Outsource Your Life Balance?

Some recent promotional copy that suggested we outsource our time got me to thinking.  To me outsourcing means obtaining goods or services from an outside party to cut costs rather than doing them by one’s self.  I have to argue, however, that life balance requires in-sourcing.  Meaning only you can be trusted with such a critical assignment.  You are the only one that has a vested interest in your own life balance.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago back about personal concierge services and how some have billed themselves as an answer to work-life balance. They’re pitching busy people – business owners, executives, working parents, and stay-at-home mothers – on their services.

Their premise isn’t difficult to relate to. We’re all struggling to maintain a balance between our work, family time, personal time, and hours spent with friends and in the community.

The latest pitch I read really got me thinking, however. The promotional copy suggested that we outsource our time. Apparently this would suggest farming out tasks or projects to others to make time for what we like to do, instead of what we have to do. In our instant-gratification society, this may make sense, but it may prove detrimental in the long run.The way I understand outsourcing, it simply means obtaining goods or services from an outside party in order to cut costs rather than doing them by one’s self. Given the above definition, one would outsource duties to a personal concierge in order to make time for other things rather than performing tasks themselves. The promise is that this would create life balance.

I would argue, however, that life balance requires in-sourcing. That is, only you can be trusted with such a critical assignment. You are the only one who truly has a vested interest in your own life balance. Only you can handle the important decisions needed to define and create the life and lifestyle you desire to live.

Sure, effective time management can be a part of achieving life balance. But, unless you have substantial resources – monetary ones to pay for a personal assistant and time to manage that assistant – you may simply be treading water, not balancing your life.

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