Money is infinite. If you lose money, you can always earn more. Time doesn’t work like that. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Therefore, given the opportunity to trade money to buy time, one should take it.
There are even scientific reasons to buy time. According to studies, buying time promotes happiness. But how do you do it? Depending on your disposable income, you have a few options.
1. Get a housecleaning service. Pay someone else to do your dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing.
2. Hire a gardener. Get someone to mow your lawn and prune your bushes.
3. Outsource repairs. Hire others for home and car repairs. If you rent, hold your landlord responsible for home repairs.
4. Pay for faster transportation. Fly instead of drive. Opt for direct flights.
5. Get an assistant. Hire someone to keep your schedule, make your appointments, and run your errands. If that is out of your price range, try online services.
6. Outsource work. Hire freelancers to research, edit, write, design, code, or do whatever else you need to be done.
7. Cut down on commute time. Pay more to live closer to work. Or quit your job and find one that allows you to work from home.
8. Pay someone to cook for you. Order out for meals. For a healthier (and expensive) option, hire a personal chef.
9. Retire early. Be frugal with your spending. Save as much as you can. Invest wisely. Retire early so you can spend time doing what you want and not what you need to do.
Not everyone has the disposable income for these options. Luckily there are ways to free time without spending money.
1. Automate repetitive tasks. If you need to do it more than twice, find a way to automate it. Set up autopay on your bills. Write scripts for repetitive computer tasks. Use automation software.
2. Streamline decision-making. Author Neil Strauss eats the same lunches from the same restaurants every week. He does this so he doesn’t have to spend time choosing what to eat. The decisions are made for him. Find ways to cut down on your decisions.
3. Stay healthy. Eating healthy, exercising, and regularly visiting your doctor can add years to your life you might not otherwise have.
4. Stay on task. Manage your responsibilities in a timely manner, so you can move on to tasks you enjoy.
It’s up to you to decide which strategies you implement. Some things you might actually enjoy doing. Others you will want to outsource. If you enjoy cooking, don’t bother ordering out. However not many people enjoy dusting and vacuuming, so you might want to hire someone to do the house cleaning for you. Like most decisions, the more money you have, the easier they are to make.
Now take the time to choose what you want to outsource. Do it for your own happiness. Go task by task, deciding what you can and can’t afford, what you enjoy and what you don’t. Don’t limit yourself to the tasks in this post. The more time you buy, the more time you have to do the things you love.