Chief executive officers (CEOs) are the highest-ranking executive managers within their organization. Their roles and responsibilities vary from organization to organization; however, their primary duties usually include managing the overall resources and operations of an organization, making major corporate decisions, and being the main point of contact between employees, senior management, the organization’s board of directors, and the public.
The chief executive officer is responsible for both internal and external communications, meaning they communicate internally with key stakeholders and act as the outward face of the organization. Between overseeing various functions—like operations, finance, marketing, sales, human resources, legal, compliance, and technology—and balancing the needs of employees, customers, investors and other stakeholders, CEOs have a full plate. As a result, these individuals need to hone in on CEO productivity tips to stay focused and sustain effective leadership.
13 expert-approved CEO productivity tips
- Match your schedule to your energy
- Use a meeting software
- Use the time-blocking method
- Follow a meeting agenda during meetings
- Set and track goals and objectives
- Delegate tasks
- Make a daily planner
- Understand your priorities
- Leverage asynchronous communication
- Foster alignment
- Create an effective morning routine
- Schedule regular breaks into your day
- Develop a process for managing your emails
1Match your schedule to your energy
Matching your schedule to your energy means doing a specific task that your body or mind is most optimized for during a specific part of the day. Everyone has different preferences, and all of our bodies and minds are optimized for different activities at different times of the day. Scheduling your tasks around your energy means you’ll accomplish more in less time as your energy levels will align with the task on which you’re working. Take early risers, for example: If you tend to wake up early, you may be your most productive first thing in the morning. This means that you may want to complete tasks that take a lot of energy or more brain power first thing in the morning.
What I learned a long time ago is that we don’t manage time, time moves through our lives linearly, but all we manage is the energy we bring to that time. And if we can actually evaluate our week from that lens, and then look at the type of work we do, so that the energy flows through it, because there’s certain types of work that if you asked me to do in the afternoon, between two and five, you’re not going to get my best work. And as a leader, as a manager, I’m the one that decides how I focus my time and energy.Dan Martell, Supermanagers episode #132
2Use a meeting software
As a CEO, optimizing your time and streamlining processes should be top of mind. Leveraging meeting management software ensures that meetings hosts and attendees alike have the tools and resources necessary to run efficient, actionable meetings. Tools like Fellow make hosting productive meetings a breeze by helping you and your teammates build great meeting habits through collaborative agendas, real-time note taking, and ready-made templates.
With the ability to help you run all kinds of meetings—from one-on-one meetings to team meetings and cross-functional meetings—Fellow provides you with everything you need to hold your teammates accountable, host meaningful conversations, and measure long-term success. You can also integrate all of your favorite extensions so you can take meeting notes directly in your Google Meet or Zoom call in addition to connecting Fellow to tools like Asana, Jira, and Zapier to make your meeting, management, and productivity workflows even better.
Run efficient meetings, come to a decision, and get back to work
Level up your organization’s meeting habits to boost engagement and productivity with a collaborative meeting agenda. Try a tool like Fellow!
3Use the time-blocking method
Time blocking is an excellent time and energy saver. Because time blocking is the opposite of multitasking, it allows for concentration on a single task. Instead of scattering your efforts among multiple competing tasks, you can hone in on one specific task and focus without losing time or energy to multitasking or procrastination. This means that you’ll have more mental bandwidth to focus on pressing tasks that need to be completed immediately. Limiting the number of tasks you work on at once by prioritizing time blocking will help limit distractions and boost attention to detail so you can make sure you’re always completing quality work.
4Follow a meeting agenda during meetings
Creating and following a thorough meeting agenda is the key to hosting impactful meetings as a CEO. Not having an agenda is the number one cause for unstructured meetings that don’t yield results. As a CEO, you need to make sure that all your time is optimized, which is why a proper meeting agenda is a must. A meeting agenda is the quickest way to ensure your meeting is both organized and optimized.
5Set and track goals and objectives
Setting and tracking objectives and key results (OKRs) is extremely important, and Fellow makes it easier than ever. With the Objectives Tab in Fellow, you can link your objectives to team meetings—making it easy to review progress, resolve challenges, and keep all OKRs on track. You can stay on top of your team’s goals by clearly recording, defining, and tracking the progress of your OKRs and easily reviewing them during your team meetings.
As a leader, delegating is important because you can’t—and shouldn’t—do everything on your own. Delegating empowers your team to step up during times of uncertainty, builds trust, and assists with professional development. If you were once an individual contributor who has grown to take on a management or leadership role, you may have a difficult time knowing when to delegate tasks. It’s important to remember that no one can do everything themselves, and knowing when to delegate a task that another teammate may be able to complete more efficiently is a superpower.
7Make a daily planner
You can’t maintain an effective schedule without making a plan. To stay on track and optimize your time, you’ll need to create and follow a daily planner. Luckily, tools like Fellow make organizing your day a breeze. With Fellow’s Streams tool, you can organize your ideas your way. Allowing you to keep track of everything from personal to-do lists to team OKRs, Streams are digital notepads where action items and ideas come together to inspire productivity.
Understanding priorities means getting clear on what needs to get done and prioritizing the most pressing tasks. Understanding priorities will help guide you in your decisions and keep you on track. Even more importantly, understanding your personal priorities will give you the confidence needed to say “no” when something doesn’t align with your vision. This means you can create your own path instead of getting caught up in what others may think is important, which in turn means limited distractions. But it’s also important to understand the priorities of your team and those around you to ensure alignment.
For people that are looking to communicate and have a more effective communication style as leaders, understanding the priorities of the people that they’re working with just helps everything move forward with so much less friction.Hillery Hunter, Supermanagers episode #128
9Leverage asynchronous communication
Asynchronous communication is an excellent way to streamline communication and increase productivity. Mike Murchison, CEO of Ada, uses an asynchronous mindset to increase productivity by enabling asynchronous communication as the organization’s default communication style.
Melissa Rosenthal, Chief Creative Officer at Clickup, fosters alignment to increase productivity by possessing a servant leadership style and leading with vulnerability. Melissa attributes productivity to creativity and believes that the best final products come as a result of clear communication and efficient workflows. Fostering alignment is the key to clear communication.
11Create an effective morning routine
There’s nothing better than having time for a warm cup of coffee in the morning, going for a leisurely walk before work, or diving into a podcast before you sit down at your desk for the day. Taking care of yourself and addressing your needs is crucial for your overall happiness, which is why it’s important to create a morning routine that helps you start your day off on the right foot. Integrating self-care practices into your everyday routine will help you stay energized and motivated so you can always put your best foot forward.
12Schedule regular breaks into your day
No one can operate to their full potential without taking the time to recharge, and CEOs are no exception. Taking short breaks will help you focus and regain the strength you need to conquer any upcoming tasks with ease. Taking short breaks throughout the day will ensure you’re energized and in the right headspace to complete tasks and lead efficiently.
- Signing off to indulge in a healthy meal
- Taking a short walk between meetings
- Unplugging to stand up and stretch or partake in breathing exercises
13Develop a process for managing your emails
Managing your emails can be extremely overwhelming—even more so if you’re someone who frequently puts it off or struggles to empty your inbox. Being structured and organized when it comes to managing your emails will provide you with more time to yourself so you can focus on producing impactful work. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider allocating a block of time each day to your inbox. Setting aside 30 minutes every day to sorting and replying to emails will help you create a healthy habit that leads to long-term success.
In conclusion, leveraging CEO productivity tips is one of the best things that you can do for yourself in 2023. Each one of these expert tips and tricks have been carefully selected to ensure you have everything you need to lead to the best of your abilities.