How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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unclescrooge
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:33 am

getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:45 pm
Spouse and I both work full-time, but he works from home, and I have a very flexible schedule. Typical days around here run from about 6am-4pm, with plenty of evening time/weekends for hanging with the kids and chores.

Right now we outsource nothing. I've considered a house cleaner, but with two young kids I feel like I'd just wind up cleaning up toys in preparation for the house cleaner's arrival. If we worked more traditional schedules with long commutes, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
We have two kids 2 and 4. I work from home while my wife works 50 hrs a week.
The cleaners come every week. Thinking about adding laundry service to that too.

2015
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by 2015 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:17 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:50 pm
2015 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:00 pm
I read years ago never do any work that pays an hourly salary less than your own (this assumes you divert time saved to high value work, such as tasks devoted to progressing in career). If I were still working and still on the leadership track I would probably outsource everything. It's a personal deal I have with myself because there is much value in distinguishing between low value and high value work.

Even in retirement, I view laundry as low value work. Laundry, housecleaning, shopping, anything to do with meals (including eating itself) I consider to be low value work and so I have converted these tasks into habits, routines, and rituals (hat tip, Cal Newport) in order to minimize psychological/emotional energy spent on them. When I am engaging in these tasks my mental energy is diverted to some personal project related to my Wildly Important Idea (Cal Newport again) of making retirement the most financially, materially, psychologically, and emotionally rewarding time of life.
I enjoy doing low valu jobs like clothes washing. Love it when I can pipeline laundry from sorting, washing, storing clothes and then do something else during free time in the cycles. If I time things right I can also be using the dishwasher.
When I reserve focus for high value activities the benefit is extraordinary. In the past 13 months this strict preservation of attention and energy has led to some of the best accomplishments of my life, all investments in the quality of life. None of it comes without cost, as exercising discipline in thinking does not come naturally to humans. OTOH, I see no reason to stop investing in this shockingly short life in an attempt to make it as extraordinary as personally possible just because one retires or ages.

Have to say though there's nothing like the smell of fresh clean sheets when they're coming out of the washer!

danaht
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by danaht » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:50 pm

Senior Java developer-

I commute to work Monday through Friday and work 6:30 AM to 3:30 PM with a mandatory hour lunch break within that time period (40 hours of work)
It also takes me 1 hour and 45 minutes to commute every day.

40 hours of work
5 hours of mandatory lunch break
8.75 hours of driving

total time taken per week = 53.75 hours
I don't outsource anything right now. I am doing all my cleaning, mowing, oil changes, and repairing at the moment. I want to save as much as I can now - so that I can retire in 10 years.

note: I consider myself lucky because I realize a lot of other developers work 60 to 80 hour weeks excluding the commute and lunch.
I also plan to do this for another 10 years - and then retire in my 50s. I should be able to live on dividends alone in my taxable account by that time. Hopefully I am able to keep my current job at one of the most worker friendly mega-corps for that time period :)

LawyersGunsAndMoney
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:30 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:01 am
Why are you senior leaders working so much? Don’t you have teams of people to do the work? Your job should be to make decisions, not to do the work.
In the heirarchical org structure most companies use, people get promoted to their level of incompetence.

When you excel in a role, you get promoted to another, where the skills that earned you the promotion are no longer the skills you need to suceed in the new role.

Longest hours I've ever worked was the year after I was promoted to "senior leadership" but before I figured things out.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by stoptothink » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:53 pm

2015 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:00 pm
I read years ago never do any work that pays an hourly salary less than your own (this assumes you divert time saved to high value work, such as tasks devoted to progressing in career). If I were still working and still on the leadership track I would probably outsource everything. It's a personal deal I have with myself because there is much value in distinguishing between low value and high value work.

Even in retirement, I view laundry as low value work. Laundry, housecleaning, shopping, anything to do with meals (including eating itself) I consider to be low value work and so I have converted these tasks into habits, routines, and rituals (hat tip, Cal Newport) in order to minimize psychological/emotional energy spent on them. When I am engaging in these tasks my mental energy is diverted to some personal project related to my Wildly Important Idea (Cal Newport again) of making retirement the most financially, materially, psychologically, and emotionally rewarding time of life.
Once you start making remotely decent money, this doesn't really make any sense. If we followed this, my wife and I both would outsource everything but our jobs. Totally agree on the 2nd paragraph, we (more I, I am fanatical about creating habits, systems, regimens for everything - it's a common characteristic of those with Asperger's) have pretty much everything automated. Our crazy busy lives wouldn't be possible without it. I spent a lot of effort figuring out the most time and cost-efficient ways to cook, grocery shop, clean, laundry, maintain a clean home, etc. when I was single and now it just kind of happens without us ever thinking about it. This same fanaticism makes it difficult for me to trust others (except my wife) with even the simplest task regarding my home, family, etc.

Hug401k
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Hug401k » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:36 pm

I'm going to assume your husband is working too? Otherwise, he's the answer. I work about 35-40 hours a week from home and travel every other month, husband leaves at 7am, returns at 6:30 pm. Travels often. Often works in the evening after kids go to bed. Two kids in some sort of sport or activity year round, so someone has got to be somewhere many nights of the week. 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 old house. We rarely eat out.

