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Friends hanging out, having drinks and having a good time instead of wasting their time doing mundane tasks

It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.

13 Ways to Free up Time & Take Back Your Day

Home >> Lifestyle Design >> 13 Ways to Free up Time & Take Back Your Day

Time is one of the most important considerations because our lives are finite and once it’s gone, it’s gone! Ain’t no getting it back, my grumpy grandpa always said. 

Unfortunately, we have yet to figure out how to create time, but we can find ways to do more with the time we have.

In other words, we can find ways to work smarter rather than harder. Now that I have kids, a full-time job and this website, I would go mad if I didn’t use most of the strategies outlined below.

Without further ado, here are 13 ways to free up time and take back your day.



  • There are 2 ways we can increase the amount of time we have to enjoy our life:
    1. Improve your health so you can live longer
    2. find ways to free up time
  • 4 main ways to free up time:
    1. Automate
      • 9 ways to automate now!
      • Automating your savings is arguably the most beneficial step any one can take to start building financial wealth 
    2. Put standardized processes in place
    3. Buy some time
    4. Focus on what matters most
      • 80/20 rule – This is the easiest and cheapest way to free up time


If there is a way to get a program, machine or other non-human entity to perform a task (ideally several tasks in order), then you can free up your time by learning how to do it.

Here are 9 quick and easy ways to start automating, +1 that will take some time to build skill to achieve:

  • Budgeting

There are several “budgeting” apps out there that make budgeting a lot easier and quicker. I put “budgeting” in quotes because there are some, like Personal Capital, that are more of a spending tracker than an actual budget builder.

Still, many provide a valuable service for free and all you gotta do is spend the time to set it up and it’s automated to a high degree thereafter.

If you prefer not to link all your personal accounts to a 3rd party that will sell your information and try selling you their products, you can use my excel based budget tool that allows you to fill in a simple form and a monthly or bi-weekly budget creates its self. It also comes with a dashboard and several metrics to help you set and track spending and savings goals.

We’re working on a fully automated tool that you would own. No third parties involved. I will release it once it’s done so be sure to check back periodically.

Adaptable Wealth Monthly Budget model

Adaptable Wealth Bi-Weekly Budget model

  • Bill pay for recurring bills
  • Set up rules for your E-mails

Move routine emails to a specific folder, delete them after a certain period, identify junk or spam and delete them, or automatically reply when you’re out of office or unable to reply in a timely manner.

  • Grocery delivery

Set it up once and it shows up at your doorstep each week.

If you do try this, I would suggest you allow text communication between you and the personal shopper. Otherwise, you may end up with turkey legs as a replacement if they’re out of your type of milk.

We’re gonna see how the squids (i.e. my kids) like turkey legs in their cereal this week!

  • Use Text-to-speech apps

to read your favorite articles on your commute or while you’re on a walk or doing house chores

  • Autofill online forms

You can set it up so the computer automatically fills in forms for you

  • Robotic vacuum
  • Timed water dispensers (lawns, garden beds and flowerpots)
  • Saving Money

I’ve automated my savings since starting my first job out of college and I attribute it directly to having accumulated what I have. I see automated savings as an absolute must to build your financial wealth as quick and painless as possible.

Some studies suggest that these programs have a material and lasting impact on people’s ability to save1, while others have found a meaningful impact for some but not for everyone2.

The great thing is you can change the contribution amounts any time you want, leaving you nimble to adapt to difficulties or improvements in your financial situation. But it’s a double edge sword. It could be a problem if you run into a short-term hardship, and instead of working through it by cutting spending elsewhere (or some other approach), you temporarily reduce your contributions.

Even with these automated savings programs, the success relies on your ability to say no, I will not touch this money unless I’m dealing with a seriously catastrophic event or I have a once in a lifetime opportunity.

You can also save money by using saving apps such as Honey (find discounts for online shopping) or round up saving apps (automatically round your purchases up to the nearest dollar and place it into a savings account) to squeeze even more savings out of your income.

  • Automate routine processes at work

Use a macro, a bot or other form of programming to have a computer complete a task for you. If you don’t have those skills, learn one! Macros are the easiest. I suggest the Wise Ole Owl tutorials on YouTube.

