How to buy time instead of things so you can be more happy

buy time
Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

A study published a few years ago showed that people who spent money to delegate tasks they disliked were happier than those who didn’t. In other words, when you buy time instead of things you feel better.

Most of us have been conditioned to covet material things, believing they represent success and bring happiness. But the truth often looks very different. Here are 4 reasons you’re better off to buy time than material things.

1. The high doesn’t last.

I can attest to the disappointment that follows many material purchases. You believe buying this thing will scratch a certain itch. And it does for a while, but the euphoria fails to last.

If you’re not careful you’ll go searching for the next thing believing that will finally fulfill you. It’s a vicious cycle that plays out like an addiction and can have a devastating impact on your pocketbook.

2. When you buy time you build confidence.

When you buy time instead of things, you’re saying “I’m worth it.” Where a material purchase often feels like a panacea or a consolation prize, spending money to free up time feels like a real gift to yourself.

When you buy time instead of things, you're saying "I'm worth it." Click To Tweet

3. It helps you focus on strengths.

When we buy time, we make a decision to focus on things we like to do. These are almost always our strengths.

By investing more time in the things we’re good at, we get even better at them. And the weaknesses we can never hope to master get shifted to someone who’s better suited to tackle them.

4. It increases progress.

In both business and personal life, when you buy time it helps you move faster toward your goals. This should seem obvious, but many refuse to invest in themselves by paying someone else to do certain tasks.

In both business and personal life, when you buy time it helps you move faster toward your goals. Click To Tweet

They don’t want to spend the money, so they attempt to do everything themselves. But, from a personal growth perspective, wasting time on your weaknesses is a terrible investment.

buy time

When you buy time to spend more of it doing what you love, you become a master at those things. When you refuse to invest in help for things you dislike, however, you get distracted.

Instead of focusing on and improving your “zone of genius” you experience frustration and self-doubt as you struggle through a task you loathe.

How to change your mindset and buy time

Have you stopped to think there’s a reason you’re better at some things than others? It’s not bad luck that you’re terrible at design and competent at writing (my personal example).

God gave you certain talents and abilities because that’s what you’re supposed to do. You owe it to yourself and everyone else to spend as much time as possible nurturing those gifts.

Pay attention to how you feel when you struggle through those tasks you dread and refuse to outsource. Then contrast that with the feeling of flow, ease, and fulfilment you experience while doing something you love.

Even when it reaps no financial rewards, you are worthy of spending most of your time doing things that bring you pleasure and fulfillment. If you feel you can’t afford to buy time this way, look at material expenses you can cut to make room in your budget.

There is no return on investment for most material purchases. And they have little to no lasting impact on your happiness. So, why not rearrange your budget to buy time instead?

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