Successful and highly productive CEO’s and startup founders know how to achieve what they want in less time than others. These are a few answers (from CEO’s and Startup founders on Quora) to the question “As a startup CEO, what is your favorite productivity hack? There were a lot of other great responses but we sifted through some of the important ones to put together this collection of CEO and founder productivity hacks to inspire and boost your own personal productivity.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”-–Paul J. Meyer.
1. Matt DeCelles,
Prioritize the most important task you need to get done (often the one you are putting off) It is critical to set objectives before working. – A great book on this topic is Eat That Frog. Use Trello.com to map out all of the tasks of the company. This gives a macro view of whats going on and allows you to delegate tasks that may better be completed by another person. AgileZen.com Asana.com kanbanflow.com are other great Task Management options.
Delegate (LIKE A BOSS) – When you enjoy what you do you will find yourself being much more productive. If you really suck at doing something, chances are there is someone out there that can probably do it for less than $5/hr. Check out Fiverr.com Elance.com ODesk.com etc etc…
Use Rescue Time to track your productivity. – Install RescueTimeon your computer and it measures how much time you spend doing particular activities. You then designate whether those activities are productive or not. It also emails you with a productivity summary for the week. This will show how much time you spend on Facebook or Youtube per week.
2. Paul A. Klipp,
Step one involves emptying my mind and ensuring that I capture everything I can think of. I use a mind map styled after the approach presented in Todoodlist. The first time I did it, I used paper. However, once I had it all sorted out like I liked it, I started using an online mind mapping tool,, for this. I like using a software tool for two reasons.
One is that it’s easy to change frequently without lots of eraser marks and scratch outs. The other is that it isn’t convenient to check. I don’t want the whole complexity of my life right in my face all the time. That would drive me nuts. All I want to know at any moment is what I should be doing right now.
My start-ups team hacks are:
1. 10-minutes break each hour for a walk or exercises. It makes it easier to concentrate. Also – healthy people are more creative people.
2. We turn off our private mobile phones while we are at work and we turn off our business phones while we are at home.
3. We keep our desks as well as our desktops clear. No cluttering!
4. When we have new idea – we write it down and put it into a queue.
5. The current task is the most important. We do not distract each other. We useto keep all things to do as well as all ideas in the one place and to wisely manage them.
4. Ivan Mazour,
Put your phone on silent. Totally silent. And leave it like that always. The external demands on your time are going to be considerably greater than the time you actually have to allocate, and this is going to get worse, not better. The bigger your team gets, the more questions you will get asked. The better known your company gets, the more people are going to want to speak with you. My core productivity hack is to always be in control of how I allocate my time.
Calls, text messages, notifications – all these things take away that control. If someone calls you and you pick up, it means you are speaking with them when it’s convenient for them, not when it’s convenient for you.
As long as you check the communication regularly enough, every few hours for example, you will never miss out on anything.
5. Himanshu Choksi,
Do, delegate, delete: Do what only YOU can do that’s important, delegate other important items, and eliminate the rest. If it can’t be eliminated, it must be important (is it?) — do it or delegate. For most of us, this is the hardest item on the list.
Find where you do what best: some tasks are best done in a quiet room; others in a bustling cafe (oddly, for me — the latter for some creative tasks). Observe your own productivity patterns with different tasks / places / time of day. Adjust accordingly.
6. Remco Van Mook,
First, be in the office an hour and a half before anyone else. You’ll hate it but you get done more in that hour and a half than the rest of the day – you’ll be running from distraction to distraction afterwards.
Second, and this might sound weird, is pre-allocated blame. Regardless what it is, who was there or when it happened, it’s my fault. I can’t get fired over it. It saves a ton of anxiety and fruitless discussions – instead, people focus on how to fix it and move on.
Third, don’t agonise. Make a decision and stick with it. In case of doubt, the answer is no, every single time. I’ve regretted every single time I didn’t follow this rule.
7. Alex Sebastian,
1. Create separate list for every functional area of the business/your life
2. Identify the larger goals you are trying to achieve in each area and add them to the list.
3. For every goal, identify the next immediate task that needs to be completed in order to achieve that goal
4. Every day or two, write a new list, with the highest priority items at the top. Things get messy in a hurry (not as much of an issue if you aren’t as old school as me and use your phone)
5. Whenever you have 2 minutes, pull out your list and find something to get done.