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Have you ever wondered how major CEOs get so much done? It’s all because they have their own secret productivity hacks.
Even if you’re not the head of some ultra successful business, you can still take charge of your busy schedule by learning how to get more done in less time.
Productivity is part mindset and part creating habits. Master that and you’ll be amazed at just how much time you really do have in every day.
1. Set Aside One Free Day
It might sound counterproductive, but Dustin Moskovitz, CEO of Asana, created a formal policy that prohibits meetings on Wednesdays. While there are the occasional exceptions, such as a client that is only available on a Wednesday, the rule allows everyone to have a free day to focus on their own projects and work.
For him, it’s a day to focus on something he loves, but doesn’t get as much time for – coding. Whether professional or personal, set aside your own free day to focus on tasks that always take a backseat to everything else. If you can’t do a whole day, set aside a few hours at least once a week.
2. Take Airplane Days
Bryan Guido Hassin is a startup CEO and university professor who gets his best work done on airplanes. After he noticed how productive those hours in the air were, he started to block out airplane time. While you don’t need to book an expensive flight to be productive, the object is to eliminate all distractions, including your phone and Internet, to get things accomplished.
In the air, devices are on airplane mode, drastically limiting distractions. Use the same advice and set aside your own airplane time to focus on your most important tasks.
3. Carve Out Personal Time
You might think you’re being more productive by working more hours. However, you might just be hindering yourself. One of Susan Wojcicki’s, YouTube CEO, favorite productivity hacks is to dedicate several hours every day to family time. All work stops at a set time and it’s phones down from 6 PM to 9 PM to spend time with her five children.
She says taking a break helps her to clear her mind and enjoy herself a little. As a result, she’s not as stressed and is able to focus better. This leads to better creativity and productivity. Set aside time every day for personal time. Spend it by yourself doing your favorite hobby, enjoy dinner with your family or go out with friends.
4. Get The Easy Stuff Done First
Most lists of productivity hacks tell you to start with your hardest task first. After all, you’ll feel better when you’re not dreading a task all day. But, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg does the exact opposite. He believes you’re more productive when you get all the easy tasks done first. The reason is with every task you complete, you’re moving closer towards finishing your to-do list.
It’s all about building momentum. When you’re busy getting things accomplished, there’s no time to dread a task. By the time you get to the harder tasks, you’ve built up so much momentum that you just jump right into them and you’re finished before you know it. Try making your own to-do list with WPS Writer and rank tasks from easiest to hardest. Start at the top and don’t stop until you’re done.
5. Work While Others Sleep
Ellevest CEO and co-founder, Sallie Krawcheck, does her best work when others are asleep. It’s actually one of the most common productivity hacks for those who are trying to carve out a little quiet time in their day. For instance, many writers stay up late to work on their novel while their family’s fast asleep.
Krawcheck says finding quiet time is difficult, so she gets up at 4 AM to start her day. Her family is still asleep, so she gets a few hours to herself. Plus, working odd hours means you’re less likely to be distracted by emails, texts and phone calls.
Have you ever tried any of these yourself? If so, which worked best for you? Any advice for others?