Tasktics: A Lifesaving Companion for Busy Work at Home Moms, Like Us!

 

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Do you ever feel like — as a WAHM — you never have enough time to do everything on your to-do list? Of course you have! And I have, too. Now that I am fully and very roundly pregnant (!), I feel I have less time to accomplish all my tasks efficiently. Thankfully, I discovered a new resource for busy WAHMs like me, which has truly saved my sanity!

I had such a great experience recently using Tasktics.com an online service that provides efficient, fast and safe hiring of help when you need it. Allow me to get right into my Tasktics experience by telling you a bit about this company and the benefits they offer WAHMs like you and me.

 

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What is Tasktics?

Tasktics is a marketplace where people like work-at-home moms, busy entrepreneurs, homemakers and just about anyone really, can find help for activities that they themselves don’t have the time to do on their own. I like to see is as a time-saver for people who (1) want to delegate certain tasks that can be best accomplished by others, and (2) want to help provide jobs to people who can accomplish these delegated tasks for them, for a fair and reasonable price.

I love how Tasktics describes their core value:

We believe that time well spent lifts spirits, inspires individuals and makes for a more productive, happier society. — from Tasktics.com

Through Tasktics.com, a busy WAHM like me can find other awesome people to help me with activities that I otherwise won’t have the time to do myself, given my very busy schedule. Whether you need someone to fix your kitchen sink or pay an overdue electricity bill, to someone who can do your writing & editing work for you, or coordinate with suppliers for your kid’s birthday party. Tasktics’ screens and interviews “Super Pins” or task doers before they are allowed to post a profile within the website – which reviews their background and intentions, and ensures that they understand the platform and their responsibilities – an added layer of safety for task providers.

My Tasktics’ success story

I hired a Super Pin from Tasktics — Lecel — to be a Personal Assistant for a day for me, for my Blissmakerie 2014 event: a holiday event that gathered together a community of friends and collaborators in the blogging scene, here in Manila. Reasons for hiring a personal assistant were obvious:

– I was 7 months pregnant at the time (read: HUGE);

– I needed someone to be able to think for me, during the event, so I could focus on being the host and leader of the event;

– I needed a reliable person to handle things like welcoming guests, ushering them to seats, making sure everyone was present;

– I needed someone to assist me in the nitty-gritty, last minute parts of putting the event together, i.e. making sure the giveaways were complete, wrapping up raffle prizes and press kits, ensuring the venue was cleared and clean, post-event.

Thanks to Tasktics, Lecel managed to do EVERYTHING on my list! Here’s how I hired her:

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I logged on to Tasktics.com and created a free account. You need to create an account to be able to post a job or task for Tasktics to process and make available to their registered Super Pins, a.k.a. “Super Pinoys”, who have varied skill sets (e.g. babysitting, plumbing, house cleaning, etc.).

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Once you have created an account, you can start updating your Profile with your personal information. Here’s a shot of my User Account, which shows a summary of Tasks that I have either posted or Completed. This is a great feature of the User Accounts, becaus you can clearly see your hiring history and the Super Pins you’ve worked with.

In the Profile section, you can set your payment methods, too. I chose PayPal and credit card options as my preferred method of payment. Basically, when you pay for a task rendered, Tasktics’ centralized billing system will charge your account (PayPal or credit card) and bill you for the task rendered by a Super Pin. (The Super Pins are paid, likewise, by the Tasktics system.) The website charges you for the accepted task payment but will only release the payment once the task is finished and delivered.)

Any time you want to post a new Task, you just click “Post a Task” from the menu to get taken to a posting page.

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Tasktics categorizes their job/task types very clearly. There are very specific job categories like “Pet Care” for instance, or even “Pay Bills,” all of which require a specific skill set. Tasktics categorizes job types this way because their Super Pins are thus categorized to fit into specific job descriptions and skill sets. Each Super Pin is not only screened and tested for skill set, they are also background-checked. That is a great assurance for someone like me, who doesn’t have the time to background check a helper when I need one. Thank you, Tasktics!

When posting a task, you will also need to specify a rate for the task you are posting. For the Personal Assistant job I needed, I posted a budget of Php1,000 for a six-hour period of service. Upon doing so, you will have to wait for Super Pins to reply to your Task posting, whereupon you’ll get to screen and select the Super Pin whom you feel best fits your requirements.

