There’s nothing quite like that back-to-school feeling as an adult. Once I shake off the post-Labor Day blues (yes, even with all of my eternal optimism I still get bummed when the sun sets on Labor Day), I get so fired up for a brand new season – while simultaneously praying for an Indian summer. ;) That first crisp breeze… the sounds of kids running to and from school. You can almost smell the freshly sharpened pencils in the air. With this comes a re-invigorated sense of purpose and planning. We get re-acquainted with our goals and dive back into a state of creation: creating a strong, hot body; creating a new, booming business; creating a sharp, focused mind. The trouble is, with 24-hours a day, 7-9 of which need to be spent sleeping, that post-summer spark can easily turn into a world of overwhelm. No worries. I got you. Here are 3 simple strategies I use to make the most of my waking hours. LIST YOUR PRIORITIES. Organize your to-do list into 3 actionable buckets. “A” priorities are the most important. There should be no more than three of them on any given day. “B” priorities are next in line in terms of importance. “C” priorities also need to be done, but it wouldn’t drag you down if they had to slide to tomorrow. Here was mine from today: A. Speak with Mark A. Intro email for new hire A. Finish chapter in smoothie book B. Return CBD email B. Review shoot schedule B. Settle expenses on b-card C. Pick up face wash C. Have M make appt w Apple C. Assemble interview list C. Schedule photographer Your list is uniquely your own. Everyone's will be different. You’ll notice things like “Workout” and “Eat a clean, lean breakfast” aren’t on here because I’ve made those into habits that I do everyday without back-breaking effort. So there’s no need for them to go on my list. By the way, that didn't happen overnight. Consistent practice led to the habits. Now it's easier to maintain. But if you’re just jumping into eating clean and working out, you may want to put those two items on the ole A-list. PLAN TOMORROW, TODAY. Each night, take a few minutes to chart out the next day. This doesn’t need to take very long, especially if you’ve made the list above, which again, shouldn’t take long. “A” priorities should be done first and without interruptions. Let absolutely nothing pull you off task while you’re doing them. Give each one your full attention and then cross it off. If “Workout” is on your A-list, bang out a fast session in the morning when you wake up. That’ll knock it out of the way, letting nothing derail you. After that, move on to tackle the other A’s. After that, maybe take a few minutes or an hour to check and respond to emails, etc. and get after your B’s. Sing it with me: Having a plan saves time. It’s like going to the gym or grocery store without a written workout or shopping list. You waste so much time bumbling around trying to figure out what to do or buy when you could be killing it in a focused, efficient way and getting on with your life. Speaking of which, here's that ridiculously effective 4-minute workout I promised you. Do it in the morning when you first wake up to lean out, tone up and raise your metabolism so that you’re burning more fat throughout the day. Yes. It’s only four minutes. And yes, it works. Do each move below, back-to-back, for 60-seconds each with as little rest as possible. Go as hard as you can. On an intensity scale of 10, you should be throttling this at a 8.5-9.5. 1. High Knees Hold your arms out in front of you, parallel to the floor. Sprint in place, driving your knees up to at least hip-level. 2. Classic Push-ups Keep your wrists directly under shoulders. Lower chest all the way to the floor. Drop down on knees to modify. 3. Bodyweight Squats Place heels shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Press hips down and back. Go as low as you can without losing the natural curve in your lower back. Drive up through the heels to stand. 4. Cross-body Mountain Climbers Start in a push-up position. Alternate knees across the body to opposite elbows. Make yourself a recovery smoothie and get on with your day! IDENTIFY & ELIMINATE TIME SUCKS. Be honest. How many times a day do you check your Instagram feed? It may only seem like a few little distractions here and there, but it’s actually more impactful than that. Research has shown that our newfound frenetic attention patterns – read: our inability to walk down the street or carry on a dinner conversation without texting or flipping through a social feed - are actually rewiring the way our minds function. And not for the better. It adds up to an inability to stay focused for longer periods of time. That’s problematic when you’re trying to employ the strategy above and knock out your A-priorities without derailment. Maybe this isn’t a problem for you, but take note throughout the day of how you’re using your time. It’s the little things that tend to add up to massive losses. Time sucks are your enemy. They stand in the way of your dreams like the nastiest frenemy you can imagine. Figure out what your time sucks are and then obliterate them. Your body, mind and soul will be all the better for it. Cheers to your rockin' productivity!