This article was created in partnership with Athletic Greens.
A doctor, a podcast host, a CEO, and a trainer walk into a bar…
Not really. But they do have one thing in common: They’re all insanely successful. And we want to know how they manage to do it all, so we teamed up with Athletic Greens to find out. Athletic Greens is a superfood supplement that makes getting all your nutrients a one-step deal, so you can mix, sip, and get out the door without missing a beat.
Ready to start getting things done like a pro? Here are eight totally doable things that’ll help you be way more productive.
1. Make your bed.
OK, Mom, stop nagging. But seriously, Emily Abbate, a certified trainer, freelance writer, and creator of the podcast Hurdle, swears that making her bed has a huge impact on her day.
“It takes three minutes, and in those three minutes you’ve already accomplished something,” she says.”When I started doing that every day, that’s really when I started to get my stuff together.”
2. Pack in your nutrition first thing.
Swerve instructor and Greatist associate fitness editor Jamey Powell is always on the go, so she starts the day by getting in as many nutrients as possible. Her go-to? Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one supplement that helps with gut health, supports your immune system, gives you an energy boost, and much more. All you do is mix with water and chug.
“It gives me one less thing to worry about,” Powell says. “I don’t have to break down what I’m eating by ingredient because I know I’ve already gotten everything I need. People think [healthy eating] means taking things away, but sometimes it’s about adding.”
Powell also creates a ritual out of her daily beverage by combining it with a moment of silence. “I’m either bumping music and leading a class or in an office full of people,” she says. “It’s nice to just stand still for a minute and do something good for my body.”
3. Write a thank-you note.
This is another case where your mom was onto something. Yess CEO, motivational speaker, and best-selling author Sue Hawkes believes a gratitude practice can help set your day up for success. Not only does she jot down 10 to 12 things she’s thankful for every night before bed (which is scientifically proven to boost happiness and productivity), but she also takes it a step further by writing at least three thank-you notes per week to people who have done something nice for her. That could be anything from taking charge in a meeting to offering fresh insights to doing a mundane task particularly well. And couldn’t we all benefit from more kind words?
4. Limit your to-do list.
To make her schedule less overwhelming, Navya Mysore, M.D., a physician at One Medical in New York City, chooses two to three goals to focus on each week.
“I tell myself I’m going to kick ass at these couple things, and then I rotate them every week,” Mysore says. “It might be exercise and spending time with my husband this week, puppy time and focusing on work the next. I think people are afraid if they let go of something for a week the world will spiral out of control. It won’t!”
Similarly, Abbate makes it a rule to never put more than 10 items on a to-do list. This not only helps her feel less overwhelmed but also forces her to prioritize and focus on what’s really important.
5. Use your smartwatch to track more than just steps.
Back-to-back meetings can be tricky to manage. Hawkes uses the silent alarm on her Fitbit to zap her 10 minutes before the meeting is set to end. “It gives me a silent nudge so I can say ‘OK, we’re getting to the end of the meeting. Let’s wrap up,'” she says.
Doing so keeps her on track and makes her meetings more efficient and productive.
“It also means I don’t have to keep checking my watch, which, no matter how politely you try to do it, always comes across as rude,” Hawkes says.
6. Schedule me time.
Like many productive people, Mysore spends Sunday planning the week ahead, but in addition to scheduling meetings, to-dos, and outings with friends, she carves out time for herself. “When things pick up, the first thing you’re going to sacrifice is personal time,” she says.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, Mysore books dates with herself and puts them on her calendar. Then she spends that time doing things that make her feel good—running, baking, hanging out with her puppy, rereading the Harry Potter series.
7. Get off your butt.
All four productivity pros said making time for movement is a great way to get more done. “It took me a while to realize a lot of my anxiety and stress was a result of not exercising,” Hawkes says. We could cite study after study after study for this one—or you can just take her word for it. Make time for movement in some form—whether that’s a 10-minute walk, a game of basketball, an hour of paddleboarding, or a trip to the gym.
8. Be a nice human.
Fun fact: Being more productive goes hand in hand with being nice. Studies have found that companies with employees more inclined to give (a.k.a. be team players) saw increased productivity, efficiency, and profitability with lower costs and turnover.
“When I’m writing an article, I go into it with the same respect, kindness, and attention [no matter the pay],” says Abbate. “Once you stop [being nice]… that’s when you hit bumps in the road.”
The takeaway: Check your ego at the door and don’t be a jerk.