What’s taking up your time?
Visiting a friend, he shared how much time he spent at a car dealer that day. Normally, he lets his middle man handle it. Now, he wanted to go through the process himself and learnt how much his time is worth: More than what he pays his middle man for this activity. Do you know how much your time is worth?
Your hourly rate
Have you ever determined your hourly rate? One of my friends told me many years ago that each hour is worth $4,000 to her. If she can find someone to fix her house for less (her husband apparently is not the handyman and she doesn’t enjoy these tasks either), she’ll hire them. Now, not everyone knows their rate like my friend. This test “Value of Time” helps you find yours.
What do you think of your hourly rate? Are you surprised by the amount and its link to what’s important to you?
Use the Internet
Growing up, we didn’t have the web (shows my age, doesn’t it?!). These days, you can see how it changed the world. Folks are getting help through the internet. Remember when your first online shopping purchase arrived at your house? How easy was it to just buy what you needed with one click rather than going from store to store, searching for the item? I used to buy my flights online and it definitely saved me spending hours at a travel agency. Plus, I didn’t have to feel embarrassed for changing the route or dates to just save some money or because I changed my mind.
There are many supermarkets where you can order online or you can call the little supermarket in your building. While I personally still like getting a few steps in and will go to my corner shop, it frightens me when it’s time to do the big shopping trip in the mall. No matter what time I’ve picked, it’s busy and deliveries like Kibsons or weekend markets like Ripe Market are my relief.
Get your kids involved
As children, we had to help around the house. Here, many kids have little to no chores due to a nanny or maid being in the house. Who says they can’t help out and learn to take responsibility despite having maid? Depending on their age, can they carry out small or bigger activities that help you? Starting a washing machine is not complicated and while it only takes a few minutes, it’s a start. Setting the dinner table or putting the dirty dishes into the dishwasher can be done by younger and older children (you may not want to hand knifes to your little ones). What chores do you give to your kids?
What activities do you give to your maid to make your life easier? If you don’t have a maid, which activities do you outsource? You can hire a cleaner for a few hours a week and they can do the mopping the floors, dusting, window cleaning, ironing, etc for you. Let them do the work you don’t won’t to (I still don’t like mopping – my chore growing up) or which takes up too much of your energy and time.
An ex-colleague of mine brought all his clothes to a dry cleaner. You may find this extreme (don’t worry, the ladies gave him plenty of slack) and only bring your shirts for ironing to the dry cleaner. Dry cleaners here often pick up and deliver or are conveniently located in a mall, saving you time.
Don’t like cooking and don’t want to eat out or order in either? You can hire a cook, which is relatively common for families from the subcontinent, or order a meal delivery like Kcal or Lively. They offer different meal plans and prepare a balanced diet for you. You can chose from weekdays only or the full week, 2 or 3 meals a day and so on. This may be an option for you to save time and still eating healthy.
Renewals like your annual MOT or registering your new home for electricity or gas can be carried out by your garage or mover. They’ll charge a fee but how much is that compared to you sitting at these institutions, potentially not knowing the full process? How much can you do while you wait and how high is your frustration level if you need to return because you forgot a document?
What if you don’t have the money to outsource? You can either bundle these meaningless activities and do them when your energy levels are lower or low. Alternatively, you can spread them across your week, still doing them when your energy levels are lower. This way, you may get the feeling they’re not as time consuming. Remember to keep your peak energy for your important activities. Whether this is your job, exercising, pursuing your arts projects or simply playing with your kids.
Have you ever considered a bartering service with your friends? If one of them is going shopping at a particular store, can she bring your items back? In return, you may cook an extra batch of your dinner and give it to her. She won’t have to prepare her meal for that evening and both of you save time in a different way.
How do you keep track of your time and ensure you spend most of it on meaningful activities? Do you outsource or barter what you don’t like? I’m interested in hearing how you manage it!
Until next time,