Your answer to this question can drastically alter how you schedule your life and how you spend your free time. It can also help you determine which tasks to delegate; this is a major productivity approach that many people overlook.
There are countless ways to place value on your time. You could use it to earn money, spend it with your family, or invest it in a hobby or second career. But you can also often save money by doing certain tasks yourself. So what activities or tasks will save you money without inhibiting your productivity, and which tasks will end up just being a waste of your time?
Without question, some tasks are best left to a professional, but other times the lines are not as distinct, and it can sometimes be tricky to decide which ones to hand over to someone else — especially if you are trying to save money.
The following five questions can help you find the answers, and bring balance to both your spending and your use of time:
Do you have the skills necessary for the task?
You can probably save money by fixing your own plumbing, but how much time and effort will it cost you if you don’t know how?
How much do you enjoy the task?
If you enjoy it, you’ll be willing to spend more time on it.
Is a compromise available?
There are plenty of tasks where you can do the easy parts of the job and pay someone else for the parts you don’t find worth your while.
Can you get it done without spending money?
Many people are willing to work for barter or even experience.
Is it practical for you to take on the task?
You may like the thought of raising your own chickens so you can stop buying eggs, but will your landlord allow it?