Do You Outsource or Delegate Work?

Remember when we talked about time management skills, where the last point was “delegate if you can” so that it could free up time for important work? Well, I’d go a step further and recommend that you learn how to delegate and outsource work as much as you can.

You’d be amazed to find how useful outsourcing could be once you get started with it. Of course, finding the right person for the job and then training him or her might be difficult, but once you’ve got someone taking care of things you don’t really want to do (for example, you’re a social media guy but you’re also doing coding and design stuff), not only you’d be more productive, you’ll make more money too.

And maybe you’ll get your weekends back.

So, do you outsource your non-core tasks? Or do you prefer to do everything on your own?

Abhijeet Mukherjee is the editor of Guiding Tech, a blog that publishes in-depth articles and tutorials on all things tech, including mobile news and tutorials. He's been into web working since 2008 and continues to enjoy each day of it. He loves to interact with people so hit him up on Twitter.


  1. Rachel Vincent on the 26th June

    I read an post on Jenny Blake’s Life After College Blog a couple weeks about outsourcing your life. This particular post was written by a guest author – Gopi Kallayil. The post outlines how Gopi has outsourced big parts of his life to 13 different people.

    It got me thinking about all the little things in my life where it would be a better economic value to have someone else do those non-core tasks. (of course, right now as a bootstrapping entrepreneur it’s almost always in my economic interest to do it on my own…but even now I outsource cleaning my apartment and editing my writing).

    P.S. My favorite resource he mentioned was, which I know completely love.

    Here’s the blog post:

  2. cynicdesign on the 26th June

    I’m a fairly well established freelancer.
    My portfolio’s getting respectable and I have plenty of clients to fill out my calendar. The one important thing I don’t have is an ability to trust my tasks to others.

    The sorts of things I might like to bring freelancers in for are the production side of projects; Mock-ups, coding, file prep. But I can never seem to trust anyone to do work that will be up to the level of quality that I would want to put my name on.

    Seems like the obvious way to expand. But the one time I did try it, the freelancer dropped the ball and I looked like an amateur to the client.

    I’d love some suggestions for bringing in freelancers from a Graphic Designer’s point of view.

    • Abhijeet Mukherjee on the 27th June

      As I mentioned, finding the right people is difficult. There’s no perfect way to do it and you will learn by trial and error.

      In your case, I think you should look out for freelancers among people you know, ask friends if they know someone you need, and check out design forums. The best freelancers aren’t available on sites like elance. They can be found on forums related to their work.

      Make sure you are ready to pay well. Talent doesn’t come cheap. And once you’ve decide who to go with, spend enough time on training that person. Later on, you could also hire that person for fulltime work. That makes things better and easier.



  3. Cody Swann on the 27th June

    Are you suggesting that one outsource their personal social media activity?

  4. Right now, I do not outsource any of my work.

    The reason is that I want to do everything myself, I want to have everything done on my own, as I have time and can manage it.

    In the future, when work increases or I find I have less time, I may outsource some work.

  5. Gary B. Cohen on the 27th June

    I like finding people and technology to outsource my non-essential work. I use a scheduling program that let’s people schedule time with me for coffee, networking, coaching sessions, conference calls or lunch. It is amazing how much of a time saver this can be. My assistant deals with all those many tasks that just eat up my day, restaurants are my favorite thing to outsource my food preparation – wow what a time saver. Instead of home schooling I have outsourced my kids education to a private school. Car wash love what others do to make it sparkle – the list can go on and my time gains get larger and larger.

  6. Ari on the 28th June

    I tend to do everything myself…but that’s only because I don’t know how to do otherwise. Would love to learn some day.

  7. Dante Cullari on the 28th June


    There should be a distinction made between outsourcing, and delegating. Outsourcing involves hiring an outside company or consultant to do a job that you cannot do. Delegating means handing off work that you should be doing to someone else in your company.

    The problem with delegating is simple: it disconnects the mind and body. As a ceo, a head of a department, a manager, or whatever your job is, it’s important that you stay connected to the tasks that are needed to drive you forward.

    If you are an account manager, it is important that you do as many of the nitty gritty details as you are capable of doing, by yourself! Why? Because as the person who is ultimately assuming responsibility for a task, it’s your job to make sure it’s done right. If you delegate, you will spend all of your time making sure people are doing what they are supposed to be doing, the right way. Keeping track of people can be a full time job itself, and a stressful one.

