Feeling a little stressed? Who isn’t?! In today’s busy world, and especially for restaurant managers, it’s impossible not to feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions. The best way to minimize stress in your life is to get a better handle on how you manage your time throughout the day. Here are some tips for how to boost your productivity… and your operation’s profitability.

Spend time planning and organizing. It’s tempting to handle tasks as they’re given to you, but failing to plan ahead and organize your tasks make you much less productive. Instead, organize in a way that makes sense to you. Allocate certain sections of your day for tasks you need to accomplish.

Prioritize your “to do” list. Each day should have a list of tasks, rated by their importance. When you find yourself off-task or off your schedule, ask yourself if the item that’s taking your time is one that is a priority to you. If it’s not, finish it up or delegate it to someone else.

Keep an activity log. If you can’t figure out where your day goes, fill out an activity log for a week and record every task you do in 15-minute blocks. Then, analyze that report at the end of the week. You’ll find that there are many tasks you can eliminate to make your day more productive.

Be realistic. During the holidays, you have to allow time for interruptions and distractions. Many time management experts suggest planning for just 50 percent of your time. Then, you’ll have the flexibility you need to handle interruptions while still meeting your goals.

Know yourself. Are you a night owl? A morning person? Whenever you are at your most alert, schedule the majority of your tasks.

Don’t shortcut quality. In our efforts to save time, we often become victims of the greatest time-waster: repeating the same job. Instead of rushing to get things done, do things right the first time. Effectiveness will always result in efficiency.