Productivity: How I Save 15+ Hours Each Week in My Personal Life
Over the years, I’ve shared quite a few productivity hacks with you such as the Pomodoro technique and task prioritizing. I’ve even shared some of my tools for increasing team productivity.
But some of my biggest productivity boosters have been the systems I’ve built into my personal life. I figured I could have a competitive advantage if I wasted less time on useless tasks. My time is valuable, and I have plenty of money. I use my money to buy more time.
Here are a few ways I’ve increased my productivity in my personal life.
1. Hiring a Maid
It’s hard to keep my place as clean as I’d like. I know I should clean up all those Amazon boxes in the corner, but optimizing my campaigns is a higher priority. To delegate the task of cleaning, I’ve been using maid services for the past 5 years.
When I was living in Asia, my maids would come 3 times a week. I didn’t need the cleaning that often, but I wanted to help them out by giving them more work. In Thailand and Vietnam, I paid them $10 a visit, and it took them usually 2 hours to clean my condo.
- Wash dishes
- Laundry, organize, and iron clothes
- Take out trash
- Clean and vacuum
In Atlanta, my maids come every Friday, and they charge $100 a visit.
In Asia, I found my maids through my landlord. In America, you can find cleaning companies through Yelp.
I save hours every week by employing someone to clean my apartment. It’s easier for me to concentrate in a clean environment, and it makes a good impression when I have guests over.
2. Ordering Nearly Everything Online
I’m looking around my space right now. I’d say 90% of everything I bought came from online stores. Ordering online gives me the following advantages:
- I don’t waste time driving.
- I don’t waste time browsing on foot or waiting in line.
- I buy higher quality products because I have access to customer reviews.
I can get almost everything I need within two days through Amazon Prime ($79 a year, and you can get many items delivered within 2 days for free.
I like the convenience of Amazon’s subscription service on some products. I have items such as dog food and oatmeal on auto-delivery.
Most of my clothes are bought online. Many brands already come with printed return labels, so exchanging the clothes is easy. I stick to a few brands, so I know that my purchases are going to fit.
3. Hiring a Personal Assistant
Tasks may include:
- Assembling things I order such as furniture
- Dropping off packages at UPS
- Dropping off clothes for dry cleaning/alterations
- Dropping stuff off at the bank (I trust this person)
- Picking up food from restaurants (some places where I love to eat are 30 minutes away)
- If I’m traveling, my assistant can drop my dog off at my parents’ house, which is 30 minutes away.
My assistant used to shop for groceries for me, but I actually love shopping for groceries myself.
I found my assistant through Craigslist, and I screened this person carefully.
You can also check out TaskRabbit. It’s an interesting website, but I’ve never tried it before.
4. Hiring an Online Assistant
The personal assistant is for the tasks to be done in person. I also have an online assistant, who helps me with the following:
- Handling all my travel. Booking flights and hotels and putting together itineraries for a new city.
- Emails from blog readers. Every email I get from my blog readers goes through my assistant. She either deletes it, gives a pre-written response from me, or forwards it to me for a personal reply. I’m not at the point where I have so many emails from my blog readers that I can’t handle the volume. But I am developing the system so I will be ready for the future.
- Blog topic research. I don’t just write articles because I feel like it. My online assistant looks at common questions my readers ask me, researches affiliate marketing forums for common questions, and presents me with a list.
My online assistant also works with my personal assistant on some tasks. For example, the online assistant will compile a PDF of all my flights and itinerary for Asia next month. The personal assistant will print it, organize it, and hand me the folder with the information.
5. Using a Meal Delivery Service
A few years ago, I experimented with a meal delivery service in Atlanta called Good Measure Meals. I had a plan (I can’t remember the pricing), which gave me 3 meals a day from Monday through Friday. I’d pick my meals up at a nearby gym about twice a week.
It was nice to have the meals made for me, and the food was delicious. I highly recommend meal delivery services.
I’m not using them at the moment because I’m trying to gain muscle, and I prefer my own diets.
If you live in Asia, you have amazing food delivery options.
Vietnam: Vietnammm.comIf you’re in the central area, you can order from 100+ restaurants, and the delivery fee is just 50 cents.Right now, I do meal prep twice a week. I can make 8 meals within 30 minutes. I bake chicken breasts, cook some rice, and add some spinach. I divide the food into portions and put them in glass Pyrex containers. When I am ready to eat, all I have to do is warm up my food. I don’t waste time thinking, “What should I eat now?”There are a few ideas I’d like to test out:
- I could have my assistant help with the weekly meal prep. One doesn’t need to be a chef to know how to bake chicken breasts or boil eggs.
- I want to hire a private chef and train him or her to calculate macros with MyFitnessPal.
- I’d like to find out if there are meal delivery services that specialize in higher calorie foods.
6. Paying Extra for a Prime Location
I tend to move around a lot.The #1 criterion I’m considering when I’m moving is the location. A prime location comes with a higher cost, but I find that it’s always worth paying extra for a good location.Here’s what I mean by a good location.In Bangkok, Thailand: I was within a 1-minute walking distance to the SkyTrain. The next stop was Paragon mall, which had everything: gym, groceries, restaurants, and movie theaters.
In Atlanta: I had a condo that was within a walking distance to everything. The gym was 30 seconds away. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s were less than a 2-minute drive. The highway was 3 minutes away.
Being close to everything means I’m not wasting time in traffic.
Time is money.People wonder how I’m able to get so much done and juggle so many responsibilities. A lot of it is because I have more time than others do. On paper, we all have 24 hours, but is that really true in practice?I once talked to someone who was describing his struggles. He didn’t have a car, so he had to take the bus everywhere. His apartment didn’t come with a washing machine, so he had to walk to a coin laundromat and wait for his clothes to be done. When you have money, you have to use it to buy your time back.Here’s a recap of how I create more time within 24 hours:
- I work at home so I don’t waste time commuting.
- I don’t spend time cleaning because I have maids.
- I don’t waste time going to stores and shopping because I order everything online.
- I have in-person and online assistants that help me with small tasks.
How many hours a week am I saving compared to the average person? Maybe over 15. I’m not only saving time but I’m also saving energy that could be spent on more important tasks.
I’m not using that time to work more. It all goes to my personal life instead. On a daily basis, I go to the gym, read for an hour, meditate for 20 minutes, take an afternoon nap, and watch Anime. And I sleep eight hours every night. That means I’m not getting burned out or stressed like my competitors are.
I’m not a fan of people who brag about working 16 hours a day and who talk about how they’re constantly grinding. That shows me they are not smart. Money is infinite. I can always make more.
But time? Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Spend time with your parents because they’re not always going to be around. Take your kids to the park instead of spending all day in front of your computer. Make your health your priority. It’s not worth being rich at the expense of dying from a heart attack.
You are the CEO of your life. Act like one.