We all have the same amount of time in a day, but some people seem to have a better grasp on how they use their hours. Maybe you work in a perpetually frenzied state, constantly getting sidelined by meetings and requests. Or, perhaps you work from a place of calm, staying focused on what you set out to achieve each day. If the latter sounds more like you, you’re on the right track.

Mary C. Kelly, Ph.D. the CEO of Productive Leaders, says the way you handle your time determines your level of success. She has outlined five ways to know if you’re a master of your time. We outline her thoughts in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

1. You run your day. This means you stick to your schedule and stay on track, even with disruptions that may come your way. Dr. Kelly says you focus on what you’re doing in each moment, rather than thinking about other issues or details.

2. You plan ahead. This could mean planning out a month, a week or even a day. Whatever time block you plan, Dr. Kelly says you’re on the right path. Just keep in mind that although you may plan, you should also have some alternative options in case of an obstacle, challenge or failure.

3. You keep your priorities straight. Time-management pros know what they need to work on. They don’t let crises or delays derail their focus, Dr. Kelly says. She recommends defining your MITs — your Most Important Tasks — and then staying focused on getting those done. When you do this, you can ensure you take care of the most important priorities first.

4. You don’t multitask. Another surefire sign of a time-management pro? No multitasking. When you have a solid handle on your time, you focus on doing one task and save the rest for later or delegate to someone else. Dr. Kelly says when you easily say no to distractions, you can quickly refocus.

5. You love saying “no.” Those who are most effective at using their time know how to protect it. They don’t waste time on other activities when they are working on something else. Remember, Dr. Kelly says, that you can no to others when the invitation is a distraction from your most important work.

It’s up to you how you manage your time each day. You can either continue to overcommit or get sidetracked — or not. Consider the points above to make some tweaks to your schedule, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a time-management pro.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Mary C. Kelly, Ph.D. is the CEO of Productive Leaders, a leadership development group that improves profit growth and productivity. She is also a speaker, author, executive consultant and coach.