Productivity tips from CEOs and startup founders

Your productivity is very important for yourself and the wider business irrespective of the kind of firm or industry you work in. However, if you run or work in a smaller business then your productivity is the lifeblood of that organization.

There is a growing consensus that productivity is not just working hard, it’s working smart. It’s not necessarily long hours, but it is definitely smart hours. Working smart means working efficiently.  And it means working creatively.

Here we have gathered the advice of CEOs and the founders of startups who talk about the ways in which they work smart from a discussion which took place on Quora. Here are our favourite tips:

1. No meetings Wednesdays.

Dustin Moskovitz, the co-founder and CEO of Asana says “this is an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work. For me personally, it is often the one day each week I get to code.”

2. Do least desirable tasks first thing in the morning.

Alok Bhardwaj, the founder of Hidden Reflex, a software and web application product start-up, suggests that you “try to work 2-3 hours straight on getting stuff done first thing in thing in the morning, before email or anything else.Do not read any news, anything similar while working.”

3. Partially quit Facebook

This might sound shocking, but isn’t quite as radical as it sounds. Roman Grigorjev the Chief Yeti at GuessMate.me recommends that you partially quit Facebook by moving all your friends to acquaintances.
Click this link. It will take you to a page where you can move everyone from ‘friends’ to ‘acquaintances.’ You will still get updates, but instead of ‘check out what I ate for breakfast,’ you will only be shown the most important posts, i.e. 2-5 new posts max a day from hundreds of your friends. That would save you lots of time and make you 5-10x more productive.”

4. “Two-Minute Rule.”

Christian Sutardi, a co-founder at Lolabox, advises using David Allen’s famous, “Two-Minute Rule.”

“For two months now I’ve been following David Allen’s famous ‘Two-Minute Rule.’ It’s very simple: When a new task comes in and I see that I can do it in less than two minutes, then I do it right away. This easy rule increased my productivity a lot. I love it, because it’s not a groundbreaking rule, it’s no fancy app or software, it doesn’t even require learning or dedication and you can start doing it today.”

5. Streamline your Gmail

Rob Rawson says: “My favourite hack is actually one I found quite recently which is a Gmail labs feature that helps me significantly with my productivity. It is called ‘Auto Advance’ and basically it will automatically show the next email when you archive the current email. This helps you to keep to a zero inbox policy and prevents you from reading emails multiple times. It trains you to be much more productive with your emails (if you use Gmail of course!)”

These are just selections from the discussion on Quora and you may find it interesting to see the other recommendations which were put forward. You can view this discussion here. Conversely, let us know if you have any productivity hacks that have helped you. Let’s continue the discussion through the comments section.

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