Think like a boss – productivity tips from 5 CEOs

Employee engagement

A productive workforce is essential to company success, especially for small businesses that are high functioning with lean teams. With countless brands competing for the same audience, it’s important to know how to stay on the ball.

Check out what 5 CEO’s do to stay incredibly successful, and test out our tips if you’re looking to inspire productivity in your own team.

1.Take notes. What would our world be like without Etsy? As I look at my beautiful throw pillows I’m thinking, thanks Chad Dickerson for making sure I never have to think about that. The company’s CEO takes notes anytime he meets someone new. It’s a part of his system, and just good thinking since remembering anything (or anyone) is a whole lot easier when you have a point of reference.
How to use: Hand your team their own notebooks, maybe have them customized if you know your colleagues well. End goal – encourage this good habit.

2.Complete the task you want to the least, first. Alok Bhardwaj is the founder of software start-up Hidden Reflex. He starts his day by doing the thing he really doesn’t want to first. Once the most daunting task is out of the way, your mind is clear and you can focus on the rest. It’s like the Red Bull of productivity.
How to use: Try this tip out yourself and let your team know how it helped you personally. You’d be surprised how many people appreciate candid advice backed by experience.

3.Wake up earlier. We know, it doesn’t seem very appealing, but it’s no coincidence that so many successful people believe in early mornings. Virgin Group Founder and Chairman Richard Branson gets out of bed as early as possible – 5:45am to be exact. The snooze button resets your sleep cycle anyway, and the early bird gets the worm, doesn’t it?
How to use: A delicious breakfast has underrated power. Since it’s hard not to feel guilty about luring your employees to work with bacon and eggs, you could opt to end the day a little earlier too.

4.Give your days a theme. “On Monday, at both companies, I focus on management and running the company…Tuesday is focused on product. Wednesday…” You see where Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is going with this. He themes his week to get more done in all areas of his businesses. And if it can work for Jack, it’ll probably work wonders for you.
How to use: Collaborate with your team to ensure each weekday is dedicated to a core area of your business and deliverables. Aim to follow through, but remember that interruptions happen.

5.Get comfy using the word ‘no’. Warby Parker’s Co-CEO Dave Gilboa once commented on the routine work environment often including back-to-back meetings, “…sitting through endless meetings doesn’t translate into being productive. Meetings are not work. In fact, they are interruptions and distractions from actual thinking and real productivity.” Agreed.
How to use: A good question to ask yourself when prioritizing is, “is this [insert meeting or other interruption] going to help me get my work done or reach today’s goals?” The answer to that question could clear things right up.

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