Repeat after me: “My time is precious and I will do whatever I can to preserve it.”
How much free time do you have? Something tells me that most of you reading that probably retorted with a “What’s free time?” remark. Some probably can respond with, ” I squeeze in free time when I can”. And a lucky few may be able to say they have at least a solid hour of free time daily. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those lucky few but I’m working on it.
The truth is free time is what people usually have the least of and desperately want more of. Meanwhile, we are all caught up in saving more money. And if you follow any blogs about financial freedom, debt payoff, etc, you know what I’m talking about. They all give you lists upon lists about how to spend less money, save more money, or side hustle to make more money.
While it’s important to save as much money as possible for emergencies, travel, etc., it’s also important to remember that time is the most valuable thing we have. Our time is even more valuable than our money. We should be spending as much time as possible enjoying our lives. I mean, isn’t that why we’re all hustling to save up money, pay off debt and make more? So we can eventually stop wasting time worrying about money and having enough and spend more time doing what makes us fulfilled and happy. And dare I say, have more free time?
Now I’ll be honest; the things on this list aren’t necessarily inexpensive items. Some of them do cost a decent amount of money. However, when you consider how much free time you’ll have as a result, you’ll see that many of these suggestions are worth it.
So check it out and see how much free time you’ll have when implementing some of these suggestions into your life.
1. Plan your outfits in advance
Outfit planning can be just as annoying as meal planning to me. Yet, I recognize that it can be a serious time saver. Spending 20 minutes on Sunday night picking out your clothes for the week is worth it if it means you’re not spending ten minutes every morning trying to figure out what to wear. Plus, if you’re anything like me, failure to plan usually results in clothes tossed everywhere and spending time cleaning it all.
2. Spend ten minutes a day cleaning
I know most people would rather not spend their time cleaning. I certainly don’t. But I’ve found that the tidiest people spend a little time everyday putting things in it’s place so you don’t end up spending a whole weekend doing something you can’t stand – cleaning a messy home. Wiping down the countertops at the end of the day, hanging up your coat and spraying your bathtub after each shower goes a long way when trying to find more free time.
3. Have your groceries delivered or utilize ShopRite from Home
So this one does cost a bit of money, but I’m always so happy when I do it. Grocery shopping is such a tedious task. It’s not enjoyable walking up and down aisles searching for food. So instead, I do my grocery shopping online and pay an additionally fee for someone to pick up my groceries for me and bring it to my car. I save time not having to walk around the aisles, and I don’t ever forget an item since I’m doing the list an shopping from the comfort of my home. Plus, sometimes I end up saving money even with the fee. It eliminates the temptation to buy things I don’t need.
4. Meal plan for the week or month ahead
I’m not gonna sugar coat it. There’s nothing fun about meal planning, but I’m learning it really can hold the key to having more free time and money. If you don’t want to do the planning yourself you can indulge in HelloFresh every now and then or follow the meal plan from Skinny Taste.
5. Stockpile necessities
I think for the most part everyone can agree that shopping can be a huge time suck. That’s why I found it beneficial to stockpile common goods to limit trips to the store. For example, holiday cards, and cleaning products are always good to have on hand and save you some free time. Check out this post to find out cost effective items to stockpile from the Dollar Tree.
6. Use a wash and fold service
I don’t usually mind doing chores, but when it comes to laundry I avoid it as much as possible. I’d just rather not spend my time putting clothes away, checking pockets, etc. When the budget allows for it, I utilize the services of a wash and fold service. I drop off whatever laundry needs to be cleaned and simply pick it up fresh and folded on the agreed upon time. Some places even pick the laundry up from your home and drop it back off for you when it’s done.
7. Hire someone to clean your home
Again, not something I do regularly, but when I do I’m happy. For about $65 I pay someone to clean dust, wipe down and cleanse my home. Normally, I go out and do something I enjoy while my home is being cleaned. Nothing is better than enjoying that rare bit of free time and coming back to a lemony fresh home I didn’t have to clean. Definitely what I call time and money well spent.
8. Unsubscribe to mailing lists
I know we all love to keep up with the latest sales and new releases of products, but combing through all those emails is a major time suck. Unsubscribe from the ones that serve no purpose for you.
9. Limit your wardrobe to jumpsuits and maxi dresses
Sorry to exclude the men on this one, but this is a suggestion I couldn’t leave out. For the last month or two I’ve limited my wardrobe to only jumpsuits and maxi dresses for the most part and it’s saved me so much time. Long gone are the days of trying to match tops and bottoms correctly. I pull out one time from the closet and I’m good to go. And it works for all seasons too. Just wear thicker dresses in the winter and rompers instead of jumpsuits in the summer. Plus, it keeps my closet more organized since I have less items in there now. If you need help finding jumpsuits and maxi dresses on a budget, try checking Zulily and ThredUp. Don’t be surprised if you find amazing $12 maxi dresses on Zulily like I often do. I absolutely love this one.
10. Use a timer
Have you ever noticed how often your mind wanders or you procrastinate when doing a task? Suddenly a task that should take you fifteen minutes ends up taking a full hour. It’s a problem I’m very familiar with. What’s helped me is setting a timer. When I know I’m in a race against time, I finish quickly and therefore have more free time to do something else. Depending on the task, I set timers for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes on my phone. I’ve been thinking of getting one of those pretty sand timers to assist with sensory and calming for my toddler.
11. Stop all the DIY projects
I have a board of must-do DIY crafts on pinterest too, but the truth is the time it takes to complete many of them isn’t really worth the small amount of money saved. Most of them end up being a complete waste of time. And don’t even get me started on the Pinterest fails. If you really want more free time, say no to DIY unless it’s something you truly do enjoy doing.
12. Try subscription boxes
I can’t personally attest to it, but if you dislike spending time shopping for clothes you can try subscription boxes for clothes. Fashion subscription boxes such as Stitchfix, and Gwynnie Bee. For a personal styling fee, several clothing pieces can be mailed to you each month and you only pay for the clothes you want to keep. Saves you time and a trip to the store!
13. Hire an Accountant
So yes, paying someone to do your taxes is not cheap. It can cost a couple hundred dollars. But when you consider how hours and headaches you’re saving yourself it might be worth the extra money.
14. Use Amazon Prime
Here’s the part where I sing the praises of Amazon Prime like every other blogger, but I’m only doing it because it’s true. Amazon Prime is a HUGE time saver. It’s amazing having items you need just show up at your door in just a couple days and sometimes even hours. Amazon Prime might even make life a tad easier.
15. Employ the two minute rule
One of the easiest ways to save more time is to complete a task as soon as it’s presented. Why put off for tomorrow what can be done today? It’s not always easy. But I try to employ the two minute rule in most aspects of life. If the task at hand will take me two minutes or less to complete than I will do it as I come to it. It’s a huge time saver and helps your day run a bit smoother. Once you start putting off small tasks you end up overwhelmed as you try to find the time to do them all. Touch it once and you’ll thank yourself later when you’ve gained much needed free time.
How do you manage to fit more free time into your day? What time savers do you practice?
TERRIfic Quip – The bad news is that time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. – Michael Astshuler