What does it take to be a productivity CEO? Well, let’s find out. These are 5 of the best productivity hacks shared by some top Chief Executives.
1. Eat Those Elephant Tasks
Successful entrepreneurs don’t let big tasks scare them. They find a way to chop the huge tasks into manageable actions. Smaller tasks are executed far more quickly than intimidating ones. When explaining this concept, I usually ask, “How do you eat an elephant?” Faces twisted in rubbery expressions of confusion as I answer, “One
bite at a time.”
At Zapier, CEO Wade Foster breaks down big tasks into small, actionable steps. “My biggest “hack” for productivity is to break a task into the small piece that’s actionable. That way I can get started. As soon as I do that you start to realize big tasks don’t feel quite so big.”
2. Question Your Priorities
If you’re an entrepreneur, everything has to be done all the time. If you’re aiming for productivity, you have to be very selective about what is most important. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself, “Is this absolutely necessary?”
Constant analysis of daily activity is how Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren stays productive each day. Writing on LinkedIn, he shares:
“These are hard choices, but I do believe that when it comes to productivity, no email efficiency technique, calendaring trick, or special filing system will have near the impact of being smart about what you work on.”
3. Break Your Smartphone’s Leash
Our smartphones are smart,er than we think. They’ve found a way to turn us into their loyal subjects. Like a parasite, feeds off of the resources of the host, our mobile devices devour our time and attention.
Ometria founder Ivan Mazour disconnects from mobile tech by keeping things on silent
5. Review Paths To Results In Your Mind
When you have a goal in mind, find the most efficient pat to it–in your mind. That’s right. Before starting on any venture, map out the path you are going to take. This helps to keep a steady sequence to your actions.
Kanbanery founder Paul Klipp is a self-professed productivity geek who’s got his daily routine down to a science, thanks to mind maps.
In practice, Klipp uses a multistep process to empty his mind by mapping out everything that needs to be done, establishing priorities, and setting tasks up for the week.
4. Ramp Up Your Energy Reserves
Ok. I have to admit that I don’t always exercise as often as I should. I can tell you, however, that working out boosts your overall energy output.
Kirill Makharinsky, cofounder of Enki, , Makharinsky states:
“I aim to do an intense 1-hour workout in the late afternoon of every day (usually a hard swim, bike ride, Crossfit or Barry’s bootcamp), which provides me plenty of energy to keep focus until late in the evening. Depending on your schedule and morning/evening work habits, you may choose a different time or a different workout type. But I estimate that I am often up to 50% more productive on the days I stick to this habit relative to those when I don’t.”
5. Breaks Leave You Un-Broken
It might sound crazy, but working less can actually mean working more productively. I wrote a post explaining how the body has a rhythm of peak and recharge points in a 24 hour period.
A study led by Emily Hunter, Ph.D., and Cindy Wu, Ph.D., at Baylor University found that the more time that had passed since the beginning of the workday, the less useful a break was.