    But here’s where it goes back to the mind and body of the business. As the mind of a department, you never want to be disconnected from the body of your department. You want to be as involved as possible with the nitty gritty details, so that if you discover a way for those nitty gritty details to become more streamlined, and you uncover certain problems with current methods, you then are in a position re-structure, or innovate, in order to make the business itself more efficient. If you are disconnected to the body of the business, many times innovations like this are never found, or overlooked by workers who have no incentive to innovate, and that are taught just to do what they’re told, and nothing more.

    There is a GREAT DANGER IN DELEGATING! I hope you consider this when posting about how helpful it can be.

    • Mike Vardy on the 28th June

      Thanks for your input.

      While I agree that you shouldn’t delegate EVERYTHING, I do think there is some merit in delegating some tasks. clearly, you need to keep on top of them, but I find that if you try to do everything yourself you end up micro-managing – and not getting the stuff that only you can do done well.

      A smart manager delegates what they can and when they can; an overworked manager tries to do it all.

      Overseas outsourcing is one thing – that can work for or against you. However, if you’re going over the finer points of what you’ve delegated that frees you up and shows you’re able to let go of the things that you can pass on to someone else.

      Thanks for reading – we do consider everything we publish beforehand – most of which is op/ed in nature. What the reader chooses to do with that information is really up to them.

  8. Dante Cullari on the 29th June

    It all comes down to your job title. For example, if on my website, I sell ads, then some of my company’s responsibilities may be to 1. actually sell the ads, then once sold, 2. apply creative if needed, 3. traffic the ads, 4. track the ads, and 5. account manage the client to try to get further sales. My website might also be responsible for customer service, and web development, but the responsibilities I named first all have to do with same 1 PURPOSE, which is selling ads. The whole reason the other responsibilities even exist is because of the need to sell ads. Therefore, if my main goal is to sell ads, then delegating the trafficking of those ads is going to hurt my business in the long run. It will effectively cut me off from one of the essential areas of accomplishing my goal, and again, disconnect the mind and the body of that aspect of the business.

    Knowing the goals from the top down can many times be more beneficial when doing a job that may seem lower on the totem pole. It is in these areas – the pieces that make up the whole, that the difference made can accumulate to become greater than the sum of the parts, and so delegating, and essentially straining these small areas of your knowledgeable wisdom will hurt the department as a whole.

    Now, I am the President of a company myself, and I actually work with many off-shore resources, and I do delegate so that I can stay focused on what I do best. However, again, there needs to be a distinction made when you go around telling people delegating is good. The distinction is that delegating should only be done when it comes to whole different purposes of your business. Using the example above, web development could fall under the purpose of creating a working, useful user interface. The responsibility of answering user’s questions would fall under the purpose of Customer Service. And trafficking ads would fall under Ad sales. As the president, I can choose which one or two of these PURPOSES I want to focus my attention on, but once I choose, I need to go all out. I need to focus on the nitty gritty details. If I don’t, I’ll miss important things, and as the leader of my company, I can’t afford to slip up like that.

    Delegating some tasks, like web design, if you’ve never even opened photoshop in your life, is obviously going to happen, but my advice is this. If you have to delegate, do it outside of your company. Hire a freelancer, or somebody working for themselves. A lot of the problem with delegating has to do with the position you put your employees in. Who does their best work when they are given one compartmentalized task to do, with a ceiling on the job, and the pay they get, with little knowledge of the bigger picture and no real say in anything that goes on. Workers need incentives to do their best work. Delegating the tasks you don’t want to do, to someone else, who is getting paid considerably less, is not what you would call an incentive and thus it is a horrible idea for anyone’s business.

    My mother, no college degree, starting from dirt poor, has built a PR firm from the ground up, starting with one client. In her business she has no employees, but instead has about 44 contractees working for her in almost all 50 states. They all work from their homes, they all have time to take on other projects, they all get paid very well, and they are all women. The point is that they are incentivized extremely well, and they all have a 30 day out clause in their contracts, which means not only do they have control, but my mother also has the same control, and both of those two factors push her employees to work harder than in most other companies. My mom’s business is now a multi-million dollar company, and it got there because the work my mom’s people do speaks louder than a huge headquarters with all the overhead in the world.

    Delegating doesn’t do much for incentivizing your employees, thus the work your company does will suffer. I tend to think that as a source that is trying to help people, that you may be the slightest bit concerned if your content in any way could lead people down the wrong path. Delegating, the majority of the time, doesn’t make people more awesome at work. In may free up one person’s time, but only while other aspects of the business fail from lack of proper care, and eventually the whole business will suffer, leaving no more work to be awesome at. All I’m saying is that before you go about praising things, you should get to the essence of it first, down to the root, and find out all of the perspectives. This was a pretty big one to miss. I hope it makes you work harder for your readers from now on.

    Everyone’s human. Still love the blog. Live and Learn.



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