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Being at the helm of a company, big or small, is no walk in the park. In order to cope, many leaders have honed their skills to maximize productivity and work efficiently, to ensure they are able to do their job to the best of their ability.
We all know there’s a lot you can learn from the big boss, but solid time management and working ‘smart’ has to be one of the greatest lessons a leader can teach.
Here are some of the best CEO tips you can use to boost your overall productivity.
1. Schedule meetings with the right people…
Got meetings coming out your ears? One of Google’s cofounders, Larry Page, said he fired his assistant – who was booking meetings for him – after he found himself with a full diary of meetings which weren’t desirable.
“Most people aren’t willing to ask me if they want to meet with me,” he told Wired in a 2011 interview. “They’re happy to ask an assistant.”
Now, if anyone wants to meet with Page, they have to go through him, which is a good lesson in ensuring you’re spending your time meeting with people effectively.
2. … and make it snappy
It’s way too easy for meetings to run up to an hour, or even two hours long, when you really, really don’t have the time.
In an interview with the New York Times, Gary McCullough, a former captain of the US Army and now CEO of Career Education Corp., said he only gives people half the time they ask for with him, in a effort to make sure those meeting with him get to the point.
“When people ask me for time, they generally don’t need the time that they ask for. So my assistant asks people, ‘How much time do you need?’ If they say an hour, we cut it in half. If they say 30 minutes, we cut it to 15, because it forces people to be clearer and more concise,” he said.
3. Find a challenging hobby
Numerous CEOs cite their hobbies as a direct means of chilling out, de-stressing and giving them something else to focus on while at the same time clearing their head. Some like to exercise, some go all out with Triathlons and Iron Man competitions, but whatever it is, make sure your hobby is something you enjoy.
Don’t pick up a sport or force yourself into a hobby because you think it’s the right thing to do to help you unwind. Take the time to figure out what your hobbies really are.
4. Have one work-from-home day
Thankfully, flexible working is becoming more widely accepted in Asia, but for those of you who require employees to be in the office at all times, see if you could make your business work by allowing scheduled work-from-home days.
HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan told Business Insider that every Wednesday is his work-from-home day.
“So if I’m not traveling in a given week, or even if I am traveling, I keep Wednesday open and that’s the day that I can just think and get stuff done.”
5. Have the right partner – in business and in life
Whether we’re talking about a colleague you work closely with in a team, or a business partner, it’s incredibly important to ensure you can work well with the person you’re paired up with.
Similarly, one of the most important career decisions a woman can make is to marry the right person, said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
“The most important career choice you’ll make is who you marry. I have an awesome husband, and we’re 50/50,” she said.
If you have a supportive business partner, colleague, husband or wife, you should see everything as a joint effort – whether it’s sharing the responsibilities to pick up children from school or jointly producing a report for your boss.
6. Take regular breaks from work
Take a walk around the office, chat with a colleague, make a coffee or go to the gym. Whatever you do, make sure you take regular short breaks throughout the day and one longer one, usually over the lunch period.
A number of productivity studies have found the mind needs to take a break, rest and recover before it can start fully concentrating again.
Working in 90-minute spurts is believed to be the most effective to way to balance working with breaks. Try it today and see if it makes a difference to how much you achieve.
7. Become a morning person
The best bosses are morning people – they get up, exercise, eat a healthy breakfast and often make calls or get work done hours before anyone else gets to the office.
It’s not a hard habit to get into if you really try. Why don’t you take a page from these 5 tips to become a morning person?
8. Trying to be perfect is a BIG mistake
Guess what? Your quest for perfection is making you a lousy boss.
If you like to micromanage or fail to properly delegate tasks, you’re probably not being the best boss or employee you could be. Why? Because looking for perfection means you often overlook more important factors of your day-to-day management, such as failing to trust your employees or dumping work on them, rather than delegating.