Productivity Tips From 6 Leaders That Will Make Your Life Easier

Use these secrets in your daily routine.

There’s no shortage of scientific studies on productivity—how to get more done, and do it better, than you did yesterday. But the people who really have to perform at their jobs—influential museum directors, restauranteurs, CEOs, and entrepreneurs—have developed their own private systems for maximizing the minutes in every day. They have some ingenious ways of doing it, too. Check out their strategies, below, and see if one of them might work for you!

1. Martin Whittaker

“The only things that make my life easier are the good people I surround myself with. That and setting my phone on mute.”

2. Ashton Kutcher

“I don’t bring [my phone] into my bedroom. And don’t look at it until I have set my goals for the day.”

Credit: Michael Angelo

3. Laura Raicovich

“I try to only respond to emails that are actually to me (not ones I’m CC’d on) and if an email conversation starts to get too complex, I get on the phone or visit a colleague’s desk. I also try not to respond to every email immediately — sometimes that just generates more email.”

4. Martin Lindstrom

“I always dress in black while working, and when off work you’ll find me in as many colors as the rainbow except black. I’ve come to realize that this helps me to transform — embodied cognition is the scientific term — proven to help us align and focus our different strengths when needed.”

Photo credit: Melissa Hom

5. Danny Meyer

“I do a lot of thanking on email, and try to be thoughtful about that.”

6. Manuela Montagnana

“I have a color code in my inbox: blue for me only, black when am in CC, red from VIPs… and I have given up on reducing the number of unread emails. I permanently have approximately 1000+ unread, but I rarely miss an important one. On transatlantic flights, on average I manage to delete up to 500 unread emails.”

For more inspiration, check out The Thrive Questionnaire, an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.