Give one productivity tip for how you balance everything as a CEO?
To help you identify how CEOs’ live a balanced life, we asked CEOs and startup founders this question for their best tips. From blocking your calendar for personal time to keeping emails short, there are several tips that will help you better balance your workloads and become more productive in your day-to-day life.
Here are 14 productivity tips to live a balanced life:
- Put Personal Time Blocks On Your Calendar
- Use Agile Methodologies
- Never Look at Your Phone Before 1pm On Workdays
- Try the Pomodoro Technique
- Set Clear Boundaries Between Work and Home
- Make Time for Your Health and Wellness
- Schedule Your Timetable Mindfully
- Don’t Eat Alone
- Get An Assistant
- Unplug and Let Creativity Carry You
- Clean Your Desk to Balance Multiple Tasks
- Use Automation to Help Manage Your Time
- Practicing Mediation Every Day
- Keep Emails Short
Put Personal Time Blocks On Your Calendar
No matter how busy you are each day, you need to carve out some time for yourself. Putting personal time blocks on your calendar forces you to take several moments throughout your day to reset, refocus, and recharge. Use this personal time as you see fit, but whatever you do, don't use it for catching up on administrative tasks. Remember, it's personal time, not work time.
Randall Smalley, Cruise America
Use Agile Methodologies
Big projects can seem overwhelming, which is why it is helpful to break them down into more manageable phases. Utilize short work cycles, setting reachable benchmarks for everyone on your team. Within these spans of time, everyone is collaborating, meeting regularly, and working toward the same production goal, so the work can go faster. Suddenly, those big projects won't seem so daunting anymore, and you can take more moments for yourself.
Debra Hildebrand, Hildebrand Solutions, LLC
Never Look at Your Phone Before 1pm On Workdays
I personally never look at my phone before 1pm on any given workday. This allows me to not be distracted and to work on high-leverage tasks for the first part of my day.
As a CEO, you are usually bombarded with both internal and external messages. Many of these are in the category of “not urgent, not important” work. The biggest bang for your buck of time is spent in the categories of “urgent, important” and “not urgent, important”.
By focusing most of my time on those categories, I can ensure the growth of the company. After 1pm, you can answer everything in one batch.
Paw Vej, Financer.com Ldt
Try the Pomodoro Technique
Effective time management is key to keeping yourself on track and achieving your goals. At Curricula, we find the Pomodoro Technique to be very helpful. Whatever your task is, set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer rings. Then, take a five-minute break, write down what you've completed, and start the process over again. Take a longer break after four work sessions to recharge. You'll get a lot more done than you thought was possible using this technique. We have several team members that use this method for getting more done every day.
Nick Santora, Curricula
Set Clear Boundaries Between Work and Home
Not everyone is able to easily leave their work for the day back at the office, but bringing it home with you isn't very healthy. This is especially hard for those who actually work from home, but it's still possible. Dress differently for work time and home time. Leave your work worries and cares at the office, so you can fully relax and enjoy your time at home as much as possible before taking on the next day.
Eric Blumenthal, Zoe Print
Make Time for Your Health and Wellness
According to wellness educator Joyce Sunada, ‘If you don't take time for your wellness, you will be forced to take time for your illness.' I really agree with this sentiment. In order to enjoy the fruits of your labor, you need to stay healthy and well. It's not just about physical health and wellness, either. Make time to maintain both your physical and mental health and wellness, so you don't lose time having to recover both.
Henry Babicheknko, Stomadent
Schedule Your Timetable Mindfully
Identify your most effective time of day while you will face the most demanding challenges. This time is limited, don't exceed it; working up to 12h/day beyond the crunch periods is killing the company and its leader.
Of course, there is a need to adjust the schedule to official working hours, but all individual CEOs' tasks may be done at any time. For me, it is morning when my mind performs like a pro, but I know plenty of CEOs who make the essential decisions in the evening after a long time of cycling, meditating, or playing video games.
