Paying for assistance with day-to-day things may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but really it’s an investment in ourselves. Listen in to today’s episode as I talk about how spending money on tools and resources can make all the difference in our productivity and quality of life.
Investing in carefully chosen tools and resources can equal buying ourselves time for what matters most
Last month in episode 364 we talked about tools we can use to boost our productivity without spending much (if any) money. I firmly believe it’s not necessary to spend a bunch of money to be productive.
BUT sometimes it’s worth investing a bit of money in tools or services that can help us free up time, energy, or attention for the goals, projects, dreams, and people that mean most to us. I’m not suggesting that any of these is necessary in order to be productive, but if you’re overloaded and overwhelmed or looking for a way to carve out time for something that’s important to you, one or more of these might be worth investigating.
1. Outsourcing – Paying someone to do routine tasks that need to be done but don’t need to be done by you
- Housecleaning, lawn service, meal services, laundry service, home repair
- Filing, data entry, other clerical help
- Virtual assistance – Scheduling, booking travel, email triage
- Podcast editing; show notes
2. Public transportation – car services (often used by executives and professionals in large cities), Uber, Lyft, subway, or bus. If you spend a lot of time on the road, consider whether you could let someone else do the driving so you can work during the trip.
3. Quality tools (household, office, or otherwise) – Working with inadequate or poorly functioning tools can make things take longer. I don’t advocate for indiscriminately throwing money at a problem, but to boost your efficiency and effectiveness at the core functions of your job (at home or at work) it’s worth investing money in the best tools you can afford for those core functions.
- Cleaning supplies and tools
- Computer, printer, scanner
- Software that automates work processes (e.g., invoicing, accounting, etc.)
4. Regular in-person assistance – For example, a Mother’s helper – college student, mature high schooler, or a retired mom looking to make a little cash.
- Drop off/pick up kids
- Run errands (dry cleaning, packages, etc.)
- Fold clothes
5. Home exercise equipment – if you can discipline yourself to use it, having equipment at home can allow you to work out at home on your own schedule, moving your body without the commute to and from the gym. Investing in a digital coaching tool like iFIT or Apple’s fitness app can buy you motivation by keeping you interested and challenged without the need to make an appointment with a trainer.
6. Education (to help you be more efficient and effective) – What this might look like depends on the areas where you need help.
- Maybe hire a business coach or a life coach to help you get clarity on your goals and develop a road map to accomplishing them.
- Or a professional organizer to get your workspace or certain areas of your home in order so you lose less time looking for missing items or cleaning/maintaining your stuff.
- Attend a carefully chosen conference or online course to help you get better at key tasks
Each of us needs to decide for herself how and where to deploy the finite resources we each have: time, energy, attention, and money. According to a study published by the National Academy of Sciences, “spending money on time-saving services is linked to greater life satisfaction. . . . That’s because when you get your time back, you can spend it on things that actually matter to you. You no longer have to worry about the little things that add up in the day.” [from 7 ways to buy back your time]
What do you think?
What did I miss? What are some other areas where you invest money to buy yourself time? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group, or send me an email
Resources and Links
- TPW364 – Productivity for Free
- 7 Ways to Buy Back Your Time
- 3 Easy Ways to Spend Money to Buy Time | FreshBooks Blog
- 6 Ways to Buy Back More of Your Time
- Buying Time, Not Stuff, Might Make You Happier: Shots – Health News: NPR
- How spending money on convenience makes you richer
- Use Your Money to Buy Back Time — An Important Shift in Financial Thinking | by Tim Denning | Better Marketing
- Using money to buy time linked to increased happiness — ScienceDaily
- Here are 5 ways to spend money that can actually make you happier
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Royse City, Texas