Harvard Business Review documented a study, which revealed that CEOs work 62.5 hours a week. With the strong demand on their time, top CEOs implement specific strategies to manage their commitments better.
How CEOs manage their schedules usually reveals a great deal about their leadership style and the performance of their organization. It also affects how they are viewed within the organization.
Here’s how the top CEOs manage their time:
Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 am every morning to go through email, exercise, and grab a coffee before settling in to his work day. He is not alone. Almost 90% of the top executives wake up before 6am on weekdays, while 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before the start of their work day.
Waking up early before work gives business owners the opportunity to manage their day before it even begins. Early morning hours can be invaluable to a CEO, because that can often be the most productive time of their day.
Top CEOs use this time to meditate, exercise, read, catch up on the news, or answer and send emails. You can curtail daily stresses by waking up a little bit earlier to prepare for the day.
At 67-years-old, Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Group, wakes up every day at 5 a.m. and immediately begins a hard-hitting workout routine. He runs, plays tennis, bikes, or even kite surfs. He claims that working out allows him to achieve twice as much.
CEOs are incredibly busy, so it would be easy to neglect exercise due to just not having enough time. However, regular morning workouts bring a host of benefits, which is why the most successful CEOs have some form of exercise routine.
Among those benefits is exercise’s ability to lower stress and increase self-confidence. According to researcher Russel Clayton, “Exercise lowers stress and anxiety levels which is tantamount to an expansion of time.” It can also serve to boost self-confidence when faced with difficult tasks.
3. Reduce Decisions
Making decisions, whether small or large, takes time and energy. In a day that is already pulling you in every direction, too many decisions can waste time and decrease productivity.
Small decisions such as what to eat or what to wear are avoided by top CEOs to better manage their time. Warren Buffet eats and drinks the same thing every day. Mark Zuckerberg wears the same shirts and pants every day, and Steve Jobs abided by this philosophy in his clothing, as well.
What are some small decisions you are making each day that can be streamlined by simplifying your life or creating systems that eliminate these choices?
4. Plan the Day
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Space X, works an estimated 80 hours per week. To meet the demands that accompany owning two businesses, he breaks up his day into 5-minute time slots.
This might sound extreme, but when “Entrepreneur” staff writer, Hayden Field, decided to try her hand at this scheduling technique, her results were surprising.
Although the technique did not go exactly as planned, Field discovered that the 5-minute blocks helped her stay on track and get her work done faster without distractions or interruptions to her workflow.
You may not need to be as detailed with your schedule as Musk, but creating a daily plan will help you manage your time better. Using an electronic or hand-written scheduler is a great start.
By examining time management techniques used by some of the top CEOs in the world, you can begin to see an improvement in your own level of productivity. Managing the time you have will ensure that you remain focused on your established business goals.