If you often find yourself behind in your list of chores, work projects, or schoolwork, you’re not alone. Motivation is a difficult trait to maintain at optimal levels over a long period of time. Motivation ebbs and rises in direct correlation with our emotional, mental, and physical status. A loss in motivation can cause you to fall behind in your important daily tasks, but you don’t have to stay behind. Below, you will find three great tips that will help you get ahead when you’re behind.

Upgrade your routine

Routine is the easiest way to determine what you accomplish on any given day. Routine is determined by your willingness to initiate a task, follow through with the task, and complete it before a given deadline. Whether you find yourself behind in housework, schoolwork, or actual work, upgrading your routine to include the completion of at least one task per day is a great way to go from being behind in your tasks to being ahead. You must learn how to make initiating a chore or a task part of your daily routine, and it will become second nature to you instead of something to be avoided.

Make work your priority

It’s easy to lose yourself in a slew of distractions and entertaining activities in place of getting serious and being productive. This usually begins by telling yourself that you’ll just listen to one song or watch one video before you begin your work. This slippery slope leads only to procrastination and a failure to complete your workload for the day. One way to prevent the day from being wasted is to absolutely refuse to do anything before you complete your work. This isn’t to say that you can’t eat or use the bathroom, but do not engage in any entertainment activity, napping, social phone calls, or other non-work related activities before your work. Once you’ve finished your work, your social activities can be your reward for a job well done.

Continue the momentum

Once you’ve conquered the difficult task of initiating your work, don’t slow down. You may be tempted to reward yourself with a small break after finishing one project or chore, but that one break could turn into a full day of doing nothing. Instead, keep working. Continue with your productive momentum until the end of your workday. This will grant you a well-deserved sense of accomplishment and motivate you to do even more the next day.