Most of us have busy schedules and because of this, we’re always looking for ways to become more productive. Some of us rely on our phone calendars while others use a planner to record everything. Being more productive not only makes your life more efficient, but it can reduce stress and allow you to accomplish more of your goals. When trying to plan for your next month, have a consistent routine and follow these eight life-changing tips to help you become more productive.

1. Write things down

According to Forbes, whether you use a desk calendar or your phone, recording your responsibilities and appointments can help you see everything in one place and think about what your priorities are. If you’re too busy in the morning to get anything done, try rescheduling some meetings for the afternoon and tackle important computer work or emails first thing in the morning when you have more focus.

2. Color code

Using one color for work, one for school or volunteer activities, and one for your personal life can help you keep track of what is happening in your day-to-day. It also makes it easier to know, at a glance, which activities are taking up the most time and where you need to cut down.

3. Prioritize what matters most

One common tip is to tackle your most important to-do first. Emergencies at work or home will always be popping up, and unless something is life-threatening, you’ll never get ahead if you’re always responding to what is easiest to finish. When trying to knock items of your to-do list, remember that multitasking isn’t always best: focusing on one project at a time yields better results.

4. Be accountable to someone

Just like it works better to work out with a partner, according to Brainworks, having someone be your accountability partner with your schedule can help keep you on track. Check in with a friend occasionally to discuss what can be improved.

5. Plan for flexibility

This may sound counterintuitive, but events and deadlines will always pop up unexpectedly and you need to be prepared. Make sure to keep some free time in your calendar each week to deal with new things that may present themselves.

6. Have a dedicated place to work at home

According to House Method, not having a proper workspace can affect your productivity and undermine your ability to focus on your work. Make sure the room and space you’re in has enough natural light and is free of distractions.

7. Take time for self care

An important part of every schedule is making time for yourself. Schedule time for exercise, meal planning, shopping for healthy food, and other relaxing activities you enjoy. You’re not too busy for this—every person needs time to decompress. It will help, not hurt, your productivity to take breaks.

8. Give yourself grace

No one is perfect, and no one can be perfectly productive all the time. If you fall off the wagon with your schedule and need to take an evening to binge watch television, take it. Don’t beat yourself up or give up completely just because you need a break.