• three ways to buy time

 

 

We all begin on equal ground with 168 hours in a week. We're left with 128 after a 40-hour work week. Maybe trim that down to 120 once you factor in the commute. If you're lucky enough to get eight hours of sleep each night, you're left with 64 hours. 32 of those remaining 64 hours are restrained to the weekend, while the other half are spread among the weekdays. So it's no surprise that we all count down the time until the weekend because we feel the need to cram five days worth of free time into just two days. 32 hours over five weekdays equates to six hours and 24 minutes per day of free time. Yet, when was the last time you felt you had nearly six and a half hours of free time on a workday? Factor in meals, bathing, errands, socializing, or simply watching a television show and you're likely dipping into borrowed time. You shouldn't have to decide between watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones and getting enough sleep.

 

 

buying time

 

 

Despite these approximations of how your week breaks down into hours, life is not this predictable or regimented. Your car breaks down. A friend needs help. You have a doctor's appointment. Life gets in the way and our free time is not always guaranteed. Still, the importance of making time for yourself is invaluable toward improving both mental and physical health. According to 2017 research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America titled "Buying time promotes happiness", time scarcity is a cause of lower life satisfaction, and investing in time-saving purchases is more rewarding than material purchases (PNAS). This study also showed a heightened relationship between a sense of control over one's time and how impactful time stress is on an individual. Essentially, if you feel like you are in control of your time, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed by mounting pressures of how time is apportioned. With the knowledge that control over how we spend our time is key to reducing stress, how do we reclaim control and take back our time? There are three key methods for putting this task into action: optimization, motivation, and expression.

  

 

Optimization //

Modern life is no stranger to multi-tasking, but the quality of completing multiple tasks at a time can vary greatly. In order to optimize your time, invest time one day a week to plan ahead. For example, meal planning can save you hours during the week by removing indecision and having pre-made meals ready to go. Invest in some good tupperware, cook in bulk, and you can have meals ready in advance that are likely to be healthier and less expensive. The time it takes to cook chicken, rice, and vegetables is the same for one chicken breast as it is for five. The time saved from having to cook or travel to buy a meal can be better spent on things that give you greater pleasure. 

 

 

Motivation //

Perhaps the most difficult action you can take to make the most of your time is to self-motivate. Energy and drive are difficult to drum up at the end of the work day, but whether you're stirring up endorphins from a workout or setting aside an hour to work on a pet project, you'll be left feeling glad that you did. Is there something you've been meaning or wanting to do? Keep a "fun to-do list" on your refrigerator or phone of things to do just for yourself. For some people it's practicing with an instrument, or reading the book that has been on your nightstand for months, or exploring the park just outside of town. Ultimately, we can complain about feeling like we don't have enough time and wallowing in that frustration, or we can take advantage of time when it presents itself. Whether you're going for a walk with a friend, having a pamper day at home, or trying the new Lebanese restaurant that opened up near you, use your free time to work your way through your list. Even if the shawarma isn't as good as you had hoped, you'll feel productive for spending your free time doing something on your terms rather than someone else's.

 

 

Expression //

Many of us have hobbies and creative outlets that we've had to set aside as we've grown older. The things that made us who we are can drift and get lost in the ether of adulthood. Those outpourings of creativity, activity, and engagement have shpaped us, and still can. Of course you'll be a little rusty, whether you're playing piano or basketball, and it will seem daunting to revisit an old interest in photography or volunteering at a local food bank. Whatever activities you love to do, there is no reason to lose them to the hurdles of age and time. The gratification of expressing yourself in a way that brings you genuine joy will justify the time in a way that work is inherently unable. To work towards something that rewards you in non-financial ways is to tap back into happiness that can't be bought.

 

 

buying time

 

 

Ultimately, the sense of a shortage of time is something that dominates the majority of us. By having more time, and feeling in control of those 168 hours that we have each week, we are able to live a happier life. Reclaiming that time, whether that be through ‘buying’ it back with time saving purchases, or prioritising the time you have to yourself more than we usually do, we can optimise those precious 168 hours to the max, and notice the benefits. So, why not that taxi or grab that ready made coffee, and then enjoy putting your feet up for that little bit longer. We all have the same number of hours in a week, so it’s up to us to shape them into time well spent.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet.

