Here I discuss about how demands on executives — and CEOs in particular — have changed over the years, and how today’s leaders can best navigate their busy days.
What are the most pressing productivity issues executives are facing today, and how can they tackle them?
For executives who aren’t part of the C-suite, I think the two most pressing issues are meetings and email. They consume a ridiculous amount of people’s time, and a lot of it isn’t well spent. But they’re both solvable problems.
On email, my suggestions are pretty simple. First, don’t look at it every minute; look at it every hour or two. Second, try to discipline yourself to read only the subject matter in order to discard 50% to 80% of your emails right away. We all get so much spam. Third, practice what I call “OHIO” — Only Handle It Once, immediately deciding what to do with each email. Concentrate on the emails that are important and answer them right away. And don’t put them into some sort of storage system (unless you ‘built it’!), because by the time you’re ready to finally tackle them, you’ll spend another half an hour trying to find them.
As to meetings, I’ve really always been clear about what makes a good meeting:
- First, you ought to have the materials and agenda sent out in advance
- Second, the person who’s presenting the issues should speak for a short amount of time, 10 or 15 minutes, and not consume the whole meeting
- Third, you need to have a real discussion and debate
- Fourth, you should end the meeting with clear to-do’s — what are the next steps, who’s going to follow through on them, what are the time frames?
- Fifth, you should end the meeting at the very latest in 90 minutes, and try for 60 minutes
But there are slightly different issues CEOs and the C-suite are facing, right?
A lot of the critical issues that I see from advising CEOs, and being one myself, stem from how to allocate your time. Read the rest of this entry »