Outsourcing: Right now, I have someone come clean every other week. She does sheets. I have many things delivered monthly from Amazon on subscribe and save. (cat food, dog food, coffee, TP, batteries, paper towels, toothpaste, etc). I tend to cook in bulk and reheat throughout the week. I usually try to make a big pot of soup or chili on Sunday to eat on Monday night and multiple times for lunches. We have a lawn service my husband talks about getting rid of but I encourage him not to. They also do fall clean up and plowing. To our own demise, we both like to garden so we have a lot of flowers and garden beds we spend time on ourselves, so we spend a lot of hours on the yard. We used Hello Fresh delivery (Black Friday special) for the month of December so I could survive the month. Its not a huge time saver for me, so I cancel when the special is over. I use Plan to Eat online for menu planning. I buy that subscription on black Friday for $20 year.

Without a doubt, laundry is my arch rival and I cannot seem to finish it. I've been contemplating having someone come in a few hours every other week for that as well. The kids help out with their own stuff, but they need to be here to do it. I always have an account for grocery delivery or pick up if needed, but we live close to a grocery store so we run out often. Typically, I keep a grocery list with everything we buy on it, and highlight things we need. I maintain it online and print off as needed. I have in organized by department in order in the store. I used Instacart for the first time the other day at BJs (like Costco) and it was great. When my kids were little, I used to grocery shop during lunch hour (in winter only). Lunches aren't really done in my organization. My bills are on autopay. My savings is auto saved. My investing is auto invested.

I have a friend who was raised in an upper class family in India who lives in the US and works full time. She hired a woman to come in and "be in charge" She said "you decide what to do, when to do it and what needs to be done. This is your house to manage. You just tell me what needs to be bought" I think this is cultural, but my mind was a bit blown and I've been thinking about this a lot. The lightbulb has literally gone off in my head. I had never considered this option because its never existed in my life. I use a lot of mental capacity worrying "Do we have this, do we have that" Is this clean? etc etc" I've been mulling over trying the same thing. She still only comes in 2 days a week.

You may want to branch out from Bogleheads. I see a few too many comments that say "I don't trust anyone but my wife to do that and she's fine even though she works as much as I do" Yeah. Sure she is. Meanwhile she's checking into the ER from exhaustion or having panic attacks (sorry, venting for a friend).

Good luck! You are not alone!

srt7
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by srt7 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:17 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:37 pm
Senior leadership role as well. I'm at the office at 7am and head home about 4pm. I usually work about an hour each night at home and a few hours on weekends. I do work from home on Wednesdays - I actually have a lot of autonomy to work remotely - so I can spend some time with my 3yr old son. I also travel pretty frequently, about 45-50 days total a year. My wife also has a full-time career, works 7am-3pm each day but virtually never works at home. She does travel a little, 15-20 days a year. Magically, only once have we had to travel at the same time, and my in-laws happened to be living with us at the time so we had an easy solution. Wife is also a full-time student (and has yet to get a "B" with 3 semester left to finish her degree). Two kids, 6 and 3; older daughter is in gymnastics and son is wrestling. Yep, we're insanely busy by most standards, but it is just life for us and we don't regularly feel overwhelmed (though it does happen). We outsource absolutely nothing. We have a system for everything; we've got cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. down to a science. Honestly, I'm a control freak and have exacting standards, I would have a really difficult time trusting someone else to clean my house, cook, do my yard work or laundry even if it was at no cost.
Very impressive! You both would really need to be super organized and on the same page for this to work.
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Starfish » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:29 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:53 pm
2015 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:00 pm
I read years ago never do any work that pays an hourly salary less than your own (this assumes you divert time saved to high value work, such as tasks devoted to progressing in career). If I were still working and still on the leadership track I would probably outsource everything. It's a personal deal I have with myself because there is much value in distinguishing between low value and high value work.

Even in retirement, I view laundry as low value work. Laundry, housecleaning, shopping, anything to do with meals (including eating itself) I consider to be low value work and so I have converted these tasks into habits, routines, and rituals (hat tip, Cal Newport) in order to minimize psychological/emotional energy spent on them. When I am engaging in these tasks my mental energy is diverted to some personal project related to my Wildly Important Idea (Cal Newport again) of making retirement the most financially, materially, psychologically, and emotionally rewarding time of life.
Once you start making remotely decent money, this doesn't really make any sense. If we followed this, my wife and I both would outsource everything but our jobs. Totally agree on the 2nd paragraph, we (more I, I am fanatical about creating habits, systems, regimens for everything - it's a common characteristic of those with Asperger's) have pretty much everything automated. Our crazy busy lives wouldn't be possible without it. I spent a lot of effort figuring out the most time and cost-efficient ways to cook, grocery shop, clean, laundry, maintain a clean home, etc. when I was single and now it just kind of happens without us ever thinking about it. This same fanaticism makes it difficult for me to trust others (except my wife) with even the simplest task regarding my home, family, etc.
You should really make a topic with these systems. I would be very interested to read it.

