We all know the feeling.

You spend all day slogging through your to-do list, yet when 5 o’clock rolls around, you still feel like you haven’t accomplished anything “real.” Oddly enough, it’s possible to be simultaneously super busy and unproductive. If you’re running yourself ragged and getting nowhere, it’s time to get off the proverbial hamster wheel and make a change.

Whether you’re struggling with productivity as you adjust to a new schedule or you simply have too much on your plate, here are eight tips for getting stuff done—and staying sane while you’re at it.

1. Get moving

Everyone knows that exercise improves your health, but did you know that being active can boost your productivity as well? It doesn’t matter if you only have 10 minutes to spare—even a short workout will help you stay productive throughout the day. Here are some ways to squeeze in exercise when going to the gym isn’t an option:

Behind a desk? Get out of your chair once an hour for a quick walk or a set of 10 air squats.
Lack motivation? Try these essential oil tips to boost your workout.
∴ Feel too wound up? Do yoga. Wear a drop of Frankincense or Lavender during your flow to help you stay grounded.
 Have kids? Find something everyone in the house can participate in, like dancing or doing jumping jacks.

Frankincense essential oil on a table top with botanicals for grounding and mindfulness

2. Start the day right

How you spend your first wakeful hour sets the tone for the rest of them. Spark a more productive day by creating a morning routine and sticking with it. Your routine could be as simple as taking 15–30 minutes to meditate, walk the dog, or play a game with the kids.

Not a morning person? Boost your energy with good habits and you’ll go from groggy to go-getter in no time!

Get out of bed at a consistent time every day.
 Wake up your senses with an energizing diffuser blend, such as Eucalyptus Radiata and Lemon, as soon as you roll out of bed.
Eat a nutritious breakfast—the more colorful, the better!
 Choose clean, crash-free energy from vitamins, electrolytes, and/or a small dose of naturally occurring caffeine (NingXia Zyng® and NingXia Nitro® fit the bill).

3. Tackle one task at a time

Think multitasking is the best way to get things done? Think again. In most cases, multitasking actually makes you less productive. You’ll be more efficient and make fewer mistakes when you focus on one task until it’s done.

Try this simple trick for staying motivated and focused. When your concentration needs a boost, dilute 1 drop of Peppermint with 4 drops of carrier oil and rub onto your temples for a stimulating aroma.

4. Prioritize

Sure, there are 24 hours in a day, but when you’re trying to do everything at once, the day can feel much shorter. Set smaller, more realistic goals and remember to add some breathing room to your schedule too. You’re not a robot, after all!

If you feel panic starting to set in, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t get this done today?” Chances are, most of the stuff on your list can wait a day or two. Focus on what you can get done today, not what you can’t.

5. Apply the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule states that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. Another way to look at it is that you can accomplish 80 percent of your workload in 20 percent of your time.

Start by figuring out when your peak productivity is. This is the time of day that you have the most energy and focus. If you can, schedule most of your tasks during this timeframe. Remember: working smarter, not harder, is key to becoming a more productive person.

reading glasses, notebook, keyboard and peppermint and lemon essential oil for productivity