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Lecel got the Personal Assistant job two days before I needed her to show up. That meant I had one day to talk to her on the phone, send her my to-do list, and be fully prepped for when I needed her that busy Saturday! Thanks to the Tasktics system, I was able to know Lecel’s direct contact details, such as her mobile phone and email address. (Read: No running around asking relatives for referrals to odd help, whose numbers aren’t updated (or who never answer their texts/phone calls!)

I have no photo of Lecel and myself during the event itself! But, here’s a snippet of some of the many tasks she did:

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She made sure our raffle prizes of the event were giftwrapped neatly and presented on this display table. I didn’t have to even watch her do this; she basically followed the lead and general look/feel of the event. Brilliant work!

Look at the picture below: That’s Lecel in the bright pink dress, making sure all the guests were in their seats, had tokens/souvenirs, etc.

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Lecel stayed with me to wrap up, all the way until the last guest left and the event stylist company had packed up the very last prop from the event. She was super reliable, and never left me for a second, but always remained in the fringes, ready for me to call on her when I needed her. She was truly an angel to this bumbling pregnant event host!

Upon completing her task, I marked her Tasktics profile and task as “Closed,” to signal to the main database that she could be credited her rate for the service she had rendered. I was able to leave a note of thanks as well on her profile:

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Thank you, Lecel, for a job well done! I look forward to hiring you again!

Thank you as well to Tasktics for orienting me on your system. The support team was very helpful in making sure I knew how to use the system easily and get my hiring/bidding done efficiently. I will definitely be using Tasktics again for future jobs and tasks that I don’t have the time for. What a life & time saver!

For more information on using Tasktics’ reliable and fast help-providing services, visit www.tasktics.com and register for a free account. You can “Like” them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TaskticsOfficial), and also follow Tasktics on Instagram @taskticsofficial

The Project Mom – A new go-to book for modern moms

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This post originally appeared in Dainty Mom, my lifestyle blog. Used with permission.

I’m so excited about Amanda Griffin-Jacob and Bianca Araneta-Elizalde’s new book, Project Mom. I’ve worked with both of these ladies in the past, mostly on website projects for their businesses (and, I’m a regular contributor as well at Amanda’s site for moms, Glamomamas.com), so I was very excited when I learned they would be coming out with this awesome book.

Project Mom is unlike other mommy books you’ve seen locally. It focuses on the needs of expecting new moms and moms in general, with a specific focus on natural motherhood, which is a lifestyle that both Amanda and Bianca live and love. Aside from the helpful chapters (which have gorgeous photos, too), the book includes a comprehensive local directory that lets you know where to get everything you need for your life as a mom.

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Everything you need to know about pregnancy, bringing your baby home, breastfeeding, health, traveling with your baby (domestic and international), memories and celebrations, and a chapter dedicated solely to MOMS (how to lose the baby weight, the importance of me-time, their favorite products, and bonding with your friends and husbands. No other mom-oriented book has a section like this, so I can tell you that it’s going to be an amazing resource!

I can also assure you that the stuff and tips in this book are doable. The advice and how-to’s in this book are based on how they care for and raise their own families, and you’ll see that they are every bit truly down-to-earth moms. I can say this because I’ve been with them several times when they’re not all glammed up, and they are just like you and me when they’re caring for their young families! I’ve seen Amanda during taping days for Amanda Loving Life taking care of both boys (while breastfeeding Kalon!). I’ve seen Bianca in her hands-on mode at home, where she’s a creative and intentional mom to her brood of three. (The cook and bake together often.)

Here’s a bit about the authors and the “why” behind the book:

 Celebrity Article

50% of book sales on this night will go to Typhoon Yolanda victims. There will also be an amazing raffle with P150,000 worth of phenomenal prizes and 100% of the raffle proceeds are going to help Typhoon Yolanda moms and babies. There will also be a few vendors selling some wonderful organic products. (yipee!) Read more about the wonderful prizes on Amanda’s blog: http://glamomamas.com/help-rebuild-malapascua/

(And, if you want to meet up, I’ll be there with loads of other mommies and bloggers. See ya!)