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TxAg
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by TxAg » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:35 pm

Wife and I work standard hours. We have a cleaner come twice a month, but that's the only thing we outsource. It's a luxury and not necessary.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Starfish » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:40 pm

2015 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:00 pm
I read years ago never do any work that pays an hourly salary less than your own (this assumes you divert time saved to high value work, such as tasks devoted to progressing in career). If I were still working and still on the leadership track I would probably outsource everything. It's a personal deal I have with myself because there is much value in distinguishing between low value and high value work.

Even in retirement, I view laundry as low value work. Laundry, housecleaning, shopping, anything to do with meals (including eating itself) I consider to be low value work and so I have converted these tasks into habits, routines, and rituals (hat tip, Cal Newport) in order to minimize psychological/emotional energy spent on them. When I am engaging in these tasks my mental energy is diverted to some personal project related to my Wildly Important Idea (Cal Newport again) of making retirement the most financially, materially, psychologically, and emotionally rewarding time of life.

While I do agree on the general idea, there are parts I don't agree with.
First of all the math is completely wrong. Money I pay to outsource stuff doesn't come from my gross payment but from my disposable income or fun budget or whatever you call it which can be very small in comparison.
Second, you assume people do some high value work in the time they save. But most people don't. Mowing the lawn generally is instead of lazying around maybe watching TV or writing on forums :), and it is healthier. There is no way I am going to pay 25$ an hour for writing this post, which I would have done if I outsourced cleaning. I think most people fool themselves believing that they outsource things to read a scientific article or similar.
Low level jobs can be also relaxing or even pleasurable. It's good to take your mind from your job.


The principle is great but we have to be realistic about it.

2015
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by 2015 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:09 pm

Starfish wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:40 pm
2015 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:00 pm
I read years ago never do any work that pays an hourly salary less than your own (this assumes you divert time saved to high value work, such as tasks devoted to progressing in career). If I were still working and still on the leadership track I would probably outsource everything. It's a personal deal I have with myself because there is much value in distinguishing between low value and high value work.

Even in retirement, I view laundry as low value work. Laundry, housecleaning, shopping, anything to do with meals (including eating itself) I consider to be low value work and so I have converted these tasks into habits, routines, and rituals (hat tip, Cal Newport) in order to minimize psychological/emotional energy spent on them. When I am engaging in these tasks my mental energy is diverted to some personal project related to my Wildly Important Idea (Cal Newport again) of making retirement the most financially, materially, psychologically, and emotionally rewarding time of life.

While I do agree on the general idea, there are parts I don't agree with.
First of all the math is completely wrong. Money I pay to outsource stuff doesn't come from my gross payment but from my disposable income or fun budget or whatever you call it which can be very small in comparison.
Second, you assume people do some high value work in the time they save. But most people don't. Mowing the lawn generally is instead of lazying around maybe watching TV or writing on forums :), and it is healthier. There is no way I am going to pay 25$ an hour for writing this post, which I would have done if I outsourced cleaning. I think most people fool themselves believing that they outsource things to read a scientific article or similar.
Low level jobs can be also relaxing or even pleasurable. It's good to take your mind from your job.


The principle is great but we have to be realistic about it.
This is exactly the issue. If you don't have the self-discipline, self-mastery and self-control to work on high value work while outsourcing low value work the entire exercise is meaningless. High performing men and women do what most others do not, cannot, or don't want to.

Being "realistic" about it (as opposed to theory), the past 13 months were the most productive, effective, and provided some of my greatest accomplishments, financially and personally (even though I have always been highly skilled at meeting/exceeding goals). This would never have happened had I been wasting time worrying about valuations, the perfect SWR, the perfect bond, stock, or other fund, the most clever investment strategy, etc.

There is a very big difference in outsourcing low value work in order to focus on high value work and engaging in activities that serve as a mental break from deep focus. In retirement, I cannot justify outsourcing but don't find pleasure in any low value work. Thus, I have transformed these activities into virtually mindless habits, routines and rituals to minimize the emotional/psychological energy invested. I am keenly aware posting on Bogleheads is low value for me, but it is my own form of break from deep work (besides, it's a great way to find out how to get H&R Block for the lowest price!).

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by HomeStretch » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:48 pm

Hillview wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:07 pm
I am in a senior leadership role. I currently work in the office from 7-5 or 6 and then work another hour or 2 at home. I am exhausted (I also have 2 kids and a husband and stuff around the house to do). I wonder how many hours you all work. Also wondering what you outsource. I have a babysitter for my youngest after school and a housekeeper who comes once a week. While I want to avoid lifestyle creep I also need more time. Right now things that I could use more help with are meals and laundry.
OP, I was in a similar role/situation. Luckily I had a short commute, helpful spouse and was able to work one day a week from home. Dinner together nightly was a priority and a time to reconnect. Outsource whatever house chores you need to in order to free up time for family and yourself. It comes with the senior-level working parent territory. Resign yourself to being sleep-deprived for a few more years; they go by quickly. Seems like just yesterday I was wishing for 5 minutes to myself in the bathroom. Now an empty nester.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:29 pm

In this audience, I figured we’d hear from some Tim Ferriss types. Anyone?
There are stars in the Southern sky | And if ever you decide you should go | There is a taste of time sweetened honey | Down the Seven Bridges Road

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Luckywon » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:21 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:39 pm
One more thing: Socks. I have only black gold-toe socks. They all match, so I never have to match up socks. I can pull any two clean black socks off the rug of the dining room and put them on.
I love those socks and bought a whole bunch from Costco but have not seen them there in a couple years. So I have had to buy other socks which has messed up the "all socks match" trick for me :annoyed Do you have a source for those socks?

