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Most people are preoccupied with trying to figure out how they can be more productive. Time management is an entire industry unto itself, with books, articles, apps and seminars all devoted to helping people try to do more. The five simple tips below can make a big difference in a person’s productivity. 

How a person begins the day is a critical element of all-day productivity. This means setting a morning routine. That routine should ideally should include some exercise and a healthy breakfast. Avoiding screens can help make the start of the day calmer. 

The next step should be setting goals for the day ahead. These goals should be as specific as possible. Furthermore, a person who uses a to-do list should look not just at what needs to be done but at how much time each task will take. This can help a person remain focused and move quickly through activities that should take little time instead of procrastinating. 

Even if the to-do list looks intimidating, multitasking is not the answer, and avoiding it is the third important thing people should do daily to ensure that they are more productive. Research shows that even people who think they excel at multitasking slow down when their focus is fragmented in this way. Fewer things get done as a result. 

Putting tasks in the right order is another important element for productivity. First, people should choose two or three unpleasant tasks to complete first thing. This will help prevent procrastination and also ensures that they are tackled when the person is fresh. Next, tasks that only take a couple of minutes should be completed as soon as they come up since going back to them later only wastes time. 

The final tip is to get enough sleep. People often think they need to sacrifice sleep to be productive, but as is the case with multitasking, the opposite is true. Adequate sleep promotes the ability to process information and work more efficiently. Simply put, sleep deprived people will waste more time. 

Maintaining productivity is always a challenge, and it isn’t possible to operate at 100% all the time. However, those who follow the tips above will find that they are better able to maximize their time.