Experts reveal their time management skills to show you how to be more productive with your daily to-do's

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Your alarm goes off at 6 a.m. Go to the gym, or hit snooze? A Law & Order marathon is on...but those stacks of dishes and dirty laundry aren't going to wash themselves. And those 32 unread emails in your inbox? Someone has to answer them. There are tons of things that come up every day that you know you should do, but sometimes getting the motivation to take action just seems unbearable. We asked top experts in productivity, time management, and motivation for the tricks they use to get things done in their own lives. Now, you can try them for yourself! (Need motivation fast? Try these 2-Second Motivation Boosters.)

Visualize Success

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"I visualize myself already successfully completing the task. I spend about 5 minutes with my eyes closed envisioning how I will feel, how the outcome will look, and how great the process was. The brain cannot tell the difference between a well-imagined thought and reality, so this is effective because on some level, my brain things I already did it! This makes the process WAY easier and visualizing a successful outcome gets me more excited to take the first actual action step." -Christine Hassler, M.A.
, author, speaker, life coach

Plan Ahead


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"Figure out your priorities of what needs to get done. Focus on your top priorities each day by creating a to do list of no more than 3 to 5 items for the next day. Then schedule them into your calendar just like appointments." -Elizabeth R. Lombardo, Ph.D., M.S., P.T and author of Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love

Trick Yourself



"I put a lot of fake deadlines on my calendar, adding deadlines for tasks that are earlier than the actual due date so that I get started on projects well before they are needed. This way, long-term projects get the same degree of attention as short-term projects. Because some deadlines on my schedule are real ones and some are early, it is harder for me to cheat." -Art Markman, PhD, professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Smart Change

Get Inspired By Others


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"Depending on the day or even the hour, productivity can take very low dips. At times, I may feel like throwing in the towel. I love being inspired by amazing women who have achieved great things. When I have a setback, I will spend 15 minutes reading quotes from strong women or reading or watching an interview with a woman I admire (a gold medalist or a CEO). This gets me back in the right mindset to tackle any challenge." -Samantha Ettus work/life balance expert (We love these 18 Inspirational Fitness Quotes to Motivate Every Aspect of Your Workout.)

Cut Out Distractions


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"Minimize all distractions!! I turn off my phone, email, social media, etc. so that I have singular focus on the task at hand. My mind is way clearer and I am faster at any task when I am not distracted or attempting to multi-task." -Christine Hassler, M.A.
, author, speaker, life coach

Stop Waiting


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"Focus on being better than perfect: don't wait for the perfect time or the perfect opportunity. Sure, you may not be able to complete the whole project right now, but take 15 minutes to do one specific part of a bigger project. Rather than waiting until you have time to do the entire thing, take small steps each and every day to get you to your ultimate goal." -Elizabeth R. Lombardo, Ph.D., M.S., P.T and author of Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love

Choose a Reward


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"We all like to look forward to things. Incentivize yourself with a reward-a massage, dinner with a friend, a night watching your favorite show, a yoga class on Saturday morning. Visualizing a reward at the end of the to-do tunnel may help with reaching goals/completing tasks." -Samantha Ettus, work/life balance expert and author