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Work Smart: 6 Ways To Make More Money While Working Less

Work Smart: 6 Ways To Make More Money While Working Less

Most people adhere to the erroneous belief that you must work really hard and put in long hours in order to make a lot of money. However, the reality is that many of the most successful people in the world embrace the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy. Ultimately, the quality of your life is going to be determined by how you use all of your waking moments. Due to this, finding ways to maximize your off time without sacrificing your business goals is one of the major keys to true success.

The most important thing to remember about working smarter instead of harder is that this will provide you with valuable extra time for cultivating personal interests and relationships. In return, you will feel more rested and fulfilled, and this can make it easier to focus when you are working. As a result, your productivity will increase, which will enable you to get more done in a shorter period of time.

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Never forget that the number one issue that keeps people from achieving their goals is a lack of proper time management. This leads to the misconception that there is not enough time to get everything done. In order to put the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy to work in your life, it is wise to begin utilizing the six following tips.

1. Surround Yourself with Talented People

Every entrepreneur that is able to achieve great heights of financial success understands that they cannot possibly do everything alone. Not only will surrounding yourself with talented people help you reach your goals, but it will also give you the opportunity to delegate an increasingly larger list of important tasks. If you are currently juggling too many work tasks to take a break during the day, you need to reassess your staff and make any necessary changes. Always remember that your staff can make or break your business.

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2. Outsource as Many Tasks as Possible

Would you rather spend an entire day putting together your company’s payroll or spend that time relaxing with your family? By outsourcing tasks such as payroll to qualified businesses and individuals, you can save a lot of time and energy. As an added bonus, this can also save you the costly mistakes that often accompany working for an exorbitant amount of time on a weekly basis. As management consultant Tom Peters once said, “Do what you do best and outsource the rest.”

3. Capture Every Worthwhile Opportunity

You will be presented with many business opportunities, but that does not mean you need to take all of them on. Instead, sort through your options to choose those that will increase your profits without forcing you to do a lot more work. For example, companies such as Redirect help businesses monetize their website by redirecting traffic in an appropriate manner. This does not require any regular work or input from the business owner, but it will generate additional income. In other words, this is the perfect example of a worthy opportunity.

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4. Block Social Media Websites

Every company needs to have a strong online presence, and social media is a vital piece of this puzzle. Unfortunately, social media can also be a huge drain on employee productivity. With this in mind, anyone who wants to increase their earning power and spend less time in the office should purposefully block any sites that will take their attention away from tasks that are truly important. You can use browser plug-ins such as StayFocusd to ensure that you only visit Facebook during the day when you are actually using the site for work-related purposes.

5. Take Breaks in Nature

This might not seem like a technique that has anything to do with maximizing your work time, but there is scientific evidence that spending time in nature will make you a more efficient worker. Even a 15-minute walk through the woods will provide you with restorative benefits and make you more capable of producing high quality work in a shorter period of time.

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6. Structure Your Meetings

Have you ever worked somewhere that had meetings about meetings? This seemingly farcical example is actually a way of life at some businesses, but you cannot afford to give away your valuable time in this manner. One of the biggest ways to waste money in the business world is by allowing meetings to stretch on for an excessive amount of time. That being said, you’ll need to kill meetings to get more done. Therefore, choose to structure your meetings instead so you can ensure that everything will be kept within a short period of time. Another perk of this approach is that your employees will learn how to be more concise while communicating about all aspects of their job.

By simply making more effective use of your time and cutting out anything unnecessary, you can improve your income to work time ratio. Adding in money making opportunities that do not require a large time commitment will also make it easier to meet your goals. Additionally, you can improve the quality of your personal and work lives by taking regular nature walks.

Featured photo credit: Flickr User Tax Credits via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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