If everyone has the same amount of time in a week, why do so many of us feel like we’ve been shortchanged? The answer lies in time management, which is deceptively tough to get right. Despite endless books on the topic, around 82% of people admit that they’re not managing time confidently

This probably comes as no shock to you, especially if you’ve gone to college, been a parent, or held a job. Trying to fit everything in can seem like an uphill battle. Yet it’s one worth fighting because feeling less constrained by the clock has some serious upshots. These advantages include improved productivity and stress reduction, both of which can lead to higher personal and professional satisfaction.

To be sure, it’s not reasonable to assume that you can wrangle your time overnight. Nevertheless, you can gain mastery over your time management skills by putting a few initiatives into practice immediately.

1. Shave time off professional meetings.

“I love unorganized meetings”—said no one ever. Most meetings end up going on and on, especially if they’re not directed. When you’re the one in charge, make sure your meetings stay succinct by preparing a meeting agenda.

Your meeting agenda should outline not just what’s being said but how long you’re allotting for each topic. Address the most pertinent items first to ensure you get to essential matters. Set a meeting ending time and stick to it. If you haven’t covered everything on the agenda, bump some topics to your next meeting.

Over time, you’ll discover that it’s possible to control meetings. It may be tough at first to keep participants focused, but they’ll appreciate the benefits. Plus, you’ll all have more time to spend on other responsibilities.

2. Stack errands. 

Have you ever gone to the store, come back home, and then remembered you forgot something? Back out you went, with a sigh. All that running around isn’t just hard on your wallet or gas tank. It also eats away at your precious personal time.

What’s the workaround to endless errands, particularly on time-crunched weekends? Create lists and plans. Set up a playbook of where you need to go and what you need to do. Then, map out a strategy to get everything done in a reasonable amount of time.

Want to take this process to the nth level? If you’re with someone else, divvy up grabbing items at the store. You’ll be more efficient when you put teamwork into play.

3. Share the work.

Whether you’re an executive, manager, or team leader, you may have trouble delegating. Perhaps you tried delegating only to get burned by a colleague—and you swore it wouldn’t happen again. Maybe you’re just not sure what to delegate. Or you think you can accomplish tasks faster than someone else. (And you might be right, but that’s not an excuse.)

Regardless of why you don’t delegate, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Trying to do everything yourself is a surefire road toward burnout, particularly if you have an overflowing plate.

To accustom yourself to delegating, start small. Look over your to-do list and assign a few non-essential items to others. Ask them to inform you when they’re finished. That way, you won’t worry about what didn’t get done. Eventually, you’ll feel more comfortable passing along assignments, which will give you back more time.

4. Know when to “no.”

Many of us have grown up feeling like we’re obligated to say yes all the time. The problem, of course, is that we become overextended. At that point, we may lose our ability to meet deadlines or bring our whole selves to a project.

It may not feel intuitive to say no, that’s true. However, you will find it easier the more often you do it. Once again, the key is to set your boundaries and stick to them. For instance, perhaps your boss constantly asks you to work weekends. Saying no may be the only way you can avoid spending too much time tethered to the office.

Be forewarned that some people may try to guilt you into saying yes. This could include a supervisor or spouse. Practice ahead of time and hold your ground. Though you may feel awkward, you’ll appreciate the results—and the time on your hands. 

No doubt about it: The clock will tick on regardless of what you do. Allocate your waking hours thoughtfully to make certain that you have time for what really matters.