Time is money.
So, the more time you can find for extra work or side gigs in a day, the better off your bank account will be.
It may seem like you barely have enough hours in the day to get everything done, but with a few minor tips and tweaks, you may be able to make your day seem wide open.
Read on for 10 tips to help you make the most out of your day while carving out some additional time.
Read also: 5 costs you can cut to save money
Make a list
Nothing saps your efficiency and creativity like having 5 “must-do-today” tasks cycling around in your head.
Start the morning by jotting down everything that needs to be done that day so that they can be on the list and out of your head.
To really take this tip to the next level, end your evening by making your list for the next morning so that you can hop right in.
Learn to say no
We all wish that we could do everything, and it is difficult and sometimes awkward to tell a friend you can’t help with that errand or to let your coworker know that you can’t help them with their task at the moment.
But, learning to respect your own limitations can be a great way to ensure you have time for all of the necessities.
And, if you explain why you can’t take on the extra responsibility in an honest manner, the one asking for the favor will likely understand too.
Structure your tasks and chores for efficiency
Part of finding more time in the day is making the tasks that you already have more efficient.
For instance, if you have to pick up the dry cleaning today, also make it your grocery stop for the week to avoid an additional trip out.
Need to have meetings with 3 people this week? Schedule them all on the same day back-to-back to knock them out while you are already in meeting mode.
Constantly switching back and forth between unrelated tasks can be a time drain while you get into the project or errand, lump together your responsibilities to skip the switch lag.
This may end up making some days a little busier than usual, but by knocking out similar tasks at the same time, it could mean that you have a few free afternoons to work on your passion project, make some extra dough during a side gig, or just enjoy some well-deserved you time.
This is a tough one for those very detail-oriented and particular among us, but delegating some of your repetitive or simple but time-consuming tasks to others with a little more wiggle room can be a life-saver.
If you just got a promotion at work, ask your boss if the newbie can now take over a few of the simple tasks that you have handled since you were the fresh one.
If home chores seem to be snagging all of your extra time, it could be time to assign the kids to rotate simple chores like unloading the dishwasher, doing some laundry, walking the dog, or vacuuming.
Nothing can throw off those productive morning hours off more than settling into your desk with a fresh cup of coffee only to then spend 45 minutes looking for your laptop charger, glasses, that one guy’s email address, or that spreadsheet that you swear someone shared with you last week.
Embracing organization can help you launch into projects seamlessly without getting thrown off (and frustrated) by things not being where they should be.
Embrace the quiet early morning hours
If you swear that you need more hours on in the day to get everything done, test out being an early riser to really kick things off.
The early hours of the morning are a great time to knock tasks out without the risk of the hustle and bustle of everyone else.
Even if you struggle to wake up in the morning, give this tip a try and see just how much longer your day feels.
Get chores done smarter, not harder
Everyone needs to do things like shopping for groceries or getting health concerns checked out at the doctor.
But, there are ways to get these things crossed off your list in less time, and with less effort.
Avoid time wasters
Sometimes all that you need to do to make more time in your day is to take an honest look at just how long you spend on daily time waster traps.
Browsing websites, scrolling social media, adding things to online shopping carts (to most likely abandon later), and watching cat videos on youtube, can all be pleasant but unproductive time wasters.
Keep your time-wasting activities in check, or set a 10-minute timer when you are giving yourself a break to make sure these things aren’t sapping too many hours in your day.
Multitasking doesn’t work for very high-focus tasks, but for smaller responsibilities, doubling up can be a lifesaver.
Start responding to email concisely while you are walking the dog in the morning, listen to an e-book related to your upcoming history exam while sitting in traffic, or have your kid sit at the counter and help them with their reading while you are cooking dinner.
Plan out email and phone call responding times
Constantly keeping tabs on your texts, calls, and email can really sap time from your day if you are hopping onto each one as they roll in.
Protect your time by setting clear email and phone response times throughout the day to stay on top of things without the constant notifications throwing off your productivity.
Plan out a morning, mid-day, and end of day thorough phone and email response times to stay in touch and get things taken care of without the constant interruptions.