Almost everyone I know would like to have more time with his or her families. This is why we all enjoy vacations and why books like The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris are so popular. Most folks however, can’t up and retire, nor can they get by with only four hours of work a week.
But, what if you could shave 10 hours off of your week every single week? What if you could spend 520 more hours with your family? That’s equivalent to 13 weeks of vacation! This isn’t such a far-fetched idea. In fact, it is very simple to do. Here are several places where you can create more family time in your day:
- Stop mowing your lawn (2hr/wk) – Redesign your lawn to be maintenance free. There are many options – Xerscape, turf, and even robot lawn mowers. Of course, you could always hire a lawn service to help you shave 10 hours off your week.
- Stop doing laundry (2hr/wk) – The last time I timed myself folding and putting away laundry, I averaged 20 minutes a load. On average, my family has five loads a week. Include the 20 minutes spent sorting it; I’d waste two hours a week doing laundry. Instead, find a laundry service in your area. Some even pick-up and drop-off.
- Stop cooking (5hr/wk) – Thirty minutes of food prep plus thirty minutes of cleaning dishes kills an hour a day for whoever is doing the work. Multiply that by five times a week, as much as seven, and you can quickly shave 10 hours off your week.
- Don’t Eat Out (5hr/wk) – I find that the average restaurant takes me 15 minutes to get from my front door to a table. Add 20 minutes for all the waiting you do between ordering your drinks, reading the menu, ordering food, and waiting for food. Another five minutes can be added for that annoying time when you’re finished and waiting for the check. Another 15 minutes back home; you’ve spent an hour not actually eating. Instead, pick food up on your way home, and then eat as a family.
- Hire a Cleaner (3hr/wk) – The size of your family and home will make this number fluctuate, but I’d bet three hours of cleaning your house per week is probably a fair estimate. Ask your friends for a recommendation or you can use websites like Care.com. They provide background checks to make sure you won’t be swindled.
- Stop Watching TV (14hr/wk) – According to this survey, the average person watches 2.8 hours of TV a day. This wastes 14 hours of your work week, when time with family is most hard to come by. Set down the remote and quickly shave 10 hours or more off you week. Plus, TV provides almost zero enrichment for your life.
- Outsource Labor (4hr/wk) – How much time do you spend driving to the grocery store, shopping, then driving home? Add in the same thing for the dry cleaners, the post office, and other errands. Outsource this to folks like TaskRabbit or Needto. These are great sites to help you shave 10 hours off your week in other areas also. You can often find someone to do your shopping for $20. Consider the $5 in gas you’re saving and you just spent $15 for an extra 2 hours with your family. That’s a great investment.
You may not be able to completely outsource your life – and who would want to? But you can certainly find a few more hours in a day if you’re intentional about it. Take an inventory of time wasters you engage in every day, and then get rid of them to shave 10 hours or more off your week!
What other activities are you doing that you could eliminate?