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Luckywon » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:38 pm

DINK. HCOL area

We have a housekeeper 2x/week for cleaning and laundry. Outsource anything that needs to be done for home repair and maintenance (Except I did start doing pest control spraying myself recently).

We eat weekday dinners and weekend lunch/dinner together. We use a meal kit service for three of those meals and takeout or eat out the other meals.

Pretty much all of our time away from work is for ourselves-leisure or entertainment.

All the outsourcing adds up. I calculated our expenses last year $185,000, excluding federal and state income taxes and payroll taxes (and I have no mortgage).

ge1
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by ge1 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:21 am

Hillview wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:07 pm
I am in a senior leadership role. I currently work in the office from 7-5 or 6 and then work another hour or 2 at home. I am exhausted (I also have 2 kids and a husband and stuff around the house to do). I wonder how many hours you all work. Also wondering what you outsource. I have a babysitter for my youngest after school and a housekeeper who comes once a week. While I want to avoid lifestyle creep I also need more time. Right now things that I could use more help with are meals and laundry.
Senior Leadership role (C Suite) as well and I would challenge the number of hours you work. I work 8-6, need to be available 24/7 but rarely work evenings. I have a direct report who easily works 60-70 hours per week and another who barely works 40 - and it’s primarily due to their personalities and not workload.

DW no longer works but we used to have an Au Pair (basically live in nanny for a year), which was great and kids enjoyed that socially as well. Cleaner every other week and lawn service. Don’t worry about lifestyle creep, find an arrangement that works for you!

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by dcabler » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:50 am

Senior Leadership role here with wife as stay at home mom, formerly employed in the same industry as me.

For years, we outsourced lawn care and housecleaning. Wife continued to do laundry and I did our own pool maintenance. Then in 2013, I was between jobs, and we went back to doing lawncare and housecleaning ourselves. Quick math showed that I could buy a new, large riding mower every year for what we were paying in lawn care and housecleaning (we live on an acre). We were in our mid 50's and it wasn't at all obvious that I would end up working again, but now that's 2 jobs ago. :D

Anyway, fast forward to today and we're both in our late 50's. Daughter is 17 and will leave for college this fall. Wife had a part time, interim job at our church which just ended and she's making noise about going back to work again. I see the light at the end of the tunnel with retirement anywhere between now and when our daughter graduates college. We are not getting the self-maintenance done very well I'm afraid. Mowing is pretty straight-forward, but the other parts of lawn maintenance aren't getting done frequently and completely enough (trimming, mulching, etc.). Wife keeps up with laundry, but has several hobbies that also keep her busy and between the two of us, keeping the place clean, vacuumed, etc isn't always done as often as it probably should be. Bottom line here, is that we're considering turning back on one or more of the items we've been doing ourselves - at least until retirement at which point we plan on selling our house anyway, and downsizing.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by RobLyons » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:25 am

I work 3-4 nights/week, wife 2 days/week
Outsource nothing
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by livesoft » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:52 am

Luckywon wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:21 pm
Do you have a source for those socks?
Kohl's has many Gold-toe socks. I always buy the mostly acrylic ones and not cotton, not wool.
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by CyclingDuo » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:34 am

Starfish wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:40 pm
While I do agree on the general idea, there are parts I don't agree with.
First of all the math is completely wrong. Money I pay to outsource stuff doesn't come from my gross payment but from my disposable income or fun budget or whatever you call it which can be very small in comparison.
Second, you assume people do some high value work in the time they save. But most people don't. Mowing the lawn generally is instead of lazying around maybe watching TV or writing on forums :), and it is healthier. There is no way I am going to pay 25$ an hour for writing this post, which I would have done if I outsourced cleaning. I think most people fool themselves believing that they outsource things to read a scientific article or similar.
Low level jobs can be also relaxing or even pleasurable. It's good to take your mind from your job.

The principle is great but we have to be realistic about it.
Bingo!

What do we all get each year?

We all have 8760 hours per year to divvy up.

Sleeping hours?

We all spend about 2555 of those hours sleeping.

Working hours?

We spend 3120 of those hours working (if you average 60 hours per week and don't take a vacation).
We spend 2080 of those hours working (if you average 40 hours per week and don't take a vacation).

What's leftover?

At least 3085 - 4125 hours per year.

Or an average of 8.45 hours to 11.3 hours per day that each of us gets to divvy up between all the low value and no value and half baked value things that any of us can cram into the remainder of our day. In other words, more waking hours per day than we spend doing our work that we get paid to do.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by WildBill » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:01 am

livesoft wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:52 am
Luckywon wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:21 pm
Do you have a source for those socks?
Kohl's has many Gold-toe socks. I always buy the mostly acrylic ones and not cotton, not wool.
Howdy

Interesting. Why acrylic vs the other choices?

