Working long hours can lead to stress and potential health problems, plus it leaves less time for things in life that you truly enjoy. It’s no surprise that many of us would like to work fewer hours, but how is that possible?

Let’s take a look at some specific things you can do if you’d like to be able to reduce the number of hours that you work. While these things may not always be easy, they are realistic options that you can pursue if reducing your working hours is a priority to you.

1. Downsize

Housing accounts for the biggest chunk of most personal and family budgets. If you want to have a significant impact on your budget, you should attack the biggest line items, and that means housing.

Over the decades, the average American home has gotten bigger and bigger. In fact, the average home in the US today is 1,000 square feet larger than the average home in 1973, and average square feet per person has nearly doubled (source).

Bigger houses typically cost more to purchase and more to maintain, so one obvious solution for decreasing spending in a major way is to downsize. Moving to a smaller house could significantly decrease your rent or the costs of owning a home.

If you feel like you’re working long hours to be able to afford your home, stop and think about how important that home is to you. Maybe you’d be more happy downsizing, reducing housing costs, and being able to work fewer hours.

2. Relocate

Likewise, another major factor in the cost of real estate and rental prices is location. Living in an area with a lower cost of living can make a big difference that might just allow you to cut back on your working hours.

This could mean moving to a different neighborhood or the next town over, or it could involve moving to a different state, or even a different country.

Lower cost of living areas will often also have reduced job opportunities when compared to higher cost of living areas, but with so many remote jobs available today, this can be a great option if you are willing to move.

3. Reduce Your Living Expenses

If you’re able to reduce your living expenses, you won’t need to make as much money to cover your bills. And if you don’t need to make as much money, you might be able to reduce your hours.

Of course, housing is one area where you can cut back, but there are plenty of other options as well. Take a look at your budget and scrutinize every line item to see if you can reduce or eliminate it.

For example, you may be able to reduce insurance costs by comparison shopping and switching providers. You may be able to move to a discount wireless provider to reduce your monthly cell phone bill. You might decide to cancel cable in order to spend less. There are plenty of options if you’re willing to make some small changes.

4. Start a Low-Maintenance Business

Starting a business may not seem like a great way to reduce your working hours. After all, most people who own a business or are self-employed tend to work longer hours. However, not all businesses are the same.

There are some types of businesses that are capable of functioning with minimal time and effort from the owner. A few examples include owning and operating vending machines, automated car washes, and laundromats.

These types of low-maintenance businesses can be run part-time or full-time. The income from a side business may allow you to cut back on the hours at your job, or you may be able to scale up and make a full-time income from businesses that only require your work for a limited number of hours per week.

5. Invest in Income-Generating Assets

The money that you make doesn’t have to be earned income from working a job. If you invest in income-producing assets like rental properties or any type of investment that pays dividends, that income could supplement your earned income and allow you to work fewer hours.

Most people use rental properties or other income-generating assets to supplement their income, but if you accumulate enough and invest strategically, you can even live off of dividends entirely and not have to work a traditional job.

6. Make Money Outside of Work

Aside from investing, there are also other ways to come up with some extra money outside of work. If you combine a few different options, the impact can be significant enough that it would allow you to cut back on your working hours.

You can get paid to donate plasma and make an easy $300 – $400 per month.

Another example would be to take advantage of bank account bonuses and credit card bonuses, which can easily earn you a few hundred dollars each.

Or, reduce your travel and vacation expenses by travel hacking and using credit card rewards instead of paying for your trips.

7. Turn a Hobby Into a Money-Maker

Not all work is equal. It’s very possible that you would enjoy work more if it involved one of your favorite hobbies.

There are many different ways to incorporate a hobby into your work, whether it’s a side hustle or a full-time job. A hobby side hustle can help to increase your income and allow you to cut back on the hours of your full-time job.

If you love photography, you could start doing some portrait sessions in the evenings or on weekends for some extra money.

If you’re crafty, you could start selling your creations on Etsy.

If you’re a designer, you could create some designs and use Merch by Amazon to sell custom t-shirts and hoodies for extra cash.

There are plenty of options if you’re creative.
Final Thoughts

You may feel like you have to work long hours in order to get by, but that’s usually not the case. While it may take some sacrifice in other areas, there are options out there if you choose to pursue any of them. In the end, it’s a matter of deciding what is the best fit for you and your own personal situation.

Author's Bio: 

Marc Andre is a personal finance blogger at He worked in the finance industry for 6 years and has been a full-time blogger since 2008.