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5 Time-Management Hacks to Boost Productivity While Finding More Balance

Personal Trainer and Self-Help Author Andrea Marcellus Shares Her Favorite Hacks for Getting Stuff Done and Injecting Joy into Routine Tasks.


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Finding time to tackle everything on your to to-do list these days may seem more challenging than ever as the boundaries between work and life grow increasingly blurred. Just as the relentless need to be productive continues to be an issue for many seeking balance in their lives, finding ways to be productive in less time can leave you more time to enjoy the things that nourish rather than drain you. Celebrity personal trainer, fitness app creator, and author of The Way In: 5 Winning Strategies to Lose Weight, Get Strong, and Lift Your Life, Andrea Marcellus has spent more than 25 years helping people achieve their goals while also cultivating more of what matters: time, energy, and money. Here, she shares five time-management tips to help you get ahead. 

1. Keep three to-do lists: to-dos for others, to-dos for you, and GET-to-dos for you. Make sure to check off at least one “Get-to-Do” each day to keep the positive centers in your brain stimulated and prevent feelings of anxiety and depression. 

2. Think quality over quantity when it comes to your to-do lists. Tackle the hardest thing first each day. It’s tempting to veer toward smaller items that are easier to complete, but you’ll get an even greater sense of accomplishment from the bigger items, guaranteed. 

3. Give yourself a check for items you start each day, and cross out ones that you complete. Each time you mark off an accomplishment on your to-do list, your brain releases dopamine, one of your “happy hormones.” So, get more potential happiness out of each item with the check plus cross-out system.

4. Activate your imagination daily. Cook something mindfully (my AND/life app has healthy recipes that only take four to seven minutes), read a few pages of a novel, doodle, journal, play cards, or listen to an audio book. Creating mental pictures and problem-solving helps to grow our prefrontal cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus, our brain’s memory and positive possibility centers, and deactivate for a bit the amygdala, our fear and anxiety center. 

5. Get your heart rate up every day, even if it’s just two minutes at a time at your desk in plain clothes. Oxygenating your body and your brain with small bursts of exercise relieves muscle tension and mental burdens, and immediately energize you. If you’re not sure what to do, check out the AND/life app’s wide variety of desk workouts. 

About The Author

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent,,,, and, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.