Learn From The Masters: 10 CEOs Share Their Best Productivity Tips

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CEOs are often overwhelmed with tasks and stress. There is a lot to do when you are trying to market and grow a business. Staying productive when tasks continue to mount can be difficult, which is why CEOs should implement a few productivity enhancement practices to make sure the most important tasks are always handled. I wanted to know what a few CEOs I admire are using to get ahead in their role, so I reached out to them for their best productivity tips- here's what I learned:


1. Schedule breaks

"Taking a break is the ultimate counterintuitive way to boost productivity. Even though you're not working, you're becoming more productive. Taking a break helps you do better creative work, like writing articles or dreaming up new ideas. When you work without breaks, you lose focus, become frustrated, make poor decisions, forget things, fail to make logical connections, lose sight of your goals, and get discouraged," says Joshua Fletcher, CEO of SearchExplosion.

2. Take proper rest

"If you are not well rested, your work is going to suffer. You may be irritable, disconnected, and distracted. Your will to work will be lacking and mistakes are likely to happen. Make sure that you are getting a proper night's sleep on a quality bed, so that you do feel rested and refreshed in the morning," says Cari Samalik, CEO of Livnfresh.

3. Eat healthy meals

"When you consume multiple glasses of alcoholic beverages daily and eat processed/fatty foods, your health suffers. Your body is not getting the nutrition it needs to maintain energy and focus. You're more easily distracted with an unhealthy eating plan. Make some changes in your eating habits by purchasing only fresh foods and bypassing the frozen, boxed and canned sections of the grocery store. Also, restrict dining out or be more aware of the ingredients of restaurant dishes before ordering to make healthier choices," says Killian Lannen, CEO of Bloom Magic Flowers.

4. Set time limits for tasks

"While it isn't a race to see how much you can accomplish each day, giving each task a set amount of time does help you stay productive. It is okay if you get a little bit behind; just try to shave a few minutes off another task to be caught up," says Tony Messer, CEO of Wizz Hosting.

5. Create priority task lists

"At the beginning of each day, create a priority task list. These are the most important things you need to accomplish during that specific day. This is an hour-by-hour schedule for what you need to be done for the day. The more specific and concrete the schedule, the better. An old-fashioned written schedule on paper works just as well as fancier smartphone apps like Evernote. Without prioritizing your tasks, you are unsure of what needs your attention next. It makes your day jumbled and can create lapses in your performance," says Jeff Hull, CEO of ComiConverse.

Related: Nine Things That True Leaders (Should) Never Do

6. Set goals

"Your marketing team needs to set milestone goals. At the same time, it needs larger goals. Sit with your team and discuss the goals that they have in mind for their respective assignments and put plans in motion to meet and exceed every goal set. This gets the whole team excited about the end result of their efforts," says Daniel Anton, CEO of RankCrew.

7. Restrict internet access

"Consider taking yourself semi off the grid during your workday. By restricting your Internet access and what websites can be accessed during your workday, you are forcing yourself to focus. Everyone has a mobile device of some kind, and those should be restricted to phone calls and text messages only during work hours. Using the "airplane mode' feature on your devices helps prevent you from falling into distractions," says Issa Asad, Qlink Wireless.

8. Stop multitasking

"Multitasking in itself is a distraction. You are not focused on any one task completely, which means that mediocre work may be produced and important information may be missing. Stop multitasking and complete one task completely before moving onto another. If you are pressured to complete one task before another, simply explain that you will lose your train of thought if you stop what you're doing to move onto something else," says Calvin Thigpen, CEO of Texas Bugsorus.

9. Meditate and relax

"Before settling into bed for the evening, take some time to relax. Develop a relaxation program for yourself that helps you clear your mind of the day's happenings and have a clear mind in preparation for the next workday. Without relaxation practices and enough sleep, you may not be able to make good decisions that can negatively affect your marketing results," says Clay M. Stanford, CEO of BradReviews.

10. Read emails once

Everyone CMO uses email but most people use it wrongly and it sucks up their time. It doesn't have to be that way as there are practical tips for being efficient at managing emails. What I do and recommend is to never open emails twice. If you open your emails when you don't have the time to respond, you will end up reading the email, coming back to it later, reading it again, and then replying. You want to avoid that trap," says Andrew Ruditser, CEO of Max Burst.

Related: 10 CEOs Share Their Best Tips For Effective Workplace Leadership