Matt Gornick

Experiments with local outsourcing and saving 6 hours of my life

Posted in Uncategorized by mgornick on February 5, 2012

“The sole purpose of money is to not do things you don’t want to do” – overheard at ORD Camp 2012

In January, I started an experiment aimed at giving me more time to work on my startup as well as increase my happiness.  I started with locally outsourcing two tasks that could be done asynchronously without me around and would make my life easier.  I weighed the following tasks between how much I wanted them completed and how much time/energy it would cost me to do them.  This made it easy to settle on an acceptable price to have the work done.

1. Apartment Cleaning – Having a dirty apartment reduces my productivity and puts me into a bad mood; however, spending 3-4 hours cleaning is hard to justify when I could be using that time to focus on my startup.
2. Hanging Shelves – I’ve had a series of shelves that are time consuming to hang and thus remained in boxes since I moved in to my apartment in September.  After 5 months of not having these shelves hung, it was time to have them setup, but spending an afternoon hanging them and making them look right was always at the bottom of my list.

As luck would have it, a great Chicago cleaning lady advertised in my apartment and had a very competitive rate to clean my apartment. I called that night had scheduled her for the very next day.  

The stats on ‘Apartment Cleaning’:
Total time spent organizing the task: 10 minutes
Monetary cost: $50
Time saved: 3-4 hours

That same night, I was recommended to TaskRabbit, which is a web board for posting tasks and chores then people will come to your apartment, complete the task, and the payment would happen through the website. I had a referral code so I saved some money off my first task and spent around 15 minutes typing the post for someone to hang my shelves.  Within 10 minutes, someone responded with a great price and then came 2 days later to hang all those shelves, perfectly aligned and level.

The stats on ‘Hanging Shelves’:
Total time spent organizing the task: 15 minutes
Monetary cost: $36
Time saved: 3 hours

I’ll be continuing these experiments to see where I can optimize my time.  Post in the comments if you have any other tasks or work that you outsource to someone or a virtual assistant.

In my post, I used a referral link above for TaskRabbit where you’ll get $10 toward your first task and I’ll also get a $10 credit.  If you don’t want the $10 or to give me $10, you can signup through a non-referral link:

If you live in Chicago and are looking for someone to clean your apartment, I can email you the contact info of the lady I used. She did an great job for a very good price.

Tools and services that I’ll be experimenting with:


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