Want to buy more time? Only 10 euros per two hours!

I’ve often heard people comment (in real life, not so much in the blog) about spending time, about how much of it is consumed by hobbies and why there’s never enough of it for exercise or eating healthier.

How do you always find time to exercise or go outside and then write a blog about it? I mean, I would too but I don’t have that kind of time. I don’t have the energy to go somewhere after a long day of hard work. I’m just too busy. I don’t have money. My schedule is too tight. I don’t even know where to begin.

Thank you for the feedback but it’s been declined. This way of thinking is in direct conflict with my principals and I’m holding on to them. I don’t have a secret, magical way of putting more hours into your day, but I do have a suggestion or two. But first, I’ll tell you a few mitigating circumstances:

I don’t have small kids, only a teen who already butters his own toasts. I’m not at all sure how all of this could be achieved with sleepless nights or while breast-feeding. Cherish those years nonetheless. They’re unique in their own way. Travel and hike when it’s time for such things. Or take your kids with you! When mine was small, the only outdoor activity was on the sand box.

I do shift work, so during Winter I can ask for more evening shifts so I have time, and sunlight, for going outside in the morning. My coworkers who have lots of kids are very grateful for this. I do a full day, though. I’m working but I don’t get fat stacks of money. We’re not living on the red at the end of the month, though. Just around zero.

I live in an apartment building and I don’t have a car, so my time is not distributed between fixing, maintaining or decorating. Sure we give money to the Property Manager who takes care of everything, so basically I have to work harder and longer hours so I can pay someone else to take care of my home. We are considering a car but my ongoing Lada Niva-fever needs its own blog post.

You might have time consumers that can’t be erased from your life, like I’ve done. You can’t control everything all the time but the things you can, need your attention. Some time consumers, though seemingly impossible to get rid of, can be facilitated in some way – family member’s addicition, or your own, poor physical or mental shape, a stressful or a physically demanding job.

I understand if things are different in your life and that something is preventing you from doing things you enjoy. But instead you can copy me.

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I don’t go to the store

If you understand anything about marketing, you know why Pentti Linkola said:

Standing at the doorway of a local Prisma, it’s obvious that mankind is doomed.

A carton of milk is going to be pretty expensive when you buy slacks on the way to it. You think it’s convenient to buy underwear, some books and towels on your shopping trip. Alcohol and cigarettes aren’t a part of a healthy life but there they are, beckoning on the shelves. And don’t even get me started on treats and candy. And if you happen to forget something, are you going right back or are you spending your Sunday on a lovely trip to the mall with the whole family? Godspeed to you, the increasing consumerism is extremely good news to the store and to Finland’s economy. I just don’t feel like participating and my lack of enthusiasm for shopping is in direct correlation to the balance of my own financial situation.

There was a web service called Mukava in Jyväskylä last Spring that brought groceries to your front door. I browsed their website, like in any other online shop and they delivered the goods. I was more than happy with the arrangement. Unfortunately they needed to close up shop. But thanks to their cute marketing campaign, they served as a conduit to online grocery shopping for us. We’ve since used M-Kauppa and S-Kauppa. Both can be found from the wonderland that is the internet. I urge you to try it and see for yourself – the amount of time, nerves and money saved when you never have to go grocery shopping hungry again.

Cost vs saving

Home delivery has costed from 5 to 13 euros per delivery. I usually order a week’s worth of groceries and the site saves the list for me to modify! Honestly there isn’t a whole lot of modifying going on, since we tend to buy the same things every week. Ordering groceries online with a full stomach saves you from cravings and we’re able to keep true to our diet. We don’t own a car but if we did, I’d still order online and just drive my car up front to collect the readily bagged goodies (the collecting fee is about half of the home delivery fee).

If I forget to order something, I’m either fine being without it or I just go to a local Siwa.

Smaller (blood)pressure

When you don’t have to go to the store after work and instead you have a full fridge and freezer waiting at home, you don’t give much room for stressfull thoughts. Even if you have somewhere to be after work, you’re free to go because your family already has food available. I understand that this is not an issue to everyone and different people have different rutines but personally I’m not equipped with a huge interest for chores and/or cooking. The two other members of my family are even less interested but they do participate. Holidays are also no longer a problem – no more standing in line for who-knows-how-long.

This has also, for some reason made cooking feel a lot lighter and easier, even though the increase in the amount of vegetables has also lead into more chopping and peeling. But the whole thing is less strenuous. Perhaps because I’m home 30 minutes earlier or because sticking to my diet has made me more patient and/or my blood sugar doesn’t get a chance to drop.

And most importantly: time management

If it’s not obvious, for an ADHD case like me, the biggest victory is the extra 15 minutes or an hour a week (or even a day) you get. It’s not much but when you’re working 8 hours a day and it takes 40 minutes per day from/to the office, it’s nice to have a moment to yourself after work. The illusion of stress is enough to make it seem like the clock is ticking and that drains your strenght.

I also don’t go to clothing stores or visit thrift shops anymore

I used to be a regular at clothing stores but then I transferred my shopping online and after getting bitten my the treehugger bug, I only went to thrift shops and flea markets. Sport attire is the only category I pay full price for. After a while, thrift shopping took way too much of my time, since Jyväskylä has a lot of options for it. Sure, taking the bicycle to Kirri grants some nice views but it’s still a day’s trip. At first, it was relaxing and enjoyable but gradually I found less items to buy, less clothes I liked until I just grew tired of it. I still go to thrift shops if someone asks me along and often times I have a good time. But I don’t go out of my way to visit them anymore.

In short, shops, stores and shopping in general seem to interest me less and less every year. Middle-age doesn’t come alone, eh? If you happen to have feelings of uncontrollable shopping urges, I advice you to get in touch with your own mental blockages. I used to be an emotional buyer – it’s sort of like an emotional eater – you know you’re going to regret it and eventually it’s only getting you into trouble because it doesn’t eliminate the root cause. Going outside, planning hikes and attending classes in mindfullness and self-betterment (I’ve found Katri Manninen to be a good teacher, seek her out at kutri.net) can help you rid yourself of harmful and toxic hobbies. Buying stuff just because it’s cheap and throwing everything in an UFF box after a few weeks. Although, I have to admit that starting this whole hiking thing I went a little overboard with equipment purchases. But everything is fine now.

Have you found any surprising ways to improve your own time management? Let me know in the comment section!

~ Anne

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