Most people have probably heard the term “Outsource” regarding business. “Outsourcing” is the method of using a third party to perform a task that could be done by employees. Some examples are outsourcing telephone customer service to India, or manufacturing to China. But what about our personal lives? The philosophy of outsourcing has crept into our psych, and how we do it affects our quality of life.
One way to consider how you outsource is to put things into three categories:
1) Things that you cannot outsource.
2) Things that you should not outsource.
3) Things that you should outsource.
The first category, the things that you cannot outsource, include things such as eating, breathing, and creating your own original ideas. Also in this category are drinking, smoking, sleeping, going to the bathroom, following up your doctor’s orders, taking medication, reading to yourself, writing by yourself, meditating, and thinking. You cannot outsource your state, your emotions, your goals, your energy, using any kind of exercise equipment, swimming, giving your own speeches, how you spend your time, what TV programs you watch, or attending a concert. You cannot outsource your personal relationship with God or Christ, or whomever you believe in.
That first category seemed pretty straightforward; although you could argue that you hire someone to read everything for you, as well as write things down for you, and attend your child’s play in your place when you have to travel for work.
The second category, about things that you should not outsource, is more subjective. For example, I feel that you should not outsource how your money is handled; however, many people do outsource this! Some people feel you should not outsource nutritious home cooked meals with fast-food. Others feel you should not outsource raising your own children, whereas for some having a nanny is a necessity. This category is a matter of your personal values.
The important thing is to inspect if you are abiding by your own value system. If you are, you will perceive that you have a high quality of life. If your outsourced shortcuts violate your own values, you will feel you have a lower quality of life.
The third category is for the things that you should outsource if you want to be free to pursue other things. Some examples are cooking, cleaning, fixing things like cars and computers, driving a car, walking a dog, gardening, mowing the lawn, designing your website, fixing the roof, buying anything, taking out the trash, doing laundry, and filing paperwork.
Good things to outsource are ones that give a similar result whether you do it or someone else does. Reasons not to outsource these things are if you can do it better than the average person, or if you want to do the activity, or if you have to meet a need to do it yourself, or if these are items that define who you are or that you enjoy doing.