Actively doing nothing.


[out-sawrs, -sohrs]
Verb. ‘to obtain goods or services from and outside source.’

Apps, sites, new products and services. We keep finding more and more ways to outsource. To outsource the parts of our life that are repeating, the same, boring. To outsource the things that take up time we would like (or need) to spend differently.

As long as we have lived here on earth we have been busy streamlining our lives. But with the arrival of smartphones and mobile internet we took it to a different level. Whatever it is we come up with, it will be accessible anywhere and at any time.

How, you ask? Let’s divide the outsourcing in to categories. Products, and services. The former one being things we have, to make our lives easier. Stuff you can touch, interact with, real live objects. The latter one covers all apps, sites, somebody or something doing things for you so you don’t have to.

In the product category we have household appliances. An automatic vacuum cleaner, smart thermostats, a fridge that keeps track of best-before dates and helps you make you shopping list. Then there are the used-to-be normal products you can now control through an app. Lights, dishwasher, home entertainment, the locks on your door and so on and so on. All these things, these products. Now getting smarter, faster, better, more efficient. All to make sure you have to spend less time with them.

And then the services, this is where the fun begins. Anything and everything on demand. Music, movies and your favourite sitcom. No more going to the cinema or having to go all the way to the music store for a new CD. Then there is the delivery train. Food, things you buy online, sets of clothing and even your own set of razor blades. And closing the list are apps. Uber, uButler, Peerby, AirBNB, Parkmobile, GetUpp. Apps helping your organize and multitask. Apps to schedule your commute. You name it, there’s an app to help you do it.

But, what do we do with all that extra time on our hands? Do we fill it with work, or just doing nothing? That’s for us to figure out right now. Most of us fill it with personal development. Learning new things, sports, quality time with friends, family or loved ones. Makes you wonder how we could ever do without this free time. And why. Why do we just now lose ourselves completely in this new way of outsourcing. What triggered this way of life, and how long will it last? Let me bring it one step closer. How much do you outsource on a daily basis? Could you do without, or do you need more? How do you spend the time you free up by outsourcing?

Biarne Vink // 2016


Dictonairy. (2016). Outsource. Retrieved 8 September, 2016, from

Forbes. (2015). The Ultimate guide to outsourcing your life – Seth Porges. Retrieved 8 September, 2016, from

The Guardian. (2012). Outsourcing yourself – Oliver Burkeman.Retrieved 8 September, 2016, from

NY Times. (2012). The outsourced life – Arlie Russel Hochschild. Retrieved 8 September, 2016, from

Art of Manliness. (2014). The pros and cons of outsourcing your life – Brett & Kate McKay. Retrieved 8 September, 2016, from

The Nation. (2004). Outsourcing our lives – Frank LaGrotta. Retrieved 8 September, 2016, from

Telegraph. (2016). How to outsource your entire life – Alice Ward. Retrieved 8 September, 2016, from



One thought on “Actively doing nothing.

  1. You choose an interesting topic and have good sources but unfortunately you do not answer a lot of the questions I will be grading you on: Why is it a messo trend, what are the various layers of the trend pyramid, where is this trend in the trend life cycle? I suggest you to adjust this article answering this questions so I can use it for the grading. One of the assessment criteria is also the mention of references/sources according to the APA rules (see So have a look at the slides and the assessment form in the student guide.

    Other tips for future articles: try to focus on one or two closing questions to avoid that the reviews on your article go in all directions and check that your text is free from spelling mistakes.


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