Are you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out by your work? Are things so hectic that you can’t seem to catch up with everything on your to-do list? Do you feel like there’s just not enough time to do everything that needs to get done?

I am too. And chances are, if you’re reading this, you are too.

But there’s also a good chance that you’re reading this because you want to turn things around and get control of your workday. You know the potential stress is making it more difficult for you to do your job, but there are so many demands on your time that you don’t feel like you can spare any extra energy on streamlining your day.

So what can you do? How can you take control of your workday and cut out the stress-inducing activities in a way that doesn’t mean taking on extra hours of work—or losing any productivity at all?

I’ve found three strategies that let me do just that. And I’m going to share them with you here.

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  1. Find Your Flashes of Brilliance and Leverage Them

Many people think that their best work is reserved for their “spare time.” However, I think it’s more likely that you’re not even taking advantage of the time you do have. If you typically work on email binges during your lunch hour or after hours, then think again. Sure, weekend emails are often necessary to keep things moving, but most companies frown on using company time for personal correspondence.

If you’re like me, then these off-hours email marathons are tempting because they seem to be your only chance to take care of the huge number of small nagging tasks that don’t require much thought but still need to get done. But there’s a better way: Take advantage of your “spare time” by doing the grunt work during your lunch hour or other downtime instead of wasting it on email.

You might be thinking that you don’t have enough time to eat, but I can tell you from personal experience that if you use your breaks (even short 15-minute ones) wisely, they can become some of the most productive periods of your day.

For example, when I’m in the middle of my “email binges” and realize it’s almost time for a break, I switch over to tasks that don’t require any thought at all.

By using my downtime for mindless work, I actually end up getting more done. And you can too — no matter what kind of job you have. Just use your lunch hour and other “spare time” differently than you’re used to. Try this strategy for a week and see what happens.

2. Do Your Most Valuable Work When Everyone Else Is Sleeping

Most people think the morning is when they get their most productive work done, but if you work in an office, chances are your colleagues still think it’s “business as usual” at 6 AM (even though everyone’s bleary-eyed and cranky).

Unfortunately, it’s hard to be focused and productive surrounded by other people who are just getting into the groove. I’ve found that working nights and weekends is actually more productive than trying to do real work during regular business hours. When everyone else is sleeping, I’m usually at my best and most focused.

Even if you don’t work for yourself, I still recommend using nights and weekends to get your most important stuff done. When everybody else is gone, it’s so much easier to get into the zone without distractions.

If you’re willing to invest some extra time in an evening or two, this strategy can pay big dividends. Trust me—you’ll definitely be glad you did.

3. Spend Less Time On Low-Priority Tasks

I know it feels great when you get that new phone or gadget, but resist the temptation to buy every shiny new device that comes on the market. Sure, today’s devices can do some amazing things, but adding one more thing to your already overloaded schedule won’t help you spend more time on the things that truly matter.

After all, there’s no point in having great gadgets if you don’t have the time to enjoy them. If your device-obsessed friends ask why you haven’t joined the smartphone craze, tell them it’s because you value your free time more.

Of course, you don’t have to be anti-device if you know how to use technology as an ally, not a foe. Just make sure your tools are helping you accomplish great things instead of distracting you from them.