We’ve all been there… when you sit down at the end of the day (glass of vino in hand if it’s been a bad one) and think what the hell? Where did all my time go, I feel like I haven’t achieved anything I wanted to today!

But in between the flagged emails, coffee catchups and unproductive meetings – my personal bugbear – you can use your time to actually get sh*t done. Here’s what those annoyingly productive people do, and how you can be one of them:

  1. Eat, Sleep, Repeat

It’s not a new one, but routine is king. Getting your life sorted outside of work helps you be more productive in work. So make like a nine year old and have a bedtime – and try and stick to it. And a minimum of half an hour before that time – stop looking at your phone, tablet, laptops etc. Backlights are bad baby.

  1. Set goals

I know no one likes to think about the week ahead when you’re trying to enjoy the last vestiges of the weekend and already have that Sunday evening feeling, but trust me – it helps.

Taking just 10 minutes to refresh yourself on what you have coming up, and what you definitely want to get done this week stops that Monday morning scramble.

  1. Step away from the inbox

It’s amazing how many people often count getting through their emails as ‘a productive day’. Set yourself a timeslot each day to answer emails and then leave them. People often send emails that are A) trying to shift responsibility B) Asking questions when they could figure it out themselves or C) Nothing actually to do with you

If they’re not calling you, if they’re not walking over to your desk and speaking to you… they’re just not that into it. So they can wait.

  1. Smell the roses

Seriously – go outside, take a break, hit the gym. Whatever it is that floats your boat, make sure you take regular breaks. You’re not an automaton and sitting staring at a computer screen for 9 hours straight is bad for your productivity, your mood, your posture – it’s just bad okay?!

  1. Team work makes a dream work

Not so great if you’re a one-man band, but if you’re in a team, be in a team. In other words – work together. There’s no bigger killer to productivity than being overwhelmed so if you can delegate or get some help – stick your hand up. And if you’re on your own – outsource. I know, I know, that costs money – but there are loads of sites with students who’ll do cheap (and relevant) work for the experience.

  1. Check you out

Checklists – they’re awesome. Even writing ‘Make a list’ as one of your items so you have something to check off straight away works for me! Just the simple act of checking things off motivates you to do the next one – plus seeing it in black and white helps you to prioritise what’s really important.

  1. Reality check – often

Instagram is chock full of twee quotes about ‘love what you do, do what you love’ but seriously, it’s hard to stay motivated at something if you don’t enjoy it.

Yes we all have days where we ask ‘what’s the point’, but if that’s everyday and you’re really struggling to remember why you’re doing this – don’t. Move on, find a real passion and work isn’t work.