Forget trophy homes, luxury cars and flashy material things, the trends that are “in” include downsizing, economy cars (or taking public transportation), and extreme couponing.  However, I’ve noticed a luxury people will still invest in, and that is the luxury of hiring others to perform services, (housekeeping, yard work, home maintenance, personal errands), to free time to spend on relationships and hobbies.  There seems to be an increased value placed on how we are choosing to spend our time.

The author of Investor Junkie’s article “How Much Is Your Time Worth?” wrote:

“It’s hard to put a monetary value on relationships, personal time, convenience, and personal well-being. Often, though, those things are more valuable than mere money.”

One challenge to finding more time is becoming more productive at work so we can keep up with our workloads, and still have time to devote to other things that are important to us.  Mayo Clinic offers 12 tips to reduce stress and improve productivity at work, including planning each day, and practicing a 10-minute rule (working on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day).

Time is a finite resource but it can be squandered much in the same way money was before the economic crisis.  For our own well-being, how we spend our time should reflect what’s important to us.

How you decide whether to do something yourself or hire someone to do it for you?  How have you increased productivity this year so that you have more time to devote to other things that are important to you?