Six unconventional ways to create a ton more time in your life

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Freelancing / Inspiration / Motivation / Productivity

Hello Red Lemons. Today I wanted to give you some ideas for making more time in your life.

Some of these you may already do. Most of these may be unusual to you. All of these will create more time for you.

1. Hire someone to do your online stuff

There is a huge amount of low-cost help available out there on the Internet (think Odesk, Guru, Elance) by very capable, skilled people, who can help you take a load of the tedious work you do online, including dealing with emails (just tell them how to deal with certain emails), and any other admin, research, writing work you do that is time-consuming.

Browse through Odesk, and see some of the jobs people are on offer to help you with. It might blow your mind.

Often, because the person you hire is in another time zone, they work while you sleep, meaning you wake up to freshly completed work at a reasonable price.

You can even hire a personal/virtual assistant to help you over the long-term. It is worth trying out various people before you settle on on-going work from someone.

2. Quit your commute-heavy job

Commuting long hours can be reduced or even cut out, by shifting what you do for work and income. Is it possible to plan your life and career to do more work remotely, whereby the work you do is done over the beauty of the world wide interwebs?

Perhaps you can change the method behind the work you do to enable you to more easily work from home, or somewhere closer by.

Are you going to unnecessary meetings in person, when you could do a simple Skype video chat?

Are you able to negotiate hours working from home from your boss? And in so doing be able to spend the time saved from not commuting, on your work, or expanding your remote-working business?

If you can’t not commute, are you able to change the mode or means of transport to allow you to better make the most of the time spent on the move?

If you can’t get work done in a standard train carriage, maybe you can upgrade to first-class travel and be able to do work on a desk in the train.

Cut out the commute, but maintain social contact, naturally.

3. Give up one meal or more, and eat larger meals

Humans spend far too much time, on average, eating and drinking when they don’t have to, and shouldn’t need to. Often-times we’re doing it at the detriment to our health anyway.

Eat less and consume less often. This goes for drinks at the pub and between-meal snacks.

If you eat several meals a day, reduce the number of times you eat, and eat more (reduce the processed crap, and you can pretty much eat as much as you like) during those periods when you do eat.

I rarely eat breakfast shock horror.

I’m more alert and I save time when I don’t bother pumping sugary cereals and oily full English breakfasts into me each day.

I try and fast a day a week, and find my ability to work and concentrate when I’m off food is actually ok, and in most cases, my capacity for taking action is improved.

Quit snacking, and eat fewer, but larger (if need be), healthier meals. I’m no doctor, so make sure you know what you’re doing before you take any diet-altering advice from me.

4. Give up your second most-time consuming vice

Have a think about something you do regularly that takes a lot of time. It could be an addictive behaviour, like playing video games or getting blind drunk. Run through a few things that don’t do you any real good.

Something that is pleasurable and relaxing is not necessarily good for you or your time. Just because smoking pot or even watching movies feels good doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.

Obviously if you can give up the most time-consuming thing, fantastic, but that’s often very hard to do.

For now, I want you to find the second-most time-consuming thing blood-sucking the time and life out of you. If you can knock whatever this is out, you’ll be able to move onto the bigger challenge more easily, and start taking life on with bare fists.

5. Use crystal clarity to destroy procrastination

Procrastination and wasting time is crap. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy to do things, and this means improving what you eat and doing more exercise.

Once you’ve got more of a handle on this, and you still waste time, it’s probably to do with discomfort when faced with a task.

The reason you procrastinate?

The task/s is not obvious to you. It really is that simple. We don’t do things when we don’t really know how to do them, and cannot envision how it is that we do it.

When you know exactly how to tackle a new task and what will change when it is done, the motivation to do the task goes right up.

How can we make our tasks more obvious to us?

Break your tasks down. Make each piece of the project you are working on as small as possible, and work on each, one at a time.

Quit doing so much all at once. Procrastination comes from the discomfort generated through overwhelm and having too much to think about.

Write each mini-task down. Lay it all out in front of you.

My advice is to write down your next-day mini-tasks the night before, so that when you wake up you will have your day planned ahead of you.

6. Hire someone to do your shopping

This will be easier depending on the cost of labour in your part of the world.

I forgive you for not being able to take action on this one, but it’s worth a thought if it is indeed possible. Hiring help for someone to buy your groceries can extend to other errands too, and will save you big time.

Don’t forget that time is money. If the money you spend on hiring help does not exceed the amount you could be earning during the period covered by your helper, you’re golden.

Companies like Task Rabbit are making the ease with which to do this an increasing reality.

Bonus: Create Passive Income

A lot of our time is spent making- and trying to make- money. In fact, these days, a huge chunk of our time is spent, in one way or another, in our jobs making money for other people.

The way around this is to create a source of ongoing income that generates passively, i.e. without (or very little of-) your involvement.

You could be waking up every day to a bank account replenished with more cash put into it without any action-taking from you. Millions of people, including myself, are making this work.

This means creating a system (most likely on the Internet) whereby your product (this can be an information product like an ebook, for example) sells over and over again through an automated sales process (like Sendowl, which I use to great effect).

There is a lot more information available on the web on this topic, and I will be creating some content on automated income also.

Keep reading Red Lemon Club, and make sure you sign up to the newsletter to be kept up to date, below.

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The Author

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

3 Comments

  1. Jake Jorgovan says

    Great list Alex. I often practice breaking down tasks into mini-tasks as well. When there is something that I absolutely don’t want to do, this tends to be a great way to get it done.

    Here is another way that I have found to free up more time.

    Raise your rates – As I keep raising my rates I find I am able to make more money in less time. This alone has opened up so much time in my life to focus on other things such as blogging, podcasting, creating art and building products.

    • Alex Mathers says

      Thanks Jake! Great comment and a hugely valid point. Welcome to RLC!

  2. Francesca says

    Brilliant page and list! However I do have to disagree with point three about the meals. I suppose you could say I’m very into my nutrition and fitness, and skipping meals, especially breakfast, is not healthy for your body, or mind. You need this to fuel yourself. It’s important to have your three main meals a day, and a small morning snack and afternoon snack; eating more frequent and smaller meals. By doing this your keeping your energy and alertness high throughout the day and sustaining it. Doesn’t mean you have to eat rubbish – making sure it is nutritional.
    Sorry, not wanting this to seem like a negative comment on your list, just wanted people to know this.
    Thanks for a great read.

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