10 Ultimate Productivity Hacks For Startup CEO’s

For any CEO who is rushing around trying to perform a hundred and one tasks at any given time, sometime the best thing to do is slow it down a tick and reprioritize.

Prioritizing your tasks can be the most important task of all that you need to get done. Often the one you are putting off, it’s critical to set objectives before working. A quick fix is simply cutting down the number of times you check your Email, Quora, Facebook, Twitter, Wechat, Whatsapp, Buzzfeed, Reddit daily would greatly help in increasing your productivity.

For those still struggling, check out these 10 ultimate productivity hacks for startup CEO’s

1 – Use a tool like Trello 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.
Delegation can be one of your best productivity tools!

2. 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 FiverrFreelancer and Upwork etc.

3. Use Evernote like a whiteboard to list all of the tasks you need to accomplish. After looking at Trello and delegating out tasks, I put mine into Evernote. Usually this is 10-15 tasks.

4. Use a post-it note to record the 3 most important things you can do on that particular day. The post-it note beneficial because it has a size constraint.

5. Set your mobile to Silent Mode. Exit and close your Gmail or whichever email provider you are using. If your on a mac, click the notification center icon in the menu bar, scroll down, then click to turn on Do Not Disturb. You can also Option-click the Notification Center icon in the menu bar. When Do Not Disturb is on, the Notification Center icon is dimmed. Do Not Disturb turns off automatically at midnight.

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. When you’re the CEO of a startup, that’s just not ok. You struggle to find time to grow the company, grow the team, manage it, resolve problems, while still spending enough time with your family and maintaining social relationships – every minute is valuable and must be spent in the right way. Taking an incoming call, checking a text message, that’s taking those minutes away from you.

6. Remove temptations with Self Control. SelfControl is a free and open-source application for Mac OS X that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click “Start.” Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites–even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

If your on a PC then there is Chrome extension to keep you focused online. Its another simple app to keep you focused online by blocking sites that you spend way too much time on. To keep things simple, the extension works by blocking patterns within the full url. For example if you were to block the pattern “book” the url www.facebook.com and books.google.com would both be blocked.

7. Use Rescue Time to track your productivity. – Install RescueTime on 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.

8. Use Harvest o track your time or your teams time effectively. Harvest makes time tracking easy. Your team will get up to speed fast and can track their time however and wherever they want—on their laptop, iPhone, Android, or even on the Apple Watch. Simple and quick time entry means there’s no excuse not to track, and you’ll have the data you need to bill accurately and budget wisely.

If you are a business manager who would like their employees to track time, then automated solutions might be the best choice for you. You can also track employees time without them knowing, if that is something that interests you. WorkPuls allows you to automatically track your employees time, with various features you might find interesting.

You might want to check out Hubstaff. It takes screenshots like some of the others, and has a productivity graphs. It also includes payments, integration with project management and is available for up to 3 people. Its a very lightweight widget. Time Tracking Software with Screenshots and Activity Levels.

Use it occasionally to get a picture of where your day goes, both online and offline. It will be eye opening, you might be surprised to find you take 10 minutes to write a single email.

9. Take a break when you are not being productive anymore. – Go for a walk, do something else. Then get back to work! Listen to music – Not all music is the same when it comes to being productive. Try out different genres of music and see what works for you. For me I like music with very few lyrics and has a repetitive beat that gets me almost in a productive trance like Muzak.

10. Use Sanebox to clean up your inbox in minutes! SaneBox learns what email is important to you and filters out what isn’t — saving you hours.

Instantly Filter Out Unimportant Email, SaneBox works in the background of your email, keeping it nice and clean by moving unimportant emails into a new folder called SaneLater. Don’t worry about missing anything, you can check SaneLater at any time and we’ll send you a daily digest summarizing your SaneLater email.

Batch Your Email (When people are unlikely to respond right away) – Email is one of the biggest time wasters. Stay away unless it is absolutely critical to your previously set objectives.

Hopefully some of these tools and processes will help you with your productivity.

Other things you can apply – Don’t multitask, do tasks in series, not parallel
Be totally focused on the thing you are doing while you are doing it.  Do not multitask.  If you find yourself reading emails in a meeting or facebook, then you probably should not be in the meeting, or the meeting needs to be run better.

If you are working on a task, like reading a legal document, mentally allocate time to only devote to that task. like 20 minutes.  During that block, do not do anything else.  If you finish early, you can reward yourself with doing something else but only if you finish early.

Do fewer things – say NO when you have to
When you are a CEO, you often have lots of interesting opportunities.  As you become more successful, the opportunities become more and more interesting.  Do not fall into the trap of of saying “yes” to most things.  Ruthlessly decide whether an you should attend a meeting you were invited to.  Same with parties, conferences, speaking engagements, internal presentations, and more.

A good CEO is probably saying “no” to 90% of the opportunities that he or she is presented with.  Yes, 90%.  And these are likely all things that seem interesting and fun.  But you need to be ruthless with your time.

 

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