"Household work expands to fill the available space, particularly if you subscribe to the belief, even unconsciously, that busying yourself around the house is just what a good household manager does," Vanderkam writes in her book.
"I own a few small businesses and I'm also a mom of three and a wife, so I depend on finding ways that allow me to achieve work-life balance," Aisha Martin says. She suggests Handy.com, which offers home-cleaning and handyman services.
In New York, a three-hour cleaning would run you around $80, though there are plenty of coupon codes to bring the price down a bit.
"Most entrepreneurs and small-business owners believe all spending — and saving — is the same," says Alex Charfen, cofounder and CEO of the consulting firm CHARFEN. "It's the way we were raised: Be conservative with your money, and save for rainy days. However, money is truly the only way to buy time, effort, energy, or focus — the currencies we use to invest in our success."
That's why Charfen recommends using a local laundry service that offers pick-up and delivery. He says the time-saving service often comes at no additional cost.
The app FlyCleaners offers on-demand pickup and delivery laundry and dry-cleaning service at no additional charge on orders of more than $30. It even offers an overnight wash-and-fold laundry service on orders picked up before 11 p.m. to be delivered after 7 a.m. the next day.
Katie Fang, founder and CEO of SchooLinks, uses InstaCart for her grocery needs.
"Shopping for groceries can be time-consuming," she says. "Driving to a local market, shopping for groceries, and driving back can take upwards of 30 minutes, which can be better spent on work."
Delivery fees vary by amount of groceries (the more your spend on groceries, the less you spend on a delivery fee) and range from $4 for two-hour delivery of orders over $35 to $10 for one-hour delivery of orders under $35. Similar services include Peapod and FreshDirect.
For one-off items you need but don't want to waste time picking up at the store, Vanderkam recommends Amazon Prime. Shipping takes two days, and membership costs $99 a year, but she says it's worth it for all the time you save simply by hitting "order" on all those birthday presents and random items you want.
Let someone else cook your dinner and deliver it to you.
Companies like GrubHub and Seamless are staples in the on-demand food-delivery arena, while startups like Postmates are quickly picking up steam.
Unlike meal-delivery services like GrubHub, Postmates approaches food delivery as a third-party service-provider, which means you can order just about anything from just about anywhere the service operates. If your favorite local burger joint doesn't deliver, no worries. Postmates can pick up and deliver that double quarter pounder for you.
Delivery fees start at $5 and are determined by the distance from pickup to dropoff and the capacity of the platform. A 9% service fee is also applied to the purchase price of your order.
These apps give you a real-time, complete look into all of your finances, from bank accounts and credit cards to student loans and your 401(k), and they automatically let you know how much you should be spending.
Care.com doesn't just make it easier to care for your kids; the caregiver connection site also helps pet owners find people or companies in the business of dog-walking, pet-sitting, boarding, grooming, and training.
According to the site, the average rate for pet care is $11.50 an hour.
Christian Sculthorp, CEO at Healthy.co.id, recommends the freelance marketplace company Upwork (formerly oDesk) for finding all kinds of virtual help. He uses the site for data entry, small website updates, content writing, translation, and bookkeeping, among other things.
"The best thing about Upwork is that I can hire them on an hourly basis and then just message freelancers with jobs as I have them," he says. "Upwork then tracks their work and sends me back screenshots of them doing the work. This keeps everything low cost and efficient."
Rates vary based on freelancers' skills, experience, feedback, and work history.
Violette de Ayala, founder and CEO of Femfessionals, used Elance (now part of Upwork) to find her bookkeeper, marketing associate, social-media team, designers, and IT team.
"It is always best to hire an expert in certain fields and leave those roles to them," she says. "This allows me to continuously focus on the growth of our company and take the steps necessary to achieve our business goals."
Fiverr allows virtual assistants to offer various freelance services for $5 a pop, and other popular freelance services include Zirtual, Toptal, Freelancer, and Guru.
You could also go the old-fashioned route and outsource work on Craigslist.
Lysa Miller, CEO of Ladybugz Interactive Agency, says her company doesn't outsource anything that requires personal interaction. Apart from that, she recommends outsourcing virtually anything that will allow you to grow your business.
"This past year I realized I was spending a ton of time managing employee tasks, checking in, and checking on work, and it was taking time away from me growing my clients and my business," Miller says. "I had tried a few programs that I was not pleased with, but a colleague recommended Asana to me, and it has helped me cut my project-management time in half, keep my employees on task, and increased their productivity by almost double. It also alleviated the stress of worrying if everything is done."
The project-management app runs from $21 a month for five team members to $834 a month for 100 team members. Other popular apps include Trello and Smartsheet.
Caroline Szymeczek of Integrated Learning Innovations Inc. eliminates unsightly clutter by sending her pile of receipts, invoices, and miscellaneous items to be scanned and archived in a searchable way by Shoeboxed.
"My small business is truly small, which means that I am president but also am doing the bookkeeping, marketing, advertising, and of course, working with my clients," she says. "I desperately need to outsource everything that I possibly can, but I refuse to spend time or money on solutions that create more work for me … and Shoeboxed meets those criteria perfectly."
Plans start at $0 a month and go up to $83 a month.
For social-media management, Ladybugz's Miller uses Hootesuite.com to automate posting on social media. Miller says she loves that she can still create and personalize the content while saving time that would be spent logging into social-media accounts throughout the day.
Small businesses normally pay around $9.99 a month for the service.
You could spend $27 per square foot to $140 per square foot to rent office space in New York City, and that's not including paying for utilities and incrementals.
To avoid paying more for office maintenance than you'd like, Benjamin Koren, founder and CEO of Frameology, suggests opting for a coworking space as he does. Koren runs his New York-based company out of the coworking space WeWork, which he refers to as "Zipcar for office space."
"They take care of all of the cleaning, maintenance, and security of our office," he says. "They also provide things like coffee and water, which are included in the cost of the rent. Rent at WeWork is expensive given the space you get. But all of these services allow our small and growing team to focus on the higher-value-add core business activities."
On-demand workspace starts at $45 a month, while customized and dedicated spaces start at $450 a month.