Working with Your Kids in Mind, Part 3: Interruptions and Distractions

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This is the third of three posts I’m doing, on “Working with Your Kids in Mind”. Read parts 1 and 2 below:

Part 1: The First Truth — Family comes first when you’re WAHMing.

Part 2: The Second Truth — Help is good; invest in it.

Truth #3: Expect interruptions and distractions as a work-at-home mom, and prepare for them.

If you’re a work-at-home parent or run your business from home, interruptions, distractions and unexpected events are inevitable: kid gets sick, ergo, a client call gets moved or a project gets put on hold.

Here’s the thing, though, that we always impart to our community during our workshops: Productivity shouldn’t diminish, if you’re a work-at-home parent. Interruptions are part of your lifestyle, so you need to plan and prepare for them. This could mean:

  • Letting your VA handle client projects (to a certain extent), say, when your child gets sick.
  • Scheduling Skype meetings, instead of on-location client calls, such as when situations require you to remain at home.
  • Re-arranging your priority tasks by moving deadlines.

When the unexpected strikes, as a rule, finish only what you can reasonably manage with the time given you.

We can carve out time to catch up on our business, through our helpers, in the “down” times the following day. As another mentor of mine Marie Forleo says: “Everything is figure-outable.” [Read more...]

Working with your Kids in Mind, Part 2: Help is Good!

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This is the second of three posts I’m doing each week of June, on “Working with Your Kids in Mind”. Read part 1 below:

Part 1: The First Truth — Family comes first when you’re WAHMing.

I am truly grateful for the “helpers” I have in my life who make my “WAHMing” possible. First credit goes to my husband, of course, with whom I “tag team” on this lifestyle. (Thanks, babe!) Credit is also due to the other people — hired help and services — who make it possible for our household to enjoy the flexibility of work and activities that best suits us as a family. This brings me to my next point about working with our kids in mind as WAHMs, which has to do with help. 

Truth #2: Help is good. Invest in it.

Often, one of the first things we have to let go of as WAHMs is the belief that “we can do it all.” We can’t. The truth is: We cannot be one-woman shows as WAHMs. We can try our best to do everything around the house and for our clients; we can allow ourselves to get sucked into the belief that we are “rocking it all,” but it’s usually all just an illusion.

I made the mistake of trying to be superwoman, early into my work-at-home life. I tried to do everything: make all the meals from scratch; do the cleaning, the laundry, the grocery shopping; take my son to play dates, even attempt to homeschool him. In short, I got burned out.

To combat this habit of “super-coping,” my husband and I then factored in a “helper’s budget” immediately. We set aside funds specifically for tasks that we could delegate or outsource, most of which had to do with managing the home more effectively so that we could enjoy our home, not feel trapped by it. [Read more...]

Working with Kids in Mind, Part 1: Family First

This is the first of three posts I’m doing, on “Working with Your Kids in Mind”

I mentioned over on Facebook and in the WAHMs Facebook Group that I gave a talk about WAHM-hood, at a recent idea-share event in a co-working space here in Manila. I talked about five truths that family women need to embrace if they want to work from home with their kids as their highest priority. It’s basically what we all talk about whenever we have our WAHMderful Life workshops, but I truly believe that these truths — when imbibed — can help make our lives as WAHMs more purposeful, more meaningful.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be expert advice! I will say this, though:

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Let’s begin, shall we, with Truth #1?

[Read more...]

5 Non-Expert Tips on How to Make WAHMing Work for You

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Last night, I gave a talk at co.Lab on how to “work with your kids in mind” while you’re a homebased working mom. I’m no “expert” at WAHMing (not that anyone is), so I just shared the life lessons that I’d gleaned from my three years as an active work-at-home mom. I began the talk by laying down a mindset, one that we in the WAHMderful Life Workshops are familiar with: In the same way that being a mom might not be for every woman, working from home is not really everyone’s ideal work setup either. Working outside the traditional confines of an office is freeing, yes, but when you add a kid (or several) into the mix, you have a work-home setup that is twice as challenging to work out.

