Save Time: How to Make The Most of Your Most Valuable Asset — Jamie Pittman
Several years ago, I lived in a house that was not close to a lot of things. I bought the house because it was close to the school that I was going to teach forever. Two years later I was commuting 45 minutes or more into downtown Raleigh.
For three years, I spent most days driving about 120 miles/day. My commute to and from work was the ultimate time-suck. Without traffic, it was about a 35-minute drive on the highway. I was getting up and leaving by 6:15 am to avoid traffic backing up and increasing my commute.
On average, I spent about 2.5–3 hours in the car. On some workdays, it might’ve been more.
When I sold the house, I vowed to never waste time like that again. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can accomplish in the car. You can listen to books and podcasts, or catch up with loved ones on the phone. That’s about it.
In a single year (assuming I was commuting 2 hours/day, Monday — Friday), I lost a minimum of 520 hours driving.
Not to mention, sitting in traffic like that made me incredibly miserable. I was so much angrier about everything. It was horrible.
I thought about the time I wasted often, and how much it hurt to know that I could be using it so much more wisely. I wanted to save my time for things that I cared about, that would enrich my life. Not stress me out.
During this time in my life, I really began to understand the value of intangible assets. I began to understand how much they meant to me, and how I held them above everything else.
You can’t put a price on (personal) time.
I mean, I guess you can. You can easily calculate how much money you generate per hour, week, and year. But your personal time? I think that is much more difficult to slap a price tag on.
In the last ten years, I have grown more and more protective of my time and how I spend it.
While I see my own personal time as priceless, I have no issue putting a value on things I don’t want to do or finding alternatives to save time. I would rather pay someone to do certain things that either will take me longer to complete or I just completely hate or see no value in doing.
I recognize that financially some of these things may not be feasible for you. The way I look at it is, the time I get back is spent on doing things that will make me a more valuable person: either in the bank or my personal emotional well-being tank.
Here are a few things that I’ve done recently to help save my precious personal time.
Get someone or something to help you with cleaning.
Earlier this year I spent $99 on a robot vacuum. I have two dogs that shed, and I can tell you that this purchase has been well worth every penny. I no longer have to spend time vacuuming the dog hair off the floor every day.
Then, I found someone to help me clean my house once a month. I don’t mind cleaning at all (well, I hate cleaning the bathroom), but it is very time-consuming. At the time of this post, I am working a fairly demanding full-time job, plus teaching on the side.
I just had a deep clean done that took two people 3.5 hours to complete. That sounds like a lot for 1000 square foot condo, but they cleaned it all. Windows, baseboards, cabinets: the works!
So, this first time was a little bit more expensive, but moving forward it will only cost me about $100/month.
Time Saved on Cleaning Each Month: 12 hours
Workout at home.
The gym that I go to in my area of town is only about a 5–7-minute commute. But it’s often crowded (an issue pre-COVID) and I will have to wait to get on machines or use the squat rack.
Outside of the actual time spent working out, I’m spending at least an extra 30–45 minutes commuting, getting ready, and waiting.
The pandemic has forced me to adapt to working out at home, but I’m thinking that this might be the more permanent solution for me based on all of the time I’ve been saving.
Sure, it’s not the same. I don’t have access to the same equipment. BUT you can do a lot of with bodyweight movements, bands, and YouTube. Plus, depending on how much money you spend on a gym membership, you’re saving money, too.
I’d also love to buy a Peloton, but I can’t bring myself to do that yet.
Time Saved By Working Out at Home Each Month: 10 hours
Live near where you work.
This strategy isn’t super relevant at the moment because most folks are not commuting right now, but I think it is something to keep in mind for the future.
I mentioned that I was once commuting quite a bit 10 years ago. When I moved to Texas, I also decided to live near my work, as well as after I moved back to North Carolina.
In early 2019, I changed jobs and now had to commute about 45 minutes (with traffic) each way. The commute was awful. It was bumper-to-bumper most days and I decided as soon as possible that I would move closer to work.
I know this may not be a viable option for everyone, but I think it is something to strongly consider when choosing where to live. We spend MOST of our days working, why add any additional time with a commute.
Living closer to work saves time, but also money and the planet. It will also make you more relaxed and less stressed.
Time Saved by Moving Closer to Work Each Month: 30 Hours (based on 45-minute commute each way)
How do you save time?
This list is just the tip of the iceberg in ways to save time. What are some strategies you use to maximize or save time?
Originally published at https://jamiepittman.com on October 31, 2020.