There are lots of people these days taking on side hustles to improve their finances. Some do it to pay down debt, others to make ends meet each month, and some do it to invest.

While any of those are great reasons to take on additional work, it also means spending less time with family and friends. That’s why it’s important to have time for what matters most. Here are some ideas that can help.

Organize Everything

Have you ever been about to leave work or your home but couldn’t find your car keys? I have, and it’s usually when I’m in a hurry. That’s an example of how not being organized can cost you valuable time.

Although it does take time to get both your home life and work environment organized, it does pay off. In fact, it helps you have time later for other things you want to do.

When you’re not organized you’ll waste time looking for things that haven’t been put away, like your keys. That’s because when life gets busy or stressful, it’s easy to get into bad habits. You might drop stuff on a counter or desk instead of putting it in its proper place.

Therefore, taking a few minutes each day to declutter and put stuff where it belongs pays off. But if your home or office is already in disarray, it may take a few hours to organize everything. Still, the payoff is worth it if you keep up with it.

project management scheduling tools

Use Tools

Lots of apps and tools are designed to help you save time for other things. For instance, there are templates and shortcuts in some software applications. In addition, there are tasks that can be set up to run automatically giving you time for what matters most.

As an example, if you want to save time on your emails, try creating automated responses and canned texts. These help you manage your email quicker letting you move on to other activities.

Get in a Routine

Another way to have time for other things is to get into a good daily routine at work and home. Create a set time of getting up each morning and moving through your pre-work rituals.

Once you’re at work, follow a pattern there as well. Check your phone messages, emails, and texts quickly so you can press on to other work.

Create intervals for checking your texts and emails throughout the day. That way you aren’t interrupting yourself each time you get an alert on your computer or phone. It will help you work faster and more efficiently.

Above all, don’t give up if your routine gets broken. That happens some days, so don’t worry about it. Just reset yourself and get right back to your normal patterns as soon as you can.

Prioritize Tasks

To have time for what matters most in your life you should prioritize your tasks. At home, make a list of current tasks to do as well as things to do in the next few weeks or so. This will help you keep track of what you need to do so nothing is forgotten.

For work stuff there are cool prioritization tools to help you meet important deadlines and get more done. For instance, you could use a scheduling system to order what you need to do each day. Using one ensures your urgent projects get done while less important jobs wait until the right moment.

Say No Without Guilt

If you really want time for what matters most you need to learn to say no without guilt. Although it’s far easier to say yes to other people’s demands on your time, it’s sometimes necessary to say no.

Consider that if you say yes at work when the answer should be no you could be hurting yourself in the long run. You could get bad reviews, no raises, or even disciplinary action for failing to complete your regular work timely.

Alternatively, saying no shows you understand the value of your time and your own limitations. And if you want to avoid burnout, saying no is a must from time to time.

Ask for Help

There’s no harm in asking for help occasionally at work or at home. When you are under the gun and short on time, having help can make all the difference in the world.

Ask your partner, spouse, or kids to give you an extra hand. It may help to give your kids a little money as an incentive to do a good job.

At work, ask a fellow worker to give you a hand. You may be doing them a favor by helping them learn something new. But at the very least you’ll probably foster a better working relationship with them.

When you learn to request help you’ll be happier, healthier, and less stressed as a result. What’s more, you’ll likely have more time to spend on what matters most in your life.

Be Good Not Perfect

If you are a perfectionist you are your own worst enemy some of the time. Demanding perfection of yourself increases your tension levels and takes up more of your time.

You’ll find yourself redoing tasks or slowing down until you get them just right. But with many things, you can pass muster just by doing them well but not perfect. Then move on to something else and improve your productivity.

noisy distractions

Tune Out Distractions

Tuning out distractions is a way you can add time to your day for what matters. Try turning off the TV or music while you are working on something complex. You may also find moving to another room or area helps.

Do you have foam ear plugs or earphones? Use them if there’s a lot of noise where you are working. You’ll work faster and get done quicker.

Plan Ahead

Utilizing an online calendar can help you plan ahead and have more time in your schedule. Take a few minutes at the beginning of each morning to review it so you are ready for the day.

Furthermore, you should also be checking your calendar at the end of the day as well. That way you can plan ahead for events happening the next day.

Additionally, at least once a week, glance at the upcoming week to prepare for meetings and other events. That way you are not scrambling to prepare at the last minute or late to important activities.

Batch Your Work

Batch your work if you want to have time for other important things. Doing alike things together or back to back lets you work faster.

Rather than wasting time switching applications or thought processes, you’ll be more efficient by batching your work. In the process, you’ll free up valuable time for what matters most.

Do Quick Stuff First

Do quick stuff first to give you more time for other projects in your day. It will help you get things marked off your list fast. Not only that, but you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and be ready to tackle more.

It’s true that side hustles can be a really big help to your budget in a lot of different ways. But whether you have one or not, it’s still important to have time for what matters most. Use some of these ideas to help you have more time in your day.