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Yellowhouse » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:13 am

Less than 20 hours per week when balanced out over a 52 week time frame. The most I work would be 30 hours because I seldom do 6+ hour days. I'm a painting contractor and working six hours with two very small breaks mixed in, is plenty of work in a 24 hour window given the physicality of some projects.

I don't make the big income that is so common around here, but making 70k a year given the small time commitment allows me to spend 6 weeks in Florida every winter with my wife and ten year old son. The 25k income from two rental houses is included in the 70k. Fortunately, those two houses don't require more than 20 hours per year.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by livesoft » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:17 am

WildBill wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:01 am
Interesting. Why acrylic vs the other choices?
viewtopic.php?p=3798574#p3798574

Inexpensive, dry quickly, keep feet warm when wet, no special washing needed, not fragile, don't stink, and studies show acrylic is among lowest blister frequency for military recruits.
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:04 pm

I removed some off-topic posts regarding mothers spending time with their kids. The discussion was getting contentious.

Please stay on-topic.


Socks can be discussed in Favorite socks?.
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Enganerd » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:12 pm

Starfish wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:29 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:53 pm
2015 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:00 pm
I read years ago never do any work that pays an hourly salary less than your own (this assumes you divert time saved to high value work, such as tasks devoted to progressing in career). If I were still working and still on the leadership track I would probably outsource everything. It's a personal deal I have with myself because there is much value in distinguishing between low value and high value work.

Even in retirement, I view laundry as low value work. Laundry, housecleaning, shopping, anything to do with meals (including eating itself) I consider to be low value work and so I have converted these tasks into habits, routines, and rituals (hat tip, Cal Newport) in order to minimize psychological/emotional energy spent on them. When I am engaging in these tasks my mental energy is diverted to some personal project related to my Wildly Important Idea (Cal Newport again) of making retirement the most financially, materially, psychologically, and emotionally rewarding time of life.
Once you start making remotely decent money, this doesn't really make any sense. If we followed this, my wife and I both would outsource everything but our jobs. Totally agree on the 2nd paragraph, we (more I, I am fanatical about creating habits, systems, regimens for everything - it's a common characteristic of those with Asperger's) have pretty much everything automated. Our crazy busy lives wouldn't be possible without it. I spent a lot of effort figuring out the most time and cost-efficient ways to cook, grocery shop, clean, laundry, maintain a clean home, etc. when I was single and now it just kind of happens without us ever thinking about it. This same fanaticism makes it difficult for me to trust others (except my wife) with even the simplest task regarding my home, family, etc.
You should really make a topic with these systems. I would be very interested to read it.
I agree. What did you used to do and what was the catalyst that pushed you to be so disciplined in pursuit of efficiency and habits?

veindoc
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by veindoc » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:13 pm

Hillview wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:44 pm
thanks all for your replies. Yes I'd say our finances are in order. No debt (house is paid for), run a weekly budget, saving for retirement and college. My kids do their own laundry usually (my 13 year old does 100% my 11 year old is maybe 75% solo but getting better) honestly it is MY laundry that isn't getting done. I think dinner is my #1 issue as I'd like to eat all together and sometimes it is late before we can due to schedule and time. I do think some purging a la Maris Kondo would help us as there is a lot of clutter that makes me crazy. I do appreciate reading everyone's opinion and situation. Thank you
Just some thoughts as a working parent. It’s very easy to come home and get totally consumed into home life. Kids activities/homework, making dinner etc. I try to do one home maintenance thing/day so that it’s not piled up over the weekend. Monday/Friday One small load of Laundry in washer in AM, dry when I arrive home and in the evening fold and put away. One weekday I might sit down and organize kid school paperwork/bills, usu Thursday’s. The third day might be clean one or two bathrooms or re-locate items that are out of place either Tuesday or Wednesday. IRobot gets run daily. Years ago I would start the weekend running to conquer all the home tasks piled up from the week. I never finished and would be annoyed and stressed the whole weekend.

For meal time: I always cook the day ahead. So Sunday I have cooked a meal for Sunday and Monday. Monday I cook for Tuesday, Tuesday I cook for Wed and so on. I usually don’t cook Friday. Saturday and Sunday I cook on that day for that day. I used to wake up early every day weekdays and make dinner as I was making breakfast. But this new system works better for me as I can clean the kitchen leisurely as opposed to a mad dash in the AM before work. The reason I do this is because I like to eat as soon as I get home on weeknights as my kids (and I) are usually starving. I round up the kids, we eat and talk. Once that is done I review the HW, run someone to a late activity if needed, bath and bedtime.
During bath time I make dinner for the next day. Our dinners are very simple. We eat a salad everyday. Some roasted protein: usu fish or chicken and either a side grain or veggie. So preparing the meal ahead does not take an inordinate amount of time and it is so nice to know what we are eating the next day. I never leave work wondering what’s for dinner and bristle at the thought when I hear other people complain that they don’t know what to make for their dinner that night. I couldn’t deal with that. After kids bedtime everything gets tupperwared and kitchen cleaned. Then I do the one home maintenance activity. I don’t always get to this but I make a strong effort.

