1. Adjust your sleep regimen
It is common knowledge that people who don’t get enough sleep often have a tougher time getting motivated, staying concentrated, and being productive. However, it has also been proved that getting too much sleep can have similar effects. Contrary to the popular belief that 8 hours is the ideal amount of sleep adults should be getting, studies show that people who get between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep at night are the most productive at work. Setting (and sticking to) a strict sleep schedule allows you to regulate the amount of sleep you’re getting. Another common practice (or necessary habit) that most CEOs do is wake up before the sun comes up. While this may not seem ideal (and maybe just downright horrible), waking up extra early allows you a little time to do the things you may not normally have time for – like journaling, meditating and cooking a proper breakfast. These simple changes have been proven to make you feel more energized, inspired and, therefore, productive.

2. Figure out where your time is going
Time management is the most essential key to productivity. Knowing what you’re spending your time on allows you to prioritize based on where you are spending too much what you should focus more on. There are dozens of smartphone apps that allow you to track how much time you are spending on specific activities. Try using one of these apps for a week to track your time-spending habits. Most people are surprised to find how much time they mindlessly spend on social media or chatting with coworkers. A study conducted by Microsoft found that it takes employees an average of 15 minutes to get back to their work every time they are sidetracked by a phone call or other messages. Try turning your cellphone on silent or even shutting it off until lunch time when you can take a minute for yourself and catch up.

3. Revamp your to-do list
So you compiled yourself a 1 to 2 page long to-do list that outlines everything you need to get done over the next two weeks. That’s the first step – but even something as organized as a list can seem like a monster to tackle. Try setting 2-4 milestone goals each day and give yourself a timeframe in which you need to complete them. This way, you are not overwhelmed looking at your list of dozens of things to do and your goals are much more attainable. Obviously, you should try to complete your most time sensitive tasks first. Also, try completing the less enticing assignments right off the bat so you don’t spend heaps of energy on the most exciting tasks and burn yourself out before you get to the more mundane assignments.

Different tactics work for different people – these are the top three tools I found most effective for me. We would love to hear what works for you – leave your recommendations in the comment section below!

Guest Blogger - Emily LaPlume. Emily is a senior at Champlain College pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and minoring in Event Management. Emily has been a seasonal intern at GSCU for over three years and has also interned at The Capitol Center for the Arts, Brandthropology and Fuse Marketing.