One of the most essential life skills to master is time management. After all, time management is really life management and learning how to make every day count for something is the objective.

If you often find yourself run down by your daily workload or overwhelmed by the complexity of projects and tasks, it is likely because you have not fully mastered effective time management or have rid your life of procrastination, says Matt Mayberry for an article on

He suggests these 5 tips to help increase productivity and improve time management skills:

1. Lay the foundation for effectively managing your time.

To improve focus and concentration, delegate the appropriate amount of time to get adequate sleep, maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Making time to create a healthy lifestyle will help improve your efficiency throughout the day and allow you more time to complete other tasks.

2. Identify and evaluate how you are currently spending your time.

Think about how you pass the time during your commute, whether you drive or take the train. How many books could you read, how audiotapes could be listened to? These are the best times throughout your day to incorporate all those things you “wished” you had time for. Over time, these habits become a lifestyle, and you will find yourself well ahead of the pack.

3. Say no to nonessential tasks and prioritize the ones of extreme value.

Consider your goals and look at your schedule before agreeing to take on more work. If a task is time consuming but not necessarily important to the main goal, pass it off or add it to the bottom of the list.

4. Dedicate time blocks and limit distractions.

Everyone has a place where they work the most effectively. Wherever that place is, utilize it. Turn the television off, silence the cell phone, put away the tablet and dedicate complete focus to the task at hand.

5. Never hesitate to take a break if needed.

Everyone gets worn out from time to time. If you pile on more and more tasks, it will lead to stress and simply derail you from the mission at hand. Take a walk, go to the gym, get some fresh air or take that sick day you’ve been holding out on. Sometimes all we need is a moment of clarity and solitude to clear our overworked minds and recharge to give us that next big push.

When you operate your life in an organized fashion and are able to execute daily tasks efficiently, stress is reduced, productivity increases and overall satisfaction manifests.