I can understand the concern some people have regarding the automation of your job. They think that their employer will just cut their position if they automate.

From my experience, it’s the opposite. Of course, if your boss calls in a consulting team to literally automate your entire job and you are unable to get more work, then I understand the concern. But if you’re driving the automation and you’re able to get more work that you actually like, then it’s likely that you’re making yourself much more valuable and solidifying your role in the company. Don’t be surprised if larger raises and even promotions come your way. And if you are not rewarded for your efforts, you now have a marketable skill that you can take to a competitor. 

So you’re saying I can reduce my workload and build skills at the same time?! Yes please!

There is just one caveat to all of this. We should consider any benefits we receive from doing the work ourselves. If it is something that you enjoy doing, or it gets you outside for a while, or it allows you to have human interaction that you would not otherwise have, I would suggest not automating. Total wellbeing and wealth, not just reducing our workload, should be our focus.

Put processes in place

I’m sure you can find places in your personal life to leverage standardized processes, but this one applies more to your job or business. If you can’t fully automate something, automate as much as possible then build standardized processes to handle the rest. You can free up a ton of time by doing the same general steps each time rather than re-creating.

For example, I designed our executive reporting package so that you literally follow step 1, step 2 etc. and it never changes. Once I got the process committed to physical and mental memory, i’m able to do it in my sleep.

Also, The idea of creating new hire training videos came to me at work last week. All these years I’ve promoted in person training of new employees. I finally realized the next time an analyst trains a new hire, they should record it. Duh! A little slow there huh.

Now the next new hire can watch that training video instead of anyone having to spend their time training them.

Buy some time

For the things that can’t be automated or at least standardized, why not hire someone else to do it. You’ll be saving yourself time and energy, and you will be helping them out too. You’re literally buying time!

Two caveats here.

One, only hire others If you have the money in your budget. Don’t bust your budget and go into debt so you won’t have to do these things. You’ll end up paying more in your own time and stress later than you would if you just did it yourself.

Two, If the hourly cost of hiring someone is greater than the hourly value of your time, most of the time it makes more sense for you to do it yourself provided you have the skill and ability. In this context, the best valuation of our time is usually the hourly rate in which you earn money.

6 Easy things to outsource:
  • House cleaning – Can be expensive. Make sure you can afford it. Otherwise, do it yourself.
  • Yard work or gardening 
  • Car washing
  • Grocery shopping
  • Eating out 
  • Minor tasks such as donating clothes or other items, running errands etc. can be bought on task rabbit

Focus on what matters most

And finally, I saved the best for last. If you gotta do the work yourself, make sure you don’t waste your time on the little things that don’t really matter. We’re all guilty of this. Instead, focus on the items that have the most impact, are the most important or offer the highest return for your time and effort.

The 80/20 rule is the concept that 80% of the results will come from 20% of items to be done. In other words, if you have 10 things that are “very important”, there will be, on average, 2 of them that generate approximately 80% of the benefit that can be extracted from all 10 things.

This is a fascinating phenomenon that is frequently found throughout the real world. If you’d like, you can learn more about it.

It’s so easy to get caught up in being busy just to be busy without stopping to question, am I doing too much? Is there a way that I can eliminate some of this crap I do every day? Which of these tasks would make the most difference in my life? Can I find someone else to do it for me?

We all want to have as much time as possible to do what we enjoy with people we love. The good news is that you can! You are in full control! 

It’s all about prioritization. Prioritization of your tasks based on the factors that are most important to you. Is maximizing your free time most important to you? Then you would apply some of the ideas above to the things in your life that take up the most time. But what if money is the most important to you? In that case, you’d want to apply some of the ideas above to the things in your life that would either generate or save you the most money. 

The best part is there will usually be a middle ground where you are able to have more free time and make money at the same time.   

With that I leave you with one last question……. What would you do with the extra time you free up?

1 Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines*. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Accessed 3/29/2021.

2 Automated savings tools boost bank accounts for some, but the benefits are limited, study shows. Case Western Reserve University. The Daily. Accessed 3/29/2021.

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