This is why for me, working from home while raising a child has been one of the greatest achievements I’ve ever made. It’s my chosen lifestyle, but it’s not easy; it involves a lot of figuring-out, a lot of system revisions, lots of interrupted schedules, postponed meetings, “kid” emergencies, and the daily grind of the three “Ls” as we call it in Filipino: luto, linis, laba (cooking, cleaning, laundry).

[Read more...]

Does it Become Easier? Life Hacks for the Work at Home Mom

Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While we do believe that we can work from home while raising our kids, we have to realize that this lifestyle is not the Martha Stewart scenario and Pinterest-worthy picture we imagine it to be. 

I have to admit: I believed that working from home while I exclusively breastfed my son would be filled with flexible days and “work when you want to” moments. I thought I would be able to stick to my game of looking pretty and polished while still keeping house. I soon learned that deadlines and diapers were not going to let me pursue my styled delusions that easily. A month into my work-at-home momhood, I was a perpetually tank top-wearing breastfeeding machine who’d balance writing with making veggie purees.

Realization: We’re not the bosses.

The truth is, while we try to be so in control of situations as WAHMs, what we often come to realize is that our kids, in fact, call the shots. This doesn’t mean that they are literally ordering us around, but their needs do come first. This means that our workloads revolve around our children’s needs. As a new WAHM, I remember resisting this for weeks, even months, to no avail. Through time (and many tears!), I had to learn how to be more flexible with how and when I accomplished my work. (Yes, even if it meant working in pockets of time, when the baby slept.) [Read more...]

WAHM Tips: 5 Fun Ways to Live Frugally as a Family

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This is a guest post by Vanessa Chua-SalasImage courtesy of [photostock] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s not often that you see the words ‘fun’ and ‘frugal’ in a single sentence. Perhaps this is because frugality connotes unexciting concepts like compromise, penny-pinching and settling for second-best. It means cheap knock-off, shoddy craftsmanship, bland flavors, or boring colors. It inspires pejorative terms like Scrooge, miser or cheapskate.

Most parents have bought into the misconception that fun activities are directly proportional to having a sky’s-the-limit budget: the more money burned, the more fun to be had!

This doesn’t always have to be the case. Not everyone can afford to go on a Caribbean cruise or a Disney World tour without giving up something valuable, like your mortgage or the kid’s college fund. But with a bit of imagination, a touch of resourcefulness, and some careful planning, you don’t have to dip into your retirement fund to get everyone in the family to have a fun day together.

Here are five and frugal ways to spend a great day with the whole family. [Read more...]

Adjusting work at home schedules when the unexpected strikes

High angel of a chaotic living roomI had a pretty rough week last week! Migraines got the better of me, as did some heat exhaustion. When the unfortunate happens, as a work at homemaker, I need to make adjustments. I wrote a post about this previously on my other blog, but I thought I’d re-share it here this time for the WAHMderful readers. I hope it helps you, when you have your own unexpected turn of events.

We had to have some plumbing repairs done today, at very short notice. All is well now: Our bathroom sink no longer leaks, but we do need a new paint job on one of our walls. Naturally, my work-at-home day was affected by this unexpected event. For me, this meant rearranging my schedule to accommodate the plumber, including cooking extra for him since he’d be spending almost the entire day knocking down part of our wall, fixing the pipes and re-cementing the portion he’d opened up.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, and I know there will be more unexpected events in the future, like a family member getting sick or the fridge breaking down.

1. Re-prioritize your to-do list based on your new day.

When your day gets mixed up by the unexpected, just breathe and re-plan your day again. Here’s how you can re-work your to-do list when there’s something extra to add to it. [Read more...]

How to work-at-home when the unexpected strikes

High angel of a chaotic living room

This post originally appeared in Dainty Mom.

We had to have some plumbing repairs done today, at very short notice. All is well now: Our bathroom sink no longer leaks, but we do need a new paint job on one of our walls. Naturally, my work-at-home day was affected by this unexpected event. For me, this meant rearranging my schedule to accommodate the plumber, including cooking extra for him since he’d be spending almost the entire day knocking down part of our wall, fixing the pipes and re-cementing the portion he’d opened up.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, and I know there will be more unexpected events in the future, like a family member getting sick or the fridge breaking down. [Read more...]