I don´t have the time

I remember myself saying that very often in the past. Now, a nostalgic laugh comes to me as I see how ridiculous it sounds from where I am standing now.

I have been married for two years now and I have a year old daughter. Now, I am sure that I did not really know what not having time really mean until a year ago.Don´t get me wrong I am not complaining, I am just acknowledging what now seems crystal clear. Actually, I am more efficient and satisfied on how I manage my time now.

It turns out that this topic – the lack of time – has been very recurrent lately in a lot of conversations with friends and colleagues, both those who have recently become parents and some others in very varied status.  I think a couple of ideas deserve to be shared.

Here is the first one

A friend of mine told me about that his wife’s boss is a very successful woman who, on my friend’s opinion, manages to cope very well with a very demanding job at a government office, the duties of a family of five, her social life, and other activities that seems very time consuming.

He mentions that they recently asked her how she does it. Her answer:

“Throw money at the problem”

What she meant is that in order to have time for the things that matter (those that actually could make a difference on your life) you need to invest your money on resources that allow you to win the time those things require.

She said she uses her money to hire people to take care of some of the housekeeping activities like doing laundry, cooking, children activities, chores, gardening, or transportation. This allows her to focus on her career and on the important family moments.

I know what some of you may be thinking at this point: «well yeah, but how to get that amount of money on the first place?”

I am not saying that we all can afford right away a butler, a gardener, a couple of nannies and such. But I do believe that the principle behind the idea is good. So, lets focus on the principle.

In our own context we can all find small trivial things that if delegated to others (wife, husband, children, partner, friend, supplier), either payed or not, would give back some time to focus on the most important things for us. Things that could be paid or not as well.

The objective of this principle is as simple as an investment: you are buying time. For what? Well, to push forward both, the activities you want to do, and those you have to do. The activities that do not pay the bills (yet) and those that do it.

Maybe you work during the day, and you just need someone who take care of the kids during the afternoon, in order to give you time to write the book you’ve always wanted to or to do the planning for the business you have in mind. Or maybe, you just need a person who drives for you, only to not spend time parking or fueling but reading or completing while commuting another task instead, saving valuable minutes for your family later.

This principle applies the same either if you want to get money from it or not. The objective is the same, you will be wealthier in one way or another.

From my own life

Of course, on time management one only should talk from the experience ground. So, let me give you a couple of personal examples:

  1. I am a distributor of an amazing jerky called El Porlo (elporlo.com). Some of the things I used to do at the beginning and that I delegate now, is the invoicing and tracking of packages. For the invoicing service I do pay a supplier, and for the tracking my wife, a logistics professional, helps me out. I concentrate much more now on looking for new customers or following up with the current ones. I do those things better and I know that focusing on them, they will pay off to cover the invoice service and to put money on the table.
  2. My wife and I recently hired a person who helps us to take care of our daughter and also with the domestic chores during the weekends. This has been a great decision. We have win time back for us to hang out as a couple and to rest a bit more, which directly impact on the amount of energy we have when we spend time with our baby. It also has given me a guilt-free pass to spend a couple of hours on my own reading and writing, which not just gives me a great joy but also ( I have no doubt) will bring me professional benefits down the road.

On this kind of investment – the second one – is harder to see a monetary return right away, but I can assure you that it is probably the best decision we have made lately. Without this service, I wouldn’t be able to focus on things that are critical for me. I actually think that what we are paying for is actually cheap (don´t tell the nanny, please) compared to what it generates as colateral benefits: a healthy marriage, a healthy family, my good mood, a stress relief and a stamina injection. The costs could be higher without this great person that helps us at home. So, hiring her definitely payed off.

My take-aways for you

Summarizing, you might delegate or pay for a service because:

  1. You are not good at something.
  2. You will use the extra time on something you are actually good at and generate value.
  3. You might pay for a service that will bring you maybe intangible benefits, but that will make you happier and very probably wealthier on the mid term.

Time management is a vast and evolving science. Use whatever works for you. I know I said there were a couple of ideas I would like to share about this. I gave you one: throw some money at the problem.

I will give a second thought, but in the meantime:

What do you have to say about this?

Please share and put your two cents on it.