Time is above the gold, the diamond, the crypto, and everything else combined. Once a moment passes, it is unrecoverable. Time is the commodity that must be used with utmost care. This usage can either put you on a throne or destroy your precious life. There aren’t any time traveling machines or discoveries to bring back the spent minutes. Yet, there are ways to buy back your time and I’ll share with you several of those methods.
If you stick with the following 7 ways, you can buy back your future time and save yourself extra hours which can add up to form days and months.
1. Imaginary Worth
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone - Blaise Pascal
Most of us can’t stick with a goal long enough. We’re unable to create a concrete plan for life. This results in drifting around in life without knowing where we’re headed. This causes us to say “YES” to everything without fully understanding the implications. We mistakenly treat our time like we possess an endless stream of it.
Time is what we want most but what we use worst — William Penn
What if your time was worth $1,000/hour? Would you still spend 45 minutes trying to soak in a TikTok challenge? Will you still bother spending two hours trying to win a pointless argument?
What if you took on this 7 days challenge? What if you start acting as if your hour is worth $1,000? This will help you cut out the bullshit-time-wasting distractions and focus on what matters.
2. Outsource Mundane Tasks
Your time is worth too much to spend your mornings dusting off your living room, wasting work hours doing digital chores, and nights washing away the dishes.
If you take one hard look at your daily festivities, you’ll notice you’re spending a staggering amount of time responding to emails and scrolling through social media. You’re likely tackling tasks like a glorified human-robot. That’s where the opportunity lies.
If you hire someone to perform these duties, your energy and time can be invested into grander things with better rewards.
3. Listen More
When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. — Ernest Hemingway
We don’t listen. Not when someone is handing us pearls of life advice. Not when our lover is pouring their heart about their passions. Not when we’re negotiating either. In most situations, we’re only hearing waiting for our turn to speak. The other person is talking and we’re busy formulating our response and building the story instead of absorbing everything they’re saying.
Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone.
I never realized that until I landed my first job and things started going sideways after the first year. I had issues with the office environment, the way the team was being handled, our product direction, and a lack of personal growth. I had several meetings with the higher management and I started seeing a pattern. Each time I went in with a seemingly strong argument, they didn’t start by responding immediately. They’d simply let me talk for as long as I needed.
I thought I was doing great by letting everything out and bashing their systems. In reality, while I was going on rants, I was giving them breakpoints. The points where they could counter my argument and win in the end. They were listening intently and I was speaking carelessly.
If you listen more and with great attention, you’ll reduce the time you need to be stuck in an argument by better understanding the other person and then presenting a solution accordingly.
You don’t automate to get rid of the human. You automate to amplify them. — Robert Mann
Technology often gets a terrible representation. We’re told how it has enslaved us and all the horrible things it does to our brains. But there are wonderful sides too. Technology can help you spend more time with your kids, have the time to go on long walks with your partner, and be a more efficient worker at the same time.
Again, you’ll need to analyze your days. You’ll need to figure out the areas draining the most of your energy and automate them. If you know a little bit of programming, you’re already understanding what I’m saying and you can write your programs to get the job done faster. If not, the other tools you’re using can be automated as well.
You can find excel formulas, create browser macros, set auto-responders, make the most of tools like Zapier by connecting apps together, and much more.
5. The power of “NO”
When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself. — Paolo Coehlo
How often have you said “YES” to something you regretted later on? We’re strangled in unwanted commitments for several reasons. Maybe we care about the person, don’t want to offend them, or feel obliged to agree among dozens of other factors.
If you value your time, if you’d like to own the moments you’re blessed with on this planet, you’ll need to incorporate the habit of saying “NO” into your life. Say “NO” to time wasters, pointless events & gatherings, responsibilities you don’t care about, and obligations that are only draining your energy.
Start living your life on your terms and stop feeling sorry for being greedy about your time.
6. The Rule of Elimination
We’re driven by a plethora of things which we’re drawn to based on how we were raised and the values we hold dear. We want shiny cars, private planes, trips to Bali, lying on the beach surrounded by 20 models, popularity among peers, and more. But if we sit down and analyze, how many of our deepest obsessions matter? How many of our ambitions are worth grinding our present for?
When we look at our daily habits closely, we’ll realize there are dozens of things that are pointless. We don’t realize why we’re behaving certain ways. We don’t understand why we’re driven towards particular goals. We don’t know our “WHY”, we don’t have clarity about “WHO” we are and that’s where things are messing up.
Well, “Why” and “Who” are difficult questions with no straightforward answers. They aren’t impossible ones.
One process to better understand yourself as shared by the legendary Hollywood star Mathew Mccgohney in his book Greenlights is what he calls “The process of elimination”.
To get to know who you ARE, first, eliminate who you’re NOT.
Similarly, to get clarity of what “matters”, start shedding away the things that don’t, and eventually, you’ll narrow it down to what counts.
7. Pareto Principle
80% of consequences come from 20% of causes
In a garden, 20% of plants produce 80% of fruits. In a business, 20% of customers result in 80% of revenue. In life, 20% of actions yield 80% of meaningful results. Do you see where I’m going with this?
This point builds on top of the rule of elimination. If you are interested in saving your hours being washed away, you need to figure out the biggest culprits. If you’re curious about investing more into productive habits, pick the ones with the biggest impacts.
These points, when applied correctly can yield hours of extra time daily depending on how wasteful your current patterns are. In the end, it all boils down to being self-aware. It all comes down to being clear about what your destination and your plan to get there.
I’d love to hear your feedback. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to shoot me an email and we might end up exchanging books and memes :)