 

 

 

three ways to buy time

 

 

We all begin on equal ground with 168 hours in a week. We're left with 128 after a 40-hour work week. Maybe trim that down to 120 once you factor in the commute. If you're lucky enough to get eight hours of sleep each night, you're left with 64 hours. 32 of those remaining 64 hours are restrained to the weekend, while the other half are spread among the weekdays. So it's no surprise that we all count down the time until the weekend because we feel the need to cram five days worth of free time into just two days. 32 hours over five weekdays equates to six hours and 24 minutes per day of free time. Yet, when was the last time you felt you had nearly six and a half hours of free time on a workday? Factor in meals, bathing, errands, socializing, or simply watching a television show and you're likely dipping into borrowed time. You shouldn't have to decide between watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones and getting enough sleep.

 

 

buying time

 

 

Despite these approximations of how your week breaks down into hours, life is not this predictable or regimented. Your car breaks down. A friend needs help. You have a doctor's appointment. Life gets in the way and our free time is not always guaranteed. Still, the importance of making time for yourself is invaluable toward improving both mental and physical health. According to 2017 research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America titled "Buying time promotes happiness", time scarcity is a cause of lower life satisfaction, and investing in time-saving purchases is more rewarding than material purchases (PNAS). This study also showed a heightened relationship between a sense of control over one's time and how impactful time stress is on an individual. Essentially, if you feel like you are in control of your time, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed by mounting pressures of how time is apportioned. With the knowledge that control over how we spend our time is key to reducing stress, how do we reclaim control and take back our time? There are three key methods for putting this task into action: optimization, motivation, and expression.

  

 

Optimization //

Modern life is no stranger to multi-tasking, but the quality of completing multiple tasks at a time can vary greatly. In order to optimize your time, invest time one day a week to plan ahead. For example, meal planning can save you hours during the week by removing indecision and having pre-made meals ready to go. Invest in some good tupperware, cook in bulk, and you can have meals ready in advance that are likely to be healthier and less expensive. The time it takes to cook chicken, rice, and vegetables is the same for one chicken breast as it is for five. The time saved from having to cook or travel to buy a meal can be better spent on things that give you greater pleasure. 

 

 

Motivation //

Perhaps the most difficult action you can take to make the most of your time is to self-motivate. Energy and drive are difficult to drum up at the end of the work day, but whether you're stirring up endorphins from a workout or setting aside an hour to work on a pet project, you'll be left feeling glad that you did. Is there something you've been meaning or wanting to do? Keep a "fun to-do list" on your refrigerator or phone of things to do just for yourself. For some people it's practicing with an instrument, or reading the book that has been on your nightstand for months, or exploring the park just outside of town. Ultimately, we can complain about feeling like we don't have enough time and wallowing in that frustration, or we can take advantage of time when it presents itself. Whether you're going for a walk with a friend, having a pamper day at home, or trying the new Lebanese restaurant that opened up near you, use your free time to work your way through your list. Even if the shawarma isn't as good as you had hoped, you'll feel productive for spending your free time doing something on your terms rather than someone else's.

 

 

Expression //

Many of us have hobbies and creative outlets that we've had to set aside as we've grown older. The things that made us who we are can drift and get lost in the ether of adulthood. Those outpourings of creativity, activity, and engagement have shpaped us, and still can. Of course you'll be a little rusty, whether you're playing piano or basketball, and it will seem daunting to revisit an old interest in photography or volunteering at a local food bank. Whatever activities you love to do, there is no reason to lose them to the hurdles of age and time. The gratification of expressing yourself in a way that brings you genuine joy will justify the time in a way that work is inherently unable. To work towards something that rewards you in non-financial ways is to tap back into happiness that can't be bought.

 

 

buying time

 

 

Ultimately, the sense of a shortage of time is something that dominates the majority of us. By having more time, and feeling in control of those 168 hours that we have each week, we are able to live a happier life. Reclaiming that time, whether that be through ‘buying’ it back with time saving purchases, or prioritising the time you have to yourself more than we usually do, we can optimise those precious 168 hours to the max, and notice the benefits. So, why not that taxi or grab that ready made coffee, and then enjoy putting your feet up for that little bit longer. We all have the same number of hours in a week, so it’s up to us to shape them into time well spent.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet.

 

 

 

  • Author avatar
    Sarah Lopeman
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