24 hours

Every day has 24 hours

Want to be more effective? Try these Top CEO time management strategies. Every day has 24 hours; you just need to know how to use them all.

First, you need to get up to the 50,000-foot view so you can make some sense out of the blur. To do this, divide all your items into what need to get done in the next 30/60/90 days. This allows you to prioritize. Then, lay this out on a spreadsheet, with 30/60/90 across the top, and work categories on the left side, such as critical issues, sales, marketing, finance, HR, IT. We run a global operation on Google docs with this simple process.

An example spreadsheet

An example spreadsheet

Plan your work, and work your plan. Once you have the big picture assessed, then its time for execution. Steven Case, founder of AOL once said ‘vision without execution is nothing more than a hallucination.’ Lots of great ideas die on the bar napkin. You’ve got to execute, and especially, take on the hard stuff. What makes greatness is doing all the tough work nobody else wants to do.

Every night before you leave work, Review, Preview, & Wrap.   Go over what was accomplished, and then create a plan for the next day.

Do the hardest task first, this might be the call you have been avoiding, the client issue, the tough negotiation, the hardest sales target. Do this, and then the rest of the day is all-downhill.

Time block – Work hour by hour; use the ability to move on to the next project. Make sure that you accomplish at least 2-3 big things each day. Answering emails is not a revenue producing activity.

Answer emails 3 times a day - Give yourself 10 minutes at the top of the day, right before lunch, and before you leave. Make a race out of it. Turn off the distracting new email alerts at the bottom of your monitor. Turn off social media at work; it’s as productive as drinking at the office.

Turn off and tune out - Make time to think. Your best ideas never come at work, they come outside. Meditate, bike, run, play a sport, spend time with friends and loved ones, see an art exhibit, get out of the office often.

Record thoughts – Keep a recorder or notebook handy. Your iPhone has all these tools.

Get to the pointfast. On my first day in a new job, my ex-Navy boss told me he had 2 rules.

  1. “Give it to me in 10 words or less.”
  2. “I never want to ask a second time” for something. He explained that as CEO he had to make decisions fast, and had no time to waste.

When Winston Churchill saved the world from Nazi Germany in WW2, he refused to accept any memorandum longer than one page. He also took a nap after lunch, allowing him the stamina to achieve 2 work days out of each day.

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  • Paula K.

    Great article KC! I enjoyed reading it!

  • http://www.ResortHotelPhotographer.com/ Jeff Caven

    Great stuff KC! Two things though, 1 Winston Churchill is a personal hero and I agree naps (meditation) is key to recharging and 2 does a blog like this count as social networking? if so should I shut it off at work? I’m enjoying the content and keep up the good work!