How to Stay Organized as a CEO
There are as many ways to organize as there are different personalities and there is definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach. There are many variables to think about while finding the right organizational system for a CEO.
What are you having problems organizing and what has been tried that hasn’t worked? Figuring this out will go a long way to finding the best system.
Being creative with the organizational system can help tremendously. Think beyond color coding a calendar, though this can be very useful as well. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and chairman of Twitter, balances his workload by giving each day of the week a “theme.” Mondays are for marketing, Tuesdays are for management, Wednesdays are for products, and so on. Customize this to work best for the company and you might be surprised to see others enjoy this as well.
A Harvard study reported that most people are happier when they are able to focus on one task at a time. This allows for measurable progress to occur resulting in employees feeling more accomplished each day, rather than splitting their day into smaller chunks and not feeling that they are making progress.
Also, think about designating specific times for certain tasks. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to respond to an email only to be interrupted constantly or pulled away for an emergency meeting. While some people can thrive answering emails in between checking invoices, not everyone can do this. Look at the time available, what needs to be accomplished, and divide the working day into manageable segments. Don’t be afraid to put boundaries in place and let the team know when you are available, and more importantly when you are not.
While we are on the topic of emails, consider limiting when you respond to them. While it is very tempting to have the inbox open continually, even putting sound notifications on high so an alert occurs when a new one comes in, it can become a distraction to accomplishing other goals.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh was receiving thousands of emails a day and was losing sleep trying to respond to them all. He decided to let them pile up for one day, and address them all the next morning. He refers to this as “yesterbox” and claims it made him more productive. He blocks out time every morning to respond to all emails allowing people to get a response the day after they have contacted him, instead of days or weeks later. It also adds to feeling accomplished earlier in the day which can boost confidence and lead to more productivity for the rest of the day.
Prioritize Your Needs
Make sure to prioritize yourself and your own needs as well. Working long hours, eating at the office, sleeping at the office, or bringing home hours of work in the evening are easy ways to burn out. Set healthy boundaries for yourself when organizing your life and work schedule. Being sluggish at work and unable to focus does nothing to increase productivity. Be sure to drink enough water, drink less alcohol, eat a balanced diet, and schedule times to work out regularly. Also, be sure to set a definite out time, regardless of if this is when you leave the office, or set time in the evening at home, once that time comes, be sure to stop working.
Following these tips will ensure a better schedule for any CEO and result in better productivity as well as a good work-life balance.