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John T. Meyer knows a thing or two about breaking through the noise. This CEO and co-founder of Lemonly, a South Dakota-based visual marketing firm, creates videos, microsites and infographics communicating messages that are effective, unique and easy-to-understand. He couldn’t run this 19-member team without focus and efficiency. A slew of work hacks help, and Meyer shares four that help him keep his time – and his team – on track.

Problem: I simply can’t wake up in the morning.
Hack:
Subtract tech from your evening and morning routines. You might use a phone alarm to wake up in the morning after logging serious screen time before you fell asleep. However, the light can throw off your biorhythms and make it harder to get the rest you need. Meyer suggests putting your phone in another room altogether and looking into an old-school alarm clock.
Read more: 8 Do's and Don'ts of Health, Happiness and Success (Infographic)

Problem: I can't get ahead of my inbox.
Hack:
Don’t mistake an empty inbox for productivity. Chasing after emails will help you feel busy, but can distract you from projects that need careful thought and deliberation. When you need to concentrate or be creative, consider turning off your e-mail (and app) notifications and setting up an auto-response message to let people know when you’ll be checking messages next. And discourage emails when they aren’t needed – sometimes a simple conversation can be more efficient, especially when matters are pressing.
Read more: The Best Email You Ever Wrote

Problem: There’s simply no time in the day.
Hack:
Rethink that next meeting. Chances are, daily or weekly check-ins could happen less frequently if they are needed at all. In some cases, only a few key people need to be at any meeting. So, get in the habit of asking if a meeting is really needed and who really needs to be there. Keep goals clear to keep colleagues on track and ensure meetings end on time. And be honest: If you can’t contribute, bow out.
Read more: The Not-to-Do List -- 7 Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Productivity and Happiness

Problem: I’m overwhelmed.
Hack:
Meyer believes that if you break your goals down into smaller parts, they won't feel as unattainable. He suggests setting aside time every day to see how far you've come, and recording your progress. Whether you use a pad and paper or a productivity app, seeing your incremental successes laid out in front of you will keep you motivated and get you closer to the answers you’re seeking.
Read more: Is Goal Setting Missing From Your Daily Routine? (Infographic)