Time is VERY expensive in my opinion. The other unfortunate thing is that we are always buying time technically but then not using it to the max. I have heard in many situations, people saying that they really don’t have enough time for whatever it may be for example exercise, sleep, sex, or even preparing healthy meals. When you add pitta patter of little feet, it seems that you never really have time for anything at all including basic self-care in some instances.
I was listening to an audiobook recently called – I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam which basically talks about how to get maximal bang for your buck time-wise. It highlighted that there are actually about 168 hours per week and deducting work and sleep left ample time for a lot of things in life. It might however not seem like there is that much time “spare” when you are always feeling like you are running around like a headless chicken. I will share some tricks that have worked for me and hope you can share yours below so I can add to my mix.
1. Value your time- LITERALLY!!. Calculate how much you earn per hour in your income earning job and then see if you can pay someone to do some work to help you for a cheaper rate. For example, let us say you earn about $50 an hour roughly and you have a task to do that would normally take you about 3hrs to do ($150). If this is time that you enjoy doing said task then fine, do it yourself. But if it is a menial task, outsourcing it for $20/hour ( $60 hrs total) would actually save you money in the long term and allow you to spend your time doing things you love.
2. If it can be done in 2 mins- do it. This usually applies to tidying up the house eg cleaning the shower whilst you are in it, cleaning and scrubbing the loo after using it, clearing some toys off the floor, wipe the bathroom and kitchen bench tops etc. This then means there isn’t really a mountain of things to do all the time but just tasks that take a bit more than 2mins.
3. Learn to multitask- I try to always incorporate other things whilst doing my chores/errands. For example, I listen to audiobooks whilst doing my grocery shopping/washing dishes and doing the vacuuming. I also tend to call and catch up with my family during my commute to work (using a hands-free handset and not touching the phone whilst I drive of course) or whilst folding laundry etc.
4. Make a plan- a meal plan reduces time wasting at the store trying to figure out what is in the fridge, what needs to be bought and being distracted by sale items which you don’t need. A plan for work lunches and packing them ahead reduces stress associated with running late for lunch, queuing for meals etc.
5. In the same token as *4 – have a to do list. In the modern age, it is very common to set off trying to do one thing and then suddenly you find yourself doing other things instead. This is particularly worse if you are doing anything online. Having a to do list ensures that you still have a reference list to check off as tasks get completed which tends to give me a little boost to keep going. I tend to do this tip a lot and can find that I have a few lists on the go at any one time. It is thus important to delete lists as you go to ensure they are useful lists.
6. If you can delegate for free, why not- the main one here is paying routine stuff by direct debit. These include mortgage, credit card repayments, bills, car registration etc. This ensures you never have to pay any late fees associated with late bills. It also means tax time is easier as most transactions are available for review.
7. On the audiobook topic- listen to it at 1.5 speed. The brain eventually adjusts to the quicker version which then means you can read more books over a shorter time. WINNING!
8. Ask for help!! Mummys who work full time are usually guilty of feeling they have to be superwomen ie running a household, being the perfect wife, preparing freshly cooked meals, ironing and doing laundry in addition to everything in between. “If you don’t ask, the answer is NO” is a motto I live by so I am happy to ask for help knowing that I don’t lose anything by asking.
These are some tips I use to try and get more bang for my time. Are there some time-saving tips you use daily?
*images from Google
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