There’s a growing desire to de-clutter our lives and streamline everything we have to manage.  For some, this is as simple as cutting back on phone apps, but how do you do this at work?

The simplest way is to outsource time-eating tasks to specialists.

If you’re not sure what you can outsource, start by determining how much your time is worth.  For many, this is just how much they get paid, but there are exceptions.

With administrators, it’s more about the tasks left behind than pay scale because lost time hurts the entire office.  You’re better off using office hours to organize projects, lead your staff, and handle inevitable day-to-day paperwork.  These essential tasks are far more valuable than just your pay, and you’ll have more energy to use on them when outsourcing unnecessary work.

Once you have a sense of your value, take a look at time spent on easily outsourced tasks.  When you actually chart your time over a long period, it adds up faster than you’d think.  Something simple like picking up around the office yourself may only eat an hour or two per week, but that adds up to a full day each month.  Hiring in-house crews for these tasks in larger offices can also hurt more than help.  In-house management comes with extra tasks like handling the pay, benefits, required insurance, and proper chemical storage.  These headaches can easily burn a day every week or two if you’re not used to managing them, which is why it’s usually simpler to outsource.

Once you’ve done all this, balance the value of your lost time with the cost of outsourcing.  A general idea of each side will do- you don’t need an exact total.  If your opportunity cost is higher than possible outsourcing costs, it’s time.  Hand those tasks off to people who do them for a living and don’t look back.  You and your entire (freshly cleaned) office will be thankful for it.

-Ryan Derenbecker