“I repeat: Investing in yourself is a must.” Don’t say it just to yourself.

In which capital might one find the motivation to make that investment? It has to be right there in front of you, of course—so let’s talk productivity. Productivity is an essential component of any successful plan for our future life. Even if you are the type of person that would never pay an electric bill, watch TV, or go out to eat. You still need to do those things if you want to advance and develop in your career. It is imperative that you establish clear productivity practices which you commit to all the time. Maybe you already have the systems in place that regulate your productivity, or maybe you do not have systems but need those systems in place. It is important that you set those goals for yourself.

It is possible to accomplish your business goals with high productivity. The easiest and most effective way to do this is by becoming fully informed, utilizing every tool in the toolbox, and asking the help of professionals that have trained in these tools, in your business or in your personal life. Our productivity skills have nothing to do with the quantity of what we produce, but with the quality of that output.

To accomplish your goals, you should follow these productivity guidelines:

1. Make life-work balance your goal

Life is not necessarily all fun and no work. Think about the people who typically are not passionate about their jobs. Think about the people who are never distracted by work, and at the same time—is there anything else going on in their lives.

The secret is to create an atmosphere that allows the effort and creativity to flourish, while not neglecting the other parts of your life. How exactly do you maintain life balance when you work 24 hours a day? By exercising, by meeting with friends, by spending time with family, by doing other things you enjoy—those are life balance activities. Make sure that you schedule these activities in your calendar and schedule them way ahead of time so that you have a concrete list and a clear goal to get accomplished.

2. Make a point to include the areas that will contribute to your success

Get into a habit of including the areas that you will be focusing on in your daily action plan. These are often the areas of the company which require the most dedication in order to be successful.

You want to make sure that you include regular time for specific tasks that you find truly fulfilling. For example, suppose you are going to go out to eat for lunch every day and you ask your managers if you can work on a project with one of them every other day. You can then tailor your plan so that your lunch is like a break—you can watch the little TV thing you put in between meals. You have to always make time for fun and that can be a wonderful place to start, whether at work or home.

3. Create systems that optimize your productivity

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working professional, there are many areas of your life that are untouched. What you think is important may actually be very small. Start designing your productivity structure—how you keep track of who owes you money, what is going on in your work week, who owes you gifts or who has left gifts behind, who doesn’t answer your calls as quickly as they should, what improvements you want to make to your commute, and on and on. The more you design and plan, the more likely you are to reach your goals.

When you are making these plans, ask the help of people who understand your situation, have your needs well understood, and who are able to guide you through the steps of the plan to make it successful.

4. Don’t go against what you think is best for you

In any challenge, you have to be willing to use whatever skills or methods work best for you. This is especially important when you are in the process of setting up a new system. Don’t quit something that you like just because it has worked in the past.

If you are looking for those unusual business techniques that can work for you, find out what the other people have been using in their businesses. You will find out that in some cases, the current system you employ is obsolete and, instead, the new system is working in many places. It is wise to constantly search for new methods to be able to succeed.

Disclosure: This author is employed by a service of LinkedIn in a technical role and does not own or operate the business in question.