by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
I spent an hour last night paying bills and double-checking credit card transactions after my son and daughter went to bed. When I told a friend about it over the phone, she laughed and told me that’s nothing. Last weekend, she spent Friday afternoon through midnight on Sunday running errands. What have our lives come to? A morass of things to do, errands and just have to finish this up?
While this may sound a bit extreme, the truth is, many of us feel overwhelmed more or less all the time; like we are spending so much time and energy on things we couldn’t care less about, we have nothing left for those that truly get us going. Fortunately, the problem can be fixed and your life can be turned around.
The key is to identify the things that are important to you, focus on those, and outsource the rest. So take some time – a couple of minutes may be enough, or it may take several months – to look into your heart and see what you are truly all about. Write these things down. They will change over time, and that’s all right. Change is the very essence of life, and you can realign the way you spend your time and money accordingly.
Then, keep a journal for whatever amount of time you need in order to learn where your time goes. Once you have this settled, you can compare what you care about to what you spend time on, and identify your time thieves – the things that frustrate you and steal your time. The solution for these things is outsourcing.
Hire someone to clean your house or do your grocery shopping. Recruit your teenage son to make sure your bills are paid on time – in exchange for a larger allowance. Have your daughter take your car to the wash in exchange for that dress she’s been drooling over. For complex tasks, there is always AssistU, Guru, ODesk, and numerous other services. We live in a global economy. If you take advantage of it and let go of the ways of the past, your life will be simpler, more efficient, and much more rewarding.
Happily, I now work only four days a week and have three day weekends every week. I am getting more done in less time with a higher paycheck at the same time. This works – so try it!