A primary key to success in any field is mastering productivity.  When you’re productive, you knock out all the goals you’ve set for yourself, complete the list of tasks you’ve organized, and feel the rush of accomplishment along the way. In order to stay productive consistently over the long term, however, you must plan ahead and employ a system that works for you. Check out these proven techniques used by some of the most successful CEOs in the world.

A Day Without Meetings

Despite being a staple in businesses across most industries, meetings often waste your time. They either result in not finding a solution to a problem at hand, or they take hours to complete when a few simple emails would have sufficed. Regardless of the outcome, meetings pull you out of your natural flow and stop your productiveness in its tracks. Combat this by choosing a day in the workweek where you schedule no meetings. Transform this day from a list of calendar events to a list of completed milestones. Dedicating just a few consecutive hours to intensely focusing on your projects causes your overall productivity to skyrocket.

Prioritize the Most Critical Tasks

Start each day by identifying your most critical tasks instead of replying to each email or checking off each goal in the order they come across your desk. This strategy lifts the weight of these few major tasks early, freeing bandwidth in your mind to focus on a longer list of less demanding, less pertinent items. Additionally, it gives you big wins right away which fuels you with the motivation needed to tackle your entire day.

Lists Keep You in Check

Our brains run the risk of getting overloaded with all the meetings, tasks, and information we must keep up with on a daily basis. This taxing workflow saps our proficiency as important items fall through the cracks and are forgotten. Creating lists for your day and for each of your projects transports that data from your brain to the page. Instead of investing energy in remembering it all, you just focus on completing those items. Never forget another meeting, miss another deadline, or overlook another vital email.

Test out some or all of these systems to begin mastering your productivity in 2021. Find freedom in organization and planning ahead, and begin tackling everything on your plate with poise and efficiency. Transform into the productive and effective version of yourself you’ve always wanted to see.