For every productive day we power through, there are dozens plagued with unnecessary meetings and hours lost to scrolling through timelines. VA Bootcamp’s Jason Dulay shares three tips for breaking the cycle and supercharging your productivity.

1. Plan out your days.

Most of our hours spiral into “busywork”, or work that keeps you busy but has little actual value. This could be “research” that’s really just pointless web-surfing, or an innocent chat message that morphs into a two-hour feed scroll fest.

The solution to eliminating busywork? Planning. 

“[It’s] seemingly so simple, but planning makes the difference between pointless days and intentional days, where you work with purpose,” said Dulay.

Before you start doing anything, take ten minutes to list down and organize your tasks. From this list, aim to accomplish at least one major task. And make sure to use a tool that suits you, whether it’s a classic bullet journal or one of the countless productivity apps on the market.

2. Maximize your ultimates and cooldowns.

If you’re a gamer, you might be familiar with “ultimates” and “cooldowns”. The former is a skill or time period of max power, while the latter is a recovery period before the player can use their ultimate again.

We, too, have our ultimates and cooldowns for work– it’s just a matter of determining proper mechanics. Some people, for example, have sworn by the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks down the workday into multiple 25-minute work and 5-minute rest periods. 

Do note, however, that different things can work for different people. Experiment with several time increments to see which ones you’re most comfortable with. 

“Find the right balance so that you can use your ultimate powers more often in the day,” said Dulay.

3. Use your power-ups.

At some point during the day, you may start feeling the tell-tale signs of burnout. This is a good time to enjoy a “power-up”, an item or activity that makes you feel happy and energized.

By rewarding yourself with power-ups, you can do a lot for your contentment and self-command

The trick now is to identify what uniquely gives you a boost–whether it’s listening to music, a little exercise, or something as mundane as organizing your desk–so that you can truly feel recharged and ready to take on the rest of the day.