The only thing we outsource at this time is house cleaning twice a month and I just recently started that back up but am thinking of stopping it. I think/know I do a better job cleaning but knowing someone is coming to my house forces me to pick up clutter. For example have my son pick up the pile of books he left in the bathroom and return them to the bookshelves, hang up the still clean clothes that have already been worn instead of letting them lounge on the chair, take down the Xmas decorations, etc.

Last thought, if you are looking to outsource home stuff. Outsource to your kids. Your 13 year old could do your laundry or possibly sheets and towels in addition to his/her clothes. The kids can prep meals before you get home or at least set the table. My kids make the salad. They can pickup items, re-locate things in the house, and do yard work etc. Those nightmare weekends I had struggling to put the house in order was made easy when I set the kids loose. One picked up toys, another swept, and one was cleaning bathrooms. My kids still are fascinated with the spray bottle filled with vinegar/water. The first two three times they grumbled but now they fall right into the routine and the help is tremendous. They each have their favorite activity and they take ownership of it.

FlyEaglesFly2000
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by FlyEaglesFly2000 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:35 am

I work 45 hours per week with a 30 minutes to commute each day. My spouse works an average of 20 hours per week and picks kids up at school each afternoon and shuttles to most activities. The only thing we currently outsource is pest control, and that's just because my wife had a serious bug phobia and I need someone else to blame anytime we see a spider. :happy

We've considered a twice-a-month housekeeper and/or lawn service. When it comes down to it, I'd rather spend the $ for a week at the beach with the family each summer and just do the work ourselves all year. In the future, if we have more cushion at the end of each month, we'd definitely consider paying someone to lighten the load on the weekends so we could spend more time at leisure.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by FlyEaglesFly2000 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:38 am

I very much agree with veindoc's idea of getting the kids involved. My are still young enough that their "help" doesn't lighten the load too much, but I'm working on setting up habits. I have several teenagers in the family that have gone through high school and into college without helping with a single chore around the house. Not only did the parents miss out on the free labor, they haven't done the kids any favors by not teaching any life skills or setting the precedent that all of life's discomforts can be made to disappear as long as you hire someone to do it for you.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by GoldStar » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:11 pm

I got promoted to a senior leadership position so now have more free time. I've learned how to delegate a lot and don't need to put in all the hours I did to get recognized as an individual contributor. I proved myself through hard work; now I'm proving myself through smart leadership.

I think you should read some books such at the 7-habits, the 5-choices, etc. and figure out how to work on the projects and items that matter most (the big rocks) so you aren't working so much. Life is too short. Its getting results that really matter to a business (Increase revenue, reduced costs, customer adoption growth, etc.) versus how much time you spend working.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by stoptothink » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:30 pm

Enganerd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:12 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:29 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:53 pm
2015 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:00 pm
I read years ago never do any work that pays an hourly salary less than your own (this assumes you divert time saved to high value work, such as tasks devoted to progressing in career). If I were still working and still on the leadership track I would probably outsource everything. It's a personal deal I have with myself because there is much value in distinguishing between low value and high value work.

Even in retirement, I view laundry as low value work. Laundry, housecleaning, shopping, anything to do with meals (including eating itself) I consider to be low value work and so I have converted these tasks into habits, routines, and rituals (hat tip, Cal Newport) in order to minimize psychological/emotional energy spent on them. When I am engaging in these tasks my mental energy is diverted to some personal project related to my Wildly Important Idea (Cal Newport again) of making retirement the most financially, materially, psychologically, and emotionally rewarding time of life.
Once you start making remotely decent money, this doesn't really make any sense. If we followed this, my wife and I both would outsource everything but our jobs. Totally agree on the 2nd paragraph, we (more I, I am fanatical about creating habits, systems, regimens for everything - it's a common characteristic of those with Asperger's) have pretty much everything automated. Our crazy busy lives wouldn't be possible without it. I spent a lot of effort figuring out the most time and cost-efficient ways to cook, grocery shop, clean, laundry, maintain a clean home, etc. when I was single and now it just kind of happens without us ever thinking about it. This same fanaticism makes it difficult for me to trust others (except my wife) with even the simplest task regarding my home, family, etc.
You should really make a topic with these systems. I would be very interested to read it.
I agree. What did you used to do and what was the catalyst that pushed you to be so disciplined in pursuit of efficiency and habits?
If you ever read the nutrition threads, I have detailed several times how I cook almost all my family's food for the week in a few hours each Sunday. While in the middle of that, I prep the clothes for myself and my children for the week and set them out (my wife does her own) and also do the laundry (which is 2 loads a week, occasionally 3, for a family of 4). By 10am Sunday, right before church, a lot of the coming week's tasks have already been taken care of. Everything from meals to grocery shopping to laundry to vacuuming the house is automated; it is done at the exact same time every week, and there is very little change. That's difficult for some people because they like change or variety or they don't like eating food that was prepared several days before; these are not issues for me and it has just become life for the rest of the family. I have Asperger's Syndrome, the mindset - the need for systems and regimens - is inherent for me. I have an almost unhealthy obsession with efficiency.