Tytus Golas, Tidio
Don’t Eat Alone
I'm a big fan of the book Never Eat Alone's thesis. I attempt to schedule as many lunch meetings as possible. Because I enjoy getting to know our new workers, new hires will schedule a lunch meeting with me as part of their onboarding process. Setting up a 1:1 lunch with me is actually on the checklist for new hires. It turns out to be an excellent method to become acquainted with everyone and their various characteristics. Then I attempt to fill in the gaps with 1:1 lunches with coworkers, friends, and so on. I eat by myself when I'm too weary or need a break, but I prefer to take a genuine lunch and utilize time to socialize, and I encourage everyone at Engagio to do the same.
Before I leave for the day, I attempt to catch up on tasks like following up on a meeting or sending emails. I usually leave work between the hours of 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. That's sometimes made possible by having to pick up my kid from one of her activities, such as gymnastics.
Axel Hernborg, Tripplo.com
Get An Assistant
Sometimes, administrative tasks can take up a lot of your time that could be better spent doing something else. Getting an assistant to handle some of these more mundane, repetitive tasks can help you refocus your energy on more important things. If there isn't enough money in the budget to hire someone, you have other options. Look into the possibility of an AI assistant that can help automate certain office duties.
Lily Yu, Oak Springs Realty
Unplug and Let Creativity Carry You
This productivity quote from Arianna Huffington always stuck with me: “Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s not urgent and to create a culture where you are constantly plugged in and expected to be always-on is to create a culture of burnout.” A person's cognitive performance should not be measured by quantity. Quality and impact matter much more. A creative person cannot let themself become overwhelmed by a crowded inbox or other manual tasks that feel urgent but are actually frivolous. We need to be tactful to disrupt the culture of burnout that has overtaken so many workplaces. It ruins people's creativity and morale.
Anne-Marie Faiola, Bramble Berry
Clean Your Desk to Balance Multiple Tasks
Clean your desk before working to be productive in balancing tasks. It declutters both your mind and workplace. As a result, you gain clarity with business responsibilities and decisions.
Start by segregating your necessities, then remove what isn’t. Remember to always begin with segregation to prevent stress. Clean your desk one area at a time. Don’t think about trying to clean everything. It’ll overwhelm you. Establish this habit, and you’ll improve your mental health even with the challenges of being a CEO.
Danavir Sarria, Rooftop Squad
Use Automation to Help Manage Your Time
One productivity tip for CEOs is to use automation to help manage their time. For example, I use Zapier to automate a lot of my workflows. Zapier is a tool that helps you connect different apps so that you can automate tasks between them. For example, I have a Zap that automatically adds new leads from my website form to my Salesforce account. This saves me time because I don't have to manually add the leads myself.
Another productivity tip for CEOs is to focus on tasks that are important but not urgent. Many times, we get bogged down in tasks that are urgent but not important, and this can prevent us from focusing on what's really important. Instead, try focusing on the high-impact tasks.
Rick Elmore, Simply Noted
Practicing Mediation Every Day
To have a proper work-life balance, having a clear perspective on where I want to spend my energy is incredibly important. I prefer doing meditations for at least 10-15 mins every day. With regular mediation, I'm able to focus on my present without dwelling on overthinking about the future work. This takes my imagination and creativity to the next level which helps me to complete my task sooner. Without meditation, I'm not able to work more efficiently while being calm. This leads to more stress and less work.
Meera Watts, Siddhi Yoga International Pte. Ltd.
Keep Emails Short
Minimize the amount of time you spend on emails by keeping them short and to the point. Set a maximum of three to five minutes for each email. If a message requires more time than that to type, consider setting up a quick call instead. Additionally, make sure to spend no more than one hour per day going through your inbox. This is a quick way to give yourself more time for other important priorities. It also prevents you from becoming a slave to your email, which can be a huge drain on your energy.
John DiBella, NetLocal Digital Marketing