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5 CEOs share their best productivity tips

Keep your high-energy times open

Sallie Krawcheck, founder and CEO of Ellevest (a goal-based investing platform for women):

"I have spent a lot of time figuring out how I work best and when I’m most productive. I organize my day around that."

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5 CEOs share their best productivity tips

5 CEOs share their best productivity tips

https://www.fastcompany.com/40588089/5-ceos-share-their-best-productivity-tips

fastcompany.com

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Focus on the 5%

Bedros Keuilian, founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp (group fitness training brand):

"Only 5% of the things I do are tasks that actually move the money needle, and those were the critical things that I needed to focus on 100% of the time. Everything else can be delegated to team members or subcontractors who have the skill sets and abilities to perform the job. This has been a game-changer for my business as we continue to have massive growth year after year."

Eliminate interruptions

Dustin Moskovitz, CEO of Asana (productivity and project management platform):

"We practice “No Meeting Wednesdays” to ensure that everyone at the company gets a large block of time to focus on heads-down work without having to fit it in between meetings. This may be our most valuable cultural practice, and I encourage every company to consider adopting it. Additionally, we reflect frequently on whether our group activities are getting enough ROI to justify the interrupt and time expenditure. "

Define the goal

Andrew Lansing, president and CEO of Levy Restaurants (food service and hospitality brand):

"I have found that these three steps can overcome any productivity hurdle: First, the entire team should identify what the true goal is for a project, and make sure everyone involved is focused on that goal. Second, we determine if there is a true finite ending, even if we can’t yet see what it is. Finally, we identify the various challenges standing in the way of achieving that ending and force ourselves to ignore anything that doesn’t help us overcome those challenges."

Get ideas out of your head

Carl Dorvil, founder and CEO of GEX Managementn (professional employer organization):

I’ve identified someone whom I’ve worked with for a long time who knows me well. I regularly have brain drain sessions with her. 

Writing out what we’re discussing creates a linear map we can follow. Once the thoughts inside me get to the outside, she then helps me identify who on our team can pull weight and in what direction. It’s helped me see that I’m not alone and that we have resources other than myself to execute tasks.

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Remote-first Mindset

Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructu...
Build a socially-connected culture

Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.

  • Culture is what naturally happens when a group of people gets together for any period.
  • A great culture happens with intentional design and influence. It's the reason you should make your company's mission, vision, values, operating principles, standards, and agreements visible. 
  • Culture is experienced through emotions, including how your employees feel about the company, you, other leaders, and peers. That feeling is developed through human interaction at the water cooler, kitchen, or hallway conversations.
Your leadership presence

Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.

  • Regularly show up in a variety of forms that can include weekly video meetings, periodic company-wide emails, or presence in public channels.
  • Err on the side of more communication rather than less.

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Feeling less productive

Many people feel unable to find time in the day to do their most important work. Re...

Drains and Incompletions
  • Drains are the tasks you have to do (commuting, personal admin, email correspondence, meetings, calls). These tasks drain your time and energy that you want to spend on priority work.
  • Incompletions are the items on your to-do list that you have not yet completed. They are related to work and personal items (responding to a simple email, or it can be a dream you keep putting off).
Identify drains and incompletions

If you are spending your time, energy, and attention on tasks that don't support your overall goal or priorities, it's time to re-evaluate.

  • Set aside 20 minutes on your calendar and minimize distractions.
  • List all of your drains and incompletions. Write every last item you can think of, including the light bulb that needs replacing, and the conversation you need to have with a co-worker.

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Measure Output, Not Input

Systems are the best way to progress since they reward effort and we control all the variables. However, we need to have a sense of direction in those efforts, to know what we are trying to...

Use the 80/20 Rule

... to constantly question yourself if your focus, time or money is on the things that generate the majority of the results.

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle states: 80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action. The little things are the ones that account for the majority of the results.

Reserve Mornings for Deep Work

Our working memory, alertness, and concentration gradually improve a couple of hours after waking up, peaking at about mid-morning - our brain’s natural peak productivity period.

Take advantage of this state, by scheduling your most important work for this period. Focus on performing Deep Work, meaning you get to work free of distraction for a long period of time.

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