In order to support myself and complete my education debt-free, I worked 2, and sometimes 3, jobs while simultaneously in school full-time. I did this for over a decade. In order to make that work, I had to figure out the cheapest and most efficient way to get those mundane daily things taken care of. I was born like this, but these systems were created out of necessity when I left home at 16.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Elsebet » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:41 pm

I'm in IT. I work at home Mon/Fri and in the office Tue-Wed-Thu. My official hours are 6:30-3 but I work almost every evening for a few hours. It's my first year at the company and I'm taking on additional work/responsibility to gain new skills and meet people. I never really minded putting in extra hours at home but I'd hate to be stuck in the office doing overtime.

My husband has a fixed hourly schedule from 6-3:30 with VERY occasional overtime/weekend work.

We are DINKs so we outsource only things we aren't skilled/licensed in like plumbing/electrical.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

Patrick584
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Patrick584 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:03 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:28 pm


One more thing: Socks. I have only black gold-toe socks. They all match, so I never have to match up socks. I can pull any two clean black socks off the rug of the dining room and put them on.
Yes, I have become a huge fan of the black gold toe socks. 1/4 high? I use to do white socks and they would get grimy after a year or two - not so with black socks. I bet a pair costs 2$ and lasts for well over 100 days worn before it finally gets a hole. They go with most pants and no matching pairs.

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unclescrooge
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:35 am

Patrick584 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:03 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:28 pm


One more thing: Socks. I have only black gold-toe socks. They all match, so I never have to match up socks. I can pull any two clean black socks off the rug of the dining room and put them on.
Yes, I have become a huge fan of the black gold toe socks. 1/4 high? I use to do white socks and they would get grimy after a year or two - not so with black socks. I bet a pair costs 2$ and lasts for well over 100 days worn before it finally gets a hole. They go with most pants and no matching pairs.
You have misattributed livesoft's quote to me.

I used to do the same thing when I was younger, but now I buy a of fancy socks off various designs. I enjoy the simple pleasures in life and this is one of them, along with two pairs of $300 Allen Edmond shoes.

I said simple, not inexpensive.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by an_asker » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:54 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 pm
[...]
Around the house, I handle laundry exactly the way livesoft does — dirty clothes go in the washer, clean clothes sit in the dryer. In the kitchen, my life is one pot, one plate, one fork, one spoon, one knife, one cup, so dishes simply swap sides of the sink, basically.
[...]
Smart man (this comment specifically about the kitchen)! I gave up trying to convince DW that an easy way to keep the kitchen sink empty is to wash and reuse utensils rather than using 20 spoons, 20 forks, 20 plates ... and dumping them in the sink... you get the point!

Here is my suggestion for OP:

- don't be too obsessive about laundry. Maybe about your own stuff, maybe - as you are in a position high enough where I've never been, never will be - but not for kids and maybe not for DH either. Their stuff can be a bit crumpled up and no one will be the wiser. Maybe not leave them in the dryer, but no need to obsess about folding etc. (also, if kids are upper tween or older, they ought to at least help if not do it themselves)

- cooking and groceries (you didn't mention groceries, but I might as well share!). It pays to plan (though I confess that we don't ... and as a result, nearly everyday there is an emergency trip to the grocery store which, thankfully, is about a mile away). If you spend one month noting down everything you purchased that month, you will have a good idea of what you'll be purchasing the next month. If you go out the beginning of that month and purchase every non-perishable item in that list, you'll be down to a handful of items that you'll be left to purchase - and those you can probably handle on weekly expeditions.

Also, for cooking, it would really help if you plan ahead. And don't have to cook once - or twice - daily. It is good enough to cook something for a couple of days. We haven't had issues with eating food that was cooked four days ago!

Texanbybirth
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:01 am

40 hrs/wk at the most, and my wife is a SAHM. We have a monthly house cleaner for the "deep clean", and this year we'll switch to a bi-weekly yard care service in the spring/summer/fall (have to mow the yard for a lot of the year in North Texas) since we're expecting child #3 soon. That's really just so I have more time with the kiddos, as our yard takes about 3 hours for me to do. Everything else around the house (laundry, shopping, food, education, social calendar, etc.) my wife handles with me helping out as needed. Her work is more valuable than most jobs I can think of (including my own), so the fact that she offers it to our family for free is one of the best financial decisions we've ever made.

BTW, I was fascinated to read about stoptothink's lifestyle re: Asperger's. Thank you for sharing.
stoptothink wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:27 am
livesoft wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:00 am
Here's something else. You already know this from work: Touch a piece of paper only once. That is, at work you don't open the mail, then put things in piles to come back to them. You don't read e-mail and say you are going to respond later. You just act. The paper goes in the shredder or gets filed as needed never to be looked at again.

