It’s too bad there are only 24 hours in a day. Think what you could get accomplished if you had twice that time!
Still, effective business leaders know how to make the most of their precious time. They’ve learned how to avoid distraction, delegate tasks to others, and balance their calendars so there’s time for strategic thinking and decision-making—the most important activity for CEOs and business owners.
Here are five tried-and-true productivity hacks to incorporate into your schedule:
1. Establish blocks of dedicated time.
There’s more to being a business leader than attending to operational snafus and other problems best left to others. As we have noted before, one powerful productivity hack is creating blocks of time in your calendar dedicated to key strategic tasks: “The better we become at selecting, protecting, and blocking time—the better outcomes we will experience getting the most critical things done.”
One approach involves working intensively for a pre-determined cycle of time. According to PaySimple, researchers have determined that these cycles “roughly correspond to 90-minute stretches of productive work, followed by a natural dip as our brains take a break and recover.” In other words, “you’re actually better off working while at your peak and resting when you aren’t.”
2. Invest in time-efficient communications technology.
Employ technology aimed at boosting productivity. A whole range of software products are designed to simplify communications, facilitate the transfer of files and enhance the ability to edit documents in real-time. Cloud-based, collaborative tools can significantly reduce (or even eliminate) time-wasting efforts to communicate in person or even across great distances.
3. Leverage the experience of other highly productive business leaders.
The Internet offers many productivity hacks, just like the one you’re reading now. But nothing matches learning from CEOs and business owners like yourself—men and women who have “been there and done that” in terms of productivity and are more than happy to pass along their best advice on efficiency and getting things done.
In many cases, the obvious choice for high-quality interactions is membership in a peer advisory group, such as The Alternative Board (TAB). Members of TAB meet regularly to learn from one another, help remain accountable to their companies and stakeholders, and provide valuable wisdom from their own experience. Check out what TAB has to offer today!
4. Keep delegating!
As the leader of your organization, you should already be delegating a significant number of tasks to others. (There’s no point in leading if you’re constantly mired in day-to-day operations.) As we have noted previously, perhaps the most crucial skill to have as a business owner “is to learn how to effectively delegate tasks to your subordinates and partners, as this can ensure that no matter how big your business gets, operations will always remain manageable.”
Plus, you’ll free up more time and get more of the most important things done.
5. Think about ways to enhance productivity throughout the organization.
Business leaders should think about productivity in terms of both themselves and the companies they represent. In any business, there are places where progress seems to slow or productivity dips, due to some organizational processes. Instead of wasting time trying to identify these issues on your own, look to people in the company who might provide useful solutions.
Since employees “work through these processes every day, they are the ones who are familiar with the minutiae of every function,” notes Business.com. Ask for their input through an anonymous survey that’s ideally tailored for each department. The answers you get “might reveal issues you never imagined,” but on the plus side, this “inside peek … will allow you to better gauge other factors, such as company culture, department efficiency and overall engagement.”
Want to learn more? Check out a recent TAB blog post, “How Technology Can Help Increase Productivity.”