Whether you’re employed or self-employed, the chances are that you work far too much. In fact, research shows that the average human being works an incredible 13 years and two months of their lives in the office – add on top of that the 26 years we spend sleeping and the 7 years we spend trying to get to sleep (oh, and the four years we spend stuck in traffic) and it’s easy to feel like life is all about work. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to commit every hour of your day to work or travel – you can have some free time to do things you enjoy, whether that’s spending time with loved ones or practicing one of your hobbies…
It’s probably not the advice you want to hear, but if you’re struggling to find time to have fun, you should consider cutting the number of hours you work. Speak to your manager about the possibility of working on a reduced contract and see how it’d affect you financially. Sure, you will take home less pay every week, but if it means you can watch your children grow up and get to your favorite football games, you might decide that it’s a compromise worth making.
Hire an accountant
Run your own business? The chances are that you spend a lot of your free time working on your accounts. When you hire an accountant, you can hand over the responsibility to an expert and give yourself an extra few hours per week. Alternatively, if you’re a freelancer or a contractor, you could opt for an umbrella contracting company, who’ll effectively employ you and payout your salary as a PAYE employee. It cuts the unnecessary admin and paperwork.
Say no to new clients
It can be very tempting to accept new work and take on new projects when clients are happy but you should also know when to say no. If you’re getting too busy and finding that you’re working every hour under the sun, it’s not healthy. Take a step back and decide whether you can afford to continue at your current pace. It might be that you have to temporarily put a pause to new work, or put clients on a waiting list. Either way, slowing down makes sense.
Outsource some of your work
If you simply cannot say no to new work, consider outsourcing it to someone else. It’s very tempting to want to do everything on your own and be your own boss, but if you’re spending hours per week responding to emails and trying to complete projects, you’ll get behind pretty quickly. Find a reliable freelancer who you can depend on for additional support – you won’t need to hire them or pay their national insurance, as they’ll be working for themselves, too.
Work from home
Finally, consider cutting your daily commute by working from home several days of the week. If you’re working in a role that requires you to spend an hour each way in the car every day, you’ll quickly save 10 hours per week which you can put to better use. Speak to your hiring manager or HR about working from home – even once or twice per week – and enjoy that extra time in bed. Remote working is also better for the environment and your wallet, too!
How many of these techniques have you considered? Let us know your ultimate hacks and check back soon for more tips and tricks on putting yourself and your family above all else.