Do the same at home. In particular when cooking: Don't leave all the spice bottles on the counter. Don't leave ingredients sitting out to be put away after dinner. Instead, use what you need and put the jar/bottle/box back in the pantry or fridge without even taking your hand off of it. Example: Pour the milk and put the milk jug back in the fridge without ever setting the jug down on the counter. Example: scoop the oatmeal out of its carton and put the carton back in the pantry. Get the blueberries out of the fridge, shake them into your oatmeal bowl and put the remaining one's back in the fridge without ever setting them on the counter top. Cut the cheese you need and put the rest immediately back in the fridge and don't let it sit out. When you pop open a bottle of beer, throw the cap away while it is still in your hand and don't toss it on the counter.

And for folks who are perceptive and paying attention: If you are not touching your laundry once to throw it on the rug in the dining room, then you should only touch clothes once to carry them immediately from the dryer to the dresser drawer or closet where you store them.
Why is this so hard for most people to understand? You get something out, you immediately put it away when you are done. You make a mess, it is cleaned up right then and there. It is that simple. It takes us almost no time to clean our home because it is never messed up. Actually, I spend 5-10min each morning going around the house picking up the clothes, toys, dishes, etc. that my wife and kids left out the day before and we do a thorough cleaning every Saturday morning - maybe an hour - before the kids gets breakfast.
I would say you and I are wired differently. Leaving stuff out doesn't bother me (or my wife), and I'm 100% certain it doesn't seem to bother our kiddos. :P
"Knowledge and innocence are both excellent things, and they are both very funny. But it is right that knowledge should be the servant and innocence the master." - GK Chesterton

dsmil
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by dsmil » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:03 am

I work in accounting and I'm gone from 6:45-4:45 everyday. My wife is a stay at home mom, so that definitely makes things less hectic. We don't outsource anything, but we'll definitely look towards doing that if our money situation improves. First would be a cleaning service and next would be some help with the yardwork. Yard work will be easier when the kids are older, but with two toddlers, the only free time that I get is the hour that they nap on the weekends and after they go to bed. I'd much rather be at the driving range than doing yard work.

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by CyclingDuo » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:10 am

an_asker wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:54 am
- cooking and groceries (you didn't mention groceries, but I might as well share!). It pays to plan (though I confess that we don't ... and as a result, nearly everyday there is an emergency trip to the grocery store which, thankfully, is about a mile away). If you spend one month noting down everything you purchased that month, you will have a good idea of what you'll be purchasing the next month. If you go out the beginning of that month and purchase every non-perishable item in that list, you'll be down to a handful of items that you'll be left to purchase - and those you can probably handle on weekly expeditions.

Also, for cooking, it would really help if you plan ahead. And don't have to cook once - or twice - daily. It is good enough to cook something for a couple of days. We haven't had issues with eating food that was cooked four days ago!
Reminder, we each have....

...an average of 8.45 hours to 11.3 hours per day that each of us gets to divvy up between all the low value and no value and half baked value things that any of us can cram into the remainder of our day. In other words, more waking hours per day than we spend doing our work that we get paid to do.

If one hasn't figured out how to prepare and cook a meal - we'll go with the evening meal for reference - in an hour's time or less, there are television stations devoted solely to teaching you exactly how to do that in 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or even an hour if you need that long. Add in the hunt for groceries. If one hasn't figured out how to commandeer the SUV to the grocery store parking lot, head into the store and load up the basket with the day's kill for that evening's meal and head home with the game in the bag to cook it - again, there are plenty of ways to learn how to improve your "hunting" and "gathering" skills.

It's as simple as this: If you can read, you can cook.

Practice makes perfect and having to do it day in and day out certainly provides plenty of practice.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:58 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).
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Re: How many hours do you work and what do you outsource

Post by bgf » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:08 pm

Xrayman69 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:50 pm
Senior leadership position:
24/7 availability anywhere on the globe

Regular week: 7 am - 5 pm 4 days week physically in office ; then available as needed for senior level decision making decisions or meetings ; day 5 working from home office or airplane.

Non routine week 7am - 5pm physically in office then work as needed from home 24/7 for 7 days- can be from zero hours to 10 additional hours (I don’t bother adding up time) going through weekend.

10 weeks away per year (but still available as needed)


So to answer OP question how much do you work. All the time ( and I LOVE it) fortunate enough to have a team of colleagues that have same attitude and understanding that despite all of our motivation and dedication that in actuality we are looking out for each other to insure work life balance. There is no such thing as a administrative emergency that can’t be worked around to assure family and home life taken Care of first.

Spouse does not work but my chief administrative life organizer. Outsource everything Not related to the child. Take kid to school at least once a week and pick up at least once a week. Kid has after school activities 3 days a week and available to attend those special events.

Fortunate to also be charged with my own schedule. But try to stick to the routine so the entire staff and team have a sense of reliability. Same goes to the family, give them a sense of reliablility and I appreciate their understanding that they are a priority but understand that work sometimes work takes me away.
I don't mean to pick on you, but you are away from home for 2.5+ months out of the year and admittedly available 24/7 for work but you still are self-described in work-life balance? you sound happy with your situation, and you are clearly successful in your position, but where is the line then?
“TE OCCIDERE POSSUNT SED TE EDERE NON POSSUNT NEFAS EST"

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