Between juggling families and careers, most of us are pros at multi-tasking. Or so we think. We’ve all been guilty of having the phone to our ear, the keyboard at our fingertips and our eyes scanning the desk for that document we just had in our hands. Despite our best efforts to get everything done right now, at the end of the day we’re often left feeling inefficient and unproductive. The more we seem to juggle, the more we seem to fall behind.

As a full-time working mom with a bear of a commute, I could easily fall into the abyss of papers piling up, emails to return and phone calls to make. My role as Senior Partner with Lucas Group necessitates organization, and I need to leverage my time quickly and accurately to identify the right candidates for my clients.

The following time management tips have worked for me and can help you end every work day feeling good about your productivity:

Prioritize – order your projects and activities from most important to least important. Schedule time in your calendar to work on these, and keep that time as sacred as possible. No phone calls, no emails, no meetings.

Stop Multi-Tasking – that’s right. It’s not always beneficial to have multiple tasks going at one time. Lisa Quast of says, “It took me a long time to learn to focus on one activity or project at a time and then when that one is complete, move on the next (instead of trying to multi-task). I found that if I use laser-like focus in everything I do, I can dramatically increase my overall productivity.” While it’s probably not possible to do away with multi-tasking some of the more mundane, everyday obligations – for big projects, stay focused. Tackle one at a time.

Plan – every Sunday, I take an hour or so to organize the week ahead. It’s a small amount of time to dedicate when the payoff is a smoother, well organized, more productive work week.

Lucas Group provides access to great resources I can leverage to quickly identify the best, most talented candidates for my clients. By coupling those resources with my own efforts at making the most of my time, I find my days are not only efficient and productive, they’re enjoyable. Planning every work day with these strategies in mind will allow any professional to best maximize their efforts, hit their goals and achieve success in their careers.

What helps you effectively manage your time? Share your experiences and productive advice.