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Use money to buy back your time.

· Psychology

Spending money to get my time back has been one of the best uses of my capital.

I run a lot of projects:

  • Work up to 50-60+ hours a week as a management consultant (not including travel)

  • Work on my side businesses

  • Participate on several public policy committees

  • Conduct pro-bono projects for local nonprofits

  • Attempt to read a book every week

  • Write books (in progress)

  • Spend quality time with friends at least weekly and fly often to visit family

  • Work on my advanced degrees

  • ...and sleep 7-8 hours a night, walk/run 5-10 miles a day, and live a healthy lifestyle.

This wouldn't be possible if I insisted on doing every single errand and task myself. Furthermore, although these things probably sound like work, they're actually my hobbies. I love them. They make me happy. So I was thrilled to be able to spend more time on these things but outsourcing what I call "life maintenance" -- especially the things that I absolutely hated.

Cleaning.

Laundry.

Cooking.

Errands.

These can easily suck up the entire weekend, leaving me with little time and energy to spend on MEANINGFUL work and activities that actually progress and fulfill me. I am intentional about spending my time, money and resources in areas that make me happy.

My time is limited and valuable, and I believe it should be spent doing things that only I can do. If someone else can, I delegate. Here’s a list of how I’ve gotten at least 30 hours a week back, just by outsourcing:

Housekeeping (Weekly)

  • Time Saved: ~7 hours/week
  • How?: I use a local service. They have me auto-scheduled, auto-billed and have directions about how I like things kept, and how to let themselves in and out. Laundry (Monthly)

Laundry (Monthly)

  • Time Saved: ~7 hours/week
  • How?: I use a service that picks up all of my laundry from my home and returns it freshly laundered and folded. Then I select about 20 outfits/dresses (four weeks at work) to hang, before putting the rest away. This means I spend 1 minute picking an outfit in the morning-- at that point, it’s solely based on weather, and I simply select undergarments and shoes.

Grocery Shopping (Weekly)

  • Time Saved: ~2 hours/week
  • How?: I auto-order my essentials through Instacart. For the most part, I just spend a few minutes editing a previous order, and scheduling a delivery.

Meal Preparation/Cooking (Weekly)

  • Time Saved: ~12 hours/week
  • How?: I use an extremely affordable local meal-prep service to prepares healthy cooked meals that last for the week.

Budgeting and Investing through Automation Systems (Daily)

  • Time Saved: ~5 hours/week
  • How?: Simple tracks my daily purchases and auto-categorizes them, auto-saves and transfers my allocated investing amount, and automatically shows me my available entertainment budget. Wealthfront/Betterment are my robo-advisors that manage my asset allocation and rebalancing for my brokerage accounts. Personal Capital pulls all of my accounts, investments, and portfolios to give an overall view of net worth.

Appointment-Only Beauty Services (Weekly)

  • Time Saved: ~2 hours/week
  • How?: I only use salons that are timely and honor appointments. This relieves me of having to wait, and I can get my services done in record time. (My hairstylist can complete my blowout in 55 minutes; my nail tech has my manicure/fills down to 30 minutes, waxing takes 30 minutes, etc.)

Time Currently Saved Per Week: ~35/hrs. With 35+ hours a week, you could reasonably get back 140 hours per month, without skipping out on any of your guilty pleasures. What could you do in that time?

  • Work on your own business

  • Advance your education

  • Work on a side hustle/craft

  • Spend quality time with family and loved ones

Furthermore, if you’re spending a mere ten hours of that time on a revenue-generating activity, you’ll make your money spent back and then some.

To be clear, I'm not mandating that you outsource these things -- only suggesting that you can consider outsourcing things that you hate, in order to free up resources. Some people LOVE cleaning (can't relate) -- for them, it wouldn't make sense to outsource it.

Determine what will most dramatically impact your quality of life, what absolute makes you miserable that you would pay to never have to do again, and work from there.

Once you've done that, think about it: what can you accomplish, create or even earn with that newly-freed up time?

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