“Outsourcing” can sound like a dirty word, conjuring images of people losing their jobs to cheaper, out-of-sight alternatives. But in our day-to-day lives, outsourcing is a damn near necessity. Without it, we wouldn’t have time to do any of the things that make our lives worthwhile (like reading stimulating Supercompressor articles, for instance!).
Thanks to the interminable reaches of the Internet, the menial tasks that pollute our lives can now be outsourced with unprecedented ease, thus giving you the freedom to spend more time with friends and family. Or binge-watch all eight seasons of Home Improvement in one sitting. There is no wrong answer.
Mowing your lawn
Unless you're Hank Hill or Woody Harrelson, you probably wouldn't mind someone else moving your lawn—and might even prefer it. TaskEasy is a quick and easy way to find local landscapers to do your dirty work. They'll even hang your holiday lights for you, so you can focus on the true meaning of Christmas: eggnog and eggnog-centric baked goods.
Writing and proofreading
If you haven't been on Fiverr yet, stop what you are doing, and get there. Actually no, finish reading this article, please...then go to Fiverr. One of the most useful things you can get done (with most pricing starting at $5) is have a (semi) professional write, edit, or simply proofread any piece of content you'd wish, from homework assignments, to articles for your job writing for Supercompressor. I think I've said too much. Please disregard.
Shopping for groceries
Who: FreshDirect, Plated, Netgrocer
As far as hellish experiences in modern America go, shopping for groceries ranks slightly behind Furry conventions. Thankfully, sites like FreshDirect (limited to the NYC-area, so far) and Netgrocer make getting your produce as easy as a few clicks. For the extremely lazy, there's Plated, a site that will send you all the ingredients for a meal, along with recipe instructions, all for around $10 a plate.
For the incredibly lethargic humans who want to neither shop for food, nor prepare it themselves, there are services that actually bring a professional cook to your pad and prepare first-class meals right in front of your eyes. Kind of like a Hibachi restaurant, except these chefs will only throw shrimp at your face if you ask nicely.
Who: Trunk Club, Five Four Club
Sites like our pals over at Jackthreads.com specialize in providing guys with everything they need to look dapper as hell. But if you don't have the wherewithal to do your own shopping, services like Trunk Club and Five Four Club will send you packages every month, filled with complete outfits, based on your own personal tastes. The only thing they don't do is actually put the clothes on your body. Which, admittedly, would be kind of weird.
Finding a date
Who: Vida Consulting
If your thumb is raw from swiping right so frequently, and your vocal chords are blown from dozens of failed icebreakers at your local discotheque, let the professional matchmakers at Vida Consulting hook you up with the woman of your dreams. It's basically your best chance to meet a woman this side of buying 12 adorable puppies and training them to sniff out Nutella and Uggs.
Browsing the web for stuff you like
Who: Feedly, NewsBlur
The Internet can be an amazing place. It's filled with things like crowd-sourced charity projects, and myriad websites chock-full of baby elephant gifs. On the other hand, it's also littered with crap like "Vine stars," and the Insane Clown Posse. Here to help you sift through the sludge are sites like Newsblur and Feedly: customized newsfeeds that aggregate the content you actually want to read. And unlike your Facebook newsfeed, there are no awkward political rants, or even more awkward grandparents asking you what "fleek" means (I seriously don't know, Nana).
If you're like me, you FedEx your mom all your dirty laundry, then ask her politely to drive it back to you. If you aren't like me, you probably still hate doing laundry all the same. Great news! OneClickCleaners is like a de-facto mom (that you have to pay). They'll set you up with a local laundry service, and all you have to do is sit back and bask in your new freshness.
Seeing a therapist
Who: Breakthrough, 7CupsOfTea
If you need somewhere to vent and reap the benefits of a trained therapist, but absolutely despise laying on couches, there's a happy solution. Discuss all your issues in the safe confines of the web, on sites like Breakthrough, who connect you with professional therapists, or 7CupsOfTea, who link you with trained volunteers. Find the root of your problems, and finally get some closure on that last season of Fraiser.
Cleaning your place
Who: Molly Maid
Molly Maid sounds like an MDMA-infused cleaning festival, but it is in fact a nationwide service that will get a cleaning crew right to your house in no time. They won't be naked, but they will make your pad shine like a cubic zirconium, or something else that's really shiny.
Having a personal assistant
Who: Fancy Hands
"Running errands" online can be just as time-consuming as doing them in the flesh, which is where FancyHands comes in. Don't be dissuaded by the off-putting name. The site will set you up with an online assistant that can do everything from planning your travel itinerary, to calling your cable provider, to gathering peanut-free recipes for your kid's birthday party. What a wondrous time to be alive and organizing children's birthday parties.
I don't have kids, but I do plan on spreading the fruit of my loins one day, and when that day comes, I plan to do as little work as possible—it's the American way. Websites like Sittercity will provide you with a referenced sitter in your local area, so you can go about your life without that screaming, poopin', burden of joy rolling around, ruining everything.
Setting your alarm
Who: WakeUpDialer, Wakie
Waking up to face the day is hard enough without worrying about setting your alarm, hearing your alarm, or actually buying an alarm clock in the first place. With WakeUpDialer, you'll get a free wake-up call every morning (voiced by Stephen Fry, no less!). Another service dubbed Wakie is an ingenious new iPhone app, where a complete stranger from somewhere around the world will volunteer to give you a call in the AM. Personally, nothing gets me going in the morning more than some Russian dude asking me what I'm going to have for breakfast.
Walking the dog
The aptly named DogWalker.com hooks you up with a local willing to walk your pooch for a few shekels. They'll even pick up little Fido's poop for you. Just don't ask them to pick up your poop, too. They really don't like that. Trust me.
Running all your errands
One of the best parts of life is sitting around, watching other people do stuff that you're supposed to be doing. It's what this list is all about. And nothing represents this sentiment more than TaskRabbit, who will send a guy/gal over to your place (or wherever) to run your errands, do small stuff around your place, or...basically whatever you want (but no weird stuff, okay?).
Getting your essentials
Manpacks.com sounds a risky click, but I assure you, it has nothing to do with anyone's junk. It's basically Trunkclub for socks, condoms, razors, underwear, and everything else you desperately need, but don't want to shop for. And it can all be delivered right to your house.
A lovely birthday present for your friends
Who: Fiverr (again)
Get your friends the gift they never even knew they needed so badly.
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