There are only so many hours in the day, and we’ve all got a million different things to do. And despite the fact that we all have the exact same time in which to get it done, it can often seem like some people have much more time than others.

We’ll all know that kind of people I’m talking about — the person who’s got five different projects on the go, with a family and a great social life, and who still somehow manages to reach work 15 minutes ahead of time. Meeting the goals set by such people can seem impossible — but that’s not necessarily the case.

If you’re looking to be someone like the person I described, what you need to do is maximize your productivity. How do you do that? Here are some habits that I’ve developed over the years and have never failed me.

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  1. Focus On the Important Things First

If you feel like you’re being torn apart in a million different directions and have too many tasks in front of you that you need to complete, make sure to focus on the ones most important to you first. It can seem easier to get the smaller things done first — but that means that by the time you reach the bigger, more difficult (and more important) tasks on your checklist, you’ll be worn out. By prioritizing, you make sure that the important things get done.

2. Use the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of all our results due to 20% of the effort put in. In order to maximize your efficiency, consider pinpointing what that effective 20% of your schedule is. You can then look to consider scaling down the amount of time spent on the other 80% — this way, you increase efficiency while maybe allowing you the chance for some free time if you want.

3. Keep a Distraction List

In today’s world, there are hundreds of distractions around us and at our fingertips on the Internet. It can be easy to your attention diverted by something that seems important but isn’t so.

In order to avoid getting bogged down with the number of distractions around you, consider creating a ‘distraction list’ while you work. This list can be physical or digital — whatever form it takes, it essentially serves as a stream of consciousness diary. Whenever you’re hit by a distracting thought, note it on your list and continue with work. Then, when free, you can return to the list to check if you missed or forgot something, had an unrelated idea you wanted to share, or something else.

4. Break Them Down

Larger tasks can seem insurmountable and impossible to complete. However, by breaking down a larger project into smaller tasks, you make it easier to complete the project. You can focus on one task at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be seeing the results!

These habits can help make it easier to increase your productivity and make the most of each moment in a day.