Welcome to another entry in my Frugal Grit series. I have already made a post about life with one car and it’s plethora of savings However, today’s writing is a follow-up.
Well, It has been nearly 3 months now and I am still utilizing public transportation and sharing a vehicle with my wife. There have been some inconveniences with the limitation of sharing a vehicle, but I have really grown fond of public transportation. Yes, I have seen some questionable things on the city bus. That aside, I think I found a little life hack here. What I mean specifically is that I am able to work on the bus. This must be what it’s like to be on a train or a self-driving vehicle. But unlike the self-driving vehicle, the future is here with the bus! 🙂
Okay, okay, what is so important about fitting in a little extra work while on the bus ride? Well, this little work hack compounds since I am using the bus throughout the week.
Let’s say that my bus ride is 40 minutes long and I start typing on the computer at 7am (when the bus arrives). Well, this gives me a jump-start on my work related tasks since I am virtually 40 minutes early for work every day. And it also means I can leave work 40 minutes early and beat the rush hour traffic while also getting a jump-start on the next day’s workload by working on the ride home. Since I am home early, I can then use that time saved to exercise or help my wife with dinner. As you know, all my meals are cooked at home so any opportunity I get to save time and optimize my schedule is always welcome.
Which brings me back to why this new daily routine is an actual hack. You see, the modern work day in the USA is an 8 am to 5 pm shift with an hour lunch in between. So if you are wanting to stand out and rise above the crowd all you need to do is choose a different path than the majority of people.
Do an experiment for just one week. For example, work through your lunch break and see how much progress you make on your daily tasks. In order to outshine your cohorts at work, you do not need to be the best worker in the world, just be the best worker in the room.
I am not saying you should refrain from eating or taking breaks from time to time, I am just saying that if you are able to somehow squeeze in an extra 5 hours of work per week, your progress will show. And if you can prove your value and the progress from working extra, you can then hold a strong argument for why you deserve a raise.
The case for self-improvement optimizations
If you wanted to start a side business and are looking for extra time in your life, my newly shared work hack literally just created more time for you. I am literally proofreading this very blog post on the bus right now. Obviously, if I were driving, I would not have this luxury. And as a consequence, you’d save money on gas and car maintenance since you are driving less. Invest those savings in paying down debt or bootstrapping a new side business. It’s your life, I am just here to show you how to frugally optimize your life. And this post just showed you how to add an abundance of a very scarce resource, time. If you are dissatisfied with all this extra time in your life, you can always go back to the way you lived before.
Not everyone can leverage public transportation, but perhaps there is a way you can carpool with a neighbor. If you don’t own a vehicle, you can bring your bike along with you on the bus.
My ambition here is to drive less, exercise more, and find ways of optimizing your life to obtain what you want. In my case, financial independence.
Do you have any life hacks that you can share with me? Please post them in the comments.
Related: Speaking of life hacks, here is a great hack I created: Top 5 things that will help me read 36 books this year