With so many things competing for a person’s attention, time management may seem like an impossibility. Here are seven simple steps to get more done in the day:

Deciding What Is Most Important

Effective time management means choosing the tasks that yield the highest returns. In other words, the person must choose which ones are of greatest benefit to him and other interested parties. The greater the number of positive results, the higher on the list those tasks should go.

Creating a Schedule

Planning ahead helps a person evenly spread out their workload. A helpful method is to write down dates and times to perform the tasks. Once the tasks are completed, the person can more smoothly transition to the next ones.

Setting Boundaries

There are moments in the day when you have to move from one task to the next. If the necessary time is longer than expected, that person must stop what he is doing and move forward. Then he may resume on a different date. This prevents the person from becoming overwhelmed, and makes sure they stay on track with their calendar.

Taking a Break

Like exercise, there is a time to work muscles and a time to rest. The same is true for the workplace. The need to work means there is a need to take a break. This can be something like going for a brief walk or out to lunch.

Avoiding the “Weeds”

In other words, the person should refrain from distractions that are counterproductive to effective time management. Examples include sending social media “tweets”, posting online, reading emails, and answering personal phone calls, among other things.

Using Software

Rather than writing tasks on planners and booklets, the person can use digital applications in their place. Here are 15 common time management tools that act as extra hands when the person is pressed for time.

Finishing Tasks On Time

This is the essence of proper time management: the more tasks that get done now, the more spare time there will be later. Putting them off will complicate the person’s schedule.

These seven steps will boost the person’s self-confidence and restore balance. For those who feel overwhelmed by their own to do lists, these simple steps will make their days more manageable.

This article was originally published on JamesCrickmore.org.