Do you ever have those days when you feel like you spend more time trying to focus on working than you do actually getting anything done? Whether you’re a student attempting to write an essay or a professional who constantly finds your work piling up, you’re not alone. Here you’ll find some helpful productivity life hacks that will help you make the most of your time.

The Time-Honored Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique first rose to fame in the 1980’s and is kind of like a Tabata workout for productivity. If you tend to suffer from burn-out, then this is definitely a good one to explore. Basically, you just set a timer for anywhere from 20-30 minutes, during which time you focus 100% on the task at hand. The good news is that when your time’s up, you get a nice 5-minute break before beginning again.

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Reward Yourself

Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Whether you want to work rewards into your five-minute rest periods during the Pomodoro Technique, the end of the day, or one whole day of the weekend, give yourself things to look forward to. Rewards can be anything from enjoying a five-minute meditation on apps like Insight Timer to a shameless hour of Netflix binging as soon as you get home at night.

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Limit Time On Time-Wasting Websites

As great as the Internet can be, it’s not without its perils. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to work, only to discover five hours later that you’ve done nothing but watch adorable cat videos on YouTube. Say no more with apps like StayFocused, which allow you to spend only a certain amount of time each day on the websites of your choice.

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Control Your Phone

Though phones these days can do more cool stuff than ever before, they also tend to rank among the largest weaknesses of procrastinators everywhere. If you just can’t bring yourself to turn off your phone during work hours, at least set it to “airplane” or “do not disturb” mode. If nothing else, be sure to ditch all those notifications that are always chirping for your attention.

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Take Time For Yourself

As ironic as it may sound, one of the best ways to burn yourself out is to refuse to set aside time not to work. Pick a realistic hour of the day and make it a hard cut off time for work of any sort. Removing the plan B of crunching in more work later will force you to utilize the time you do have. It will also give you the opportunity to let your mind relax and leave you more focused and refreshed when you tackle your work again the next workday.

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