized, accomplish tasks that have been weighing on them, help them regain some control in their own lives, it reminds me that it’s ok. And it is good. It’s also making a world of difference in my life.

What can you outsource?

girl walking dogThink about what you can outsource. Maybe it’s sewing a button on a coat. Maybe it’s having the house deep cleaned once in a while. Maybe it’s hiring a neighborhood kid to walk your dog. Maybe it’s hiring a financial planner or a personal chef. Or a Professional Organizer!

Think about what you are good at and be really good at that. Let others help you with the hard parts, and know that it doesn’t change who you are. It only changes how you spend your time and your energy. Nobody is awesome at, or loves to do, everything. Think about those things that get procrastinated, put off or ignored because you just don’t want to do them. I think you’ll find that if you outsource even a few of them, you will become much more productive in the rest of your life.