Many of my clients and friends are constantly busy, rushing from one thing to the next. What are the benefits of buying yourself some time to breathe?
Time famine, or having too much to do and not enough time to do it in, is becoming increasingly common. A study from the University of British Columbia has found that paying for someone else to share your load will increase your life satisfaction.
In their research, spending £30 paying someone to do a job for you makes you happier than buying the equivalent amount of material goods. The real reason behind this is that having someone else to complete the task, not only relieves stress, but gives you back the time that you would have spent doing the same thing. Time famine can lead to increased stress levels, which in turn affects health and mental wellbeing.
What interested me most was that even among participants who could afford to pay for help, only a third of them would do so. Why is this? My theory is that guilt is part of the answer. People feel often feel guilty when they don’t do something that they feel they should because they could in theory; even if they don’t have the necessary skills or time to complete the task in question. They don’t ask for help, which means it is another thing that sits on their to-do-list, which they feel guilty about not completing, and so it stays there, waiting to be completed. A vicious, stress-inducing circle.
Admitting that you need help can be hard, but once you do, it will relieve some of the pressure you are under you will feel the benefit. Also, you will be helping other, potentially small, local businesses who are looking for work.
The main downside I can see of the study is that it assumes that people have some disposable income, which is not the case for many. However, I believe that the same benefits will be experienced if you are able to trade jobs. I used to swap private yoga lessons for Spanish tuition, which worked brilliantly and allowed me time to do something that I really enjoyed while giving me time back at a chaotic and busy time of my life.
Give yourself some time back: find a cleaner, get someone to clear your gutters, pay for childcare, cook an easy supper for a change; or arrange a skill swap with a friend or colleague. All these actions will give you time back. The big question is what will you do with the time? Maybe just catch up with yourself and have time to pause; or you could try something that you have always wanted to do, but have never found the time. How good does that sound!
I'm a Personal Coach who loves finding out about what makes people tick and helping them to make the changes necessary to get to where they want to go.