Significantly Boost Your Work Productivity with these Secrets of Super Successful CEO’s
Sometimes the secret to getting more done isn’t working harder or longer, but working smarter.
Do more of what generates the biggest return and less of what has little impact on your bottom line.
Being selective about where you do and don’t invest your time is key.
Making high value tasks a priority is obvious, but these CEOs seem to have mastered their workday.
Here are 7 ways to increase your efficiency, cut the amount of time you waste, and improve your overall work productivity, by emulating the habits of these super successful CEOs:
1. Avoid meetings.
Try instituting a “no meetings” policy like Mark Cuban, CEO of HDNet and owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
“Meetings are a waste of time unless you are closing a deal,” he said in a recent Inc. article. So ask yourself and the meeting’s host whether your presence is truly needed, or whether it is needed for the full length of the meeting.
Or consider attending virtually, using Skype or phone, to participate remotely and save any travel time. With today’s technological innovations, teleconferences, Google Groups, and email, in-person meetings may in fact be the least productive use of your time.
2. Get a head start on tomorrow today.
Rather than finishing out your day by wrapping up a task and heading home, pull out the most important action item for the next day and get it started.
Starting a project helps get your brain primed to focus on this project for the next 14 hours or so until you return to your desk. Or even if you don’t kick off a new project at 5:00, at least plan your day.
Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group, creates a “to do” list for the following day before she leaves the office.
3. Block off time to strategize.
Take charge of how you spend your work day by blocking off uninterrupted time in your schedule for high priority work.
Leave the office during that window if you must.
Scott Lang, CEO of Silver Spring Networks only schedules 50% of his work day, on average, to focus on the big picture, plan, review industry reports, and educate himself.
4. Guard your time.
Gary McCullough, CEO of Career Education Corp. gives people half the time they request, knowing that meetings expand to fill the time allotted.
Also, most people don’t need as much time as they ask for and shrinking that appointment forces them to be more concise, he says.
Some companies start and end meetings at off times, to increase the odds that attendees will be prompt.
5. Use email instead of phone to convey messages.
Sharing information via email, rather than a phone call, is more efficient, since several people can be informed at once.
Emails take less time, on average, to send. Since most phone conversations take 7-8 minutes, typing and sending an email, which can take less than a minute, is much more productive.
Karl Hoagland, founder of Larkspur Hotels and Restaurants, uses email almost exclusively to correspond with colleagues, which has the added bonus of providing him with a written record.
Some CEOs disagree with this tack, however, including Jordan Zimmerman, founder of Zimmerman Advertising. Zimmerman “likes the directness of phone conversations; you don’t miss things the way you do with email.”
6. Create a “to don’t” list.
Document your daily activities in a journal, says founding Google board member Ram Shriram.
In addition to noting your accomplishments and improvement opportunities, a daily diary provides an opportunity to create a manual for what has and has not worked, so that you won’t be doomed to repeat your mistakes.
7. “Delegate, delegate, delegate.”
You shouldn’t be tackling projects that your employees could do for you, says GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons. It’s bad use of your time.
Instead, identify work that you do not personally need to complete and hand it off to someone on your team who is more than qualified to handle it for you. Then move on to tasks that truly can only be done by you.
You’ll get a lot more done and leverage your personal skills and talents to a higher degree.
Dramatically increasing your work productivity doesn’t take a major overhaul of your habits. However, reducing the amount of time you spend on unproductive tasks can make a big difference.
How do you boost your work productivity?