By Karin Jakovljevic

Are highly productive people born with the get-it-done gene or have they become remarkably effective during the course of their lives?

Regardless of if you are a proponent of the first theory or the latter, there are always things that you can do to make yourself more productive. Whether you are a parent or a newlywed – whether you have a lot of important stuff going on in your life or not – there are no excuses for failing to complete low priority tasks. Utilizing a handful of productive tips and tricks can help you better organize your day and become more efficient.

Here are some ideas that can help you boost your productivity.

1. Plan Ahead

A well-organized and productive person always plans ahead. Dedicate 10-15 minutes every morning or evening to plan out your day by writing down things for your daily to-do list. Try to tackle your hardest assignments toward the beginning of your most productive time of the day and leave less important things for later that day. That way, even if you didn’t happen to get everything done, hopefully, one or two of your not so important tasks will be left for the following day. This rule should be applied to both personal and business-related errands.

2. Use To-Do Lists

Whether you are a tech person who loves using the latest apps and fancy gadgets for your laptop, phone, or tablet, or you’re the old-fashioned type who prefers using a pen and a piece of paper, having a to-do list of your daily or weekly assignments is a very efficient habit that will keep you well organized. If you use an Android or an iPhone, then you have plenty of choices to keep your to-do list up-to-date on your phone by setting all sorts of reminders about specific tasks that will help keep you on track.

3. Identify Your Productivity Peaks

If you’d like your day to be well organized and productive, then a smart thing to do is to identify the part of the day when you are most productive. Are you an early morning person? Perhaps afternoon’s work slightly better for you? Whatever your preference may be, try to organize your day, especially your work day, according to your preferred productivity window.

4. Multitask – When Possible

Although multitasking often invokes a bad connotation, keep in mind that it can still help you wipe some smaller tasks off your list as you go. You probably shouldn’t multitask by performing two important things at the same time, but if you can get some of the items from your list checked off at the same time, then by all means, do so. If a task takes less than a couple of minutes to complete, get it done first, instead of leaving it for later.

5. Take Occasional Breaks

Whenever you notice that the work you’re doing is becoming somewhat tiresome, take a short break. Whether in the form of having a cup of coffee or stretching out, a short break can help you re-organize and re-concentrate on the things you need to get done. However, taking breaks too often will get you nowhere, so keep the number of breaks to a reasonable amount.

6. Delegate – When Possible

If you’re a manager with a lot of things on your plate, or a team member with important duties, try to delegate some of the non-crucial tasks for the project you’re in charge of to someone else. If you’re a busy mom trying to get household chores done – amongst other things – then seeking help from your husband, father, mother-in-law, or just a nice neighbor, may help save the day. When it comes to work, delegating certain assignments to people with the right set of skills is an important habit you should consider honing if you want to be more successful.

7. Harness Time Management

Time management is crucial to productivity success. There are certain things you can do that can help manage your time in a more efficient way. The suggestions on this list, for example, will greatly increase your allotted free time. Keep in mind that being able to realistically assess the time needed for certain tasks and projects may be of huge importance when it comes to succeeding in taking off all the things from your to-do list. Work on your time management skills whenever you can.

8. Sleep Well and Have Some Fun!

In order to perform well in your work or personal life, you have to get some good sleep and do things that make you feel fulfilled. Whether that’s reading a book, playing with your kids in a local park, or having dinner with your friends or family, you simply have to find time for relaxing and fun activities. Finding the right balance between your work life and private life to make time for the things that make you happy is an absolute must in today’s fast-living world.

What are your productive tips and hacks? Feel free to share them in the comments.