16 Entrepreneurs Explain the CEO Hack They Use to be Effective and Efficient
As an entrepreneur, you have that gadget, habit, app or a book that makes your work easier, motivates you to do more and that’s what we refer to as a CEO Hack. It helps you achieve maximum productivity and stick to your goals regardless of the hurdles we face as entrepreneurs. For instance, it could be a pro tip on managing employees to make the workplace a conducive environment for everyone. Maybe it’s an app that you have which helps you plan and execute tasks on time. It could also be a book that you read and it brings ideas your way on how to scale your business. The list goes on. You can check our CEO Hacks and different entrepreneurs’ CEO Hacks below where we have insightful responses.
#1- Two hacks
I have two CEO ‘hacks' for success. The first is the Post-it note, where I write all of my daily to-do lists and physically cross off all items I accomplish. The second is the app, Evernote. If I'm on the go and get a spark of inspiration, I'm able to quickly jot that memento down in my Evernote app. I access it later across all devices, making it extremely accessible and impossible to forget!
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!
#2- Delegating the small stuff
By focusing your attention on what is going to directly make your business money, you are setting yourself up for success. The way I see it, as little as five percent of tasks that come your way are real money makers. The rest should be delegated to the appropriate employee. This will keep you from getting bogged down by the small stuff so you can focus on making your organization grow.
Thanks to Chane Steiner, Crediful!
#3- Clear, Evernote and GoFantastic
My favourite to-do app of all time is Clear. Not only is user-friendly but with it I can also easily control and wipe task lists as well as set reminders. Linking to iCloud is yet another great thing for the application as this helps me to be productive from any place in the world! I would say that Evernote is the best thing since the invention of the wheel for business people. I use it to manage my daily schedule, to-do lists, projects, contacts, business trips, in other words – everything. Without doubt it’s the most used app on my phone. Last but not least is GoFantastic. Even though, being involved in the creation of the app makes me a bit biased I still believe it’s helpful as it comes to organising your time and being productive. Not only you can book 25+ professional services from cleaning and gardening to odds jobs and removals but you can do it in less than a minute 24/7. On top of this, clients to manage, rebook, cancel, and securely pay for services on the go.
Thanks to Rune Sovndahl, Fantastic Services!
With so many things to do from replying to emails, scheduling and holding meetings with virtual and in-house teams, to completing administrative tasks, there is a lot to do in any single day but I have found that it is also too easy to spend more time on less than productive activities. I use Rescue Time, one of the many apps available, to keep track of the time I am spending on my devices including laptop and smartphone. This way, I have been able to identify productive and non-productive activities and this has helped me to optimize my time and develop better time mastery habits. The result has been increased productivity and more free time to do things such as brainstorming and free-thinking on my own.
Thanks to Chris Chancey, Amplio Recruiting!
#5- Morning routine
I ensure I stick to my morning routine – making sure to get up, shower and have breakfast at the same time every day. Before I head to the office, I create my daily plan alongside the goals I want to achieve. Since I have adopted this habit, I feel more organised, less stressed and I believe that this has the effect of focusing me for success throughout the day. I highly recommend it!
Thanks to Ollie Smith, ExpertSure!
#6- Working at any time of the night
My super power is working at any time of the night when I feel inspired. I usually wake up at around 1am and that's when I'm at my peak for creativity and focus. I work for a few hours until dawn and then recharge with a nap for an hour or two before hitting the beach with my personal trainer. I am powered up for the day and more productive because of this wild routine.
Thanks to Fred Schebesta, Finder.com!
#7- Actively communicating with my staff
My favorite hack would have to be to make sure I actively communicate with my staff about our lives. We don't just talk about work. I ask about their families and they ask about mine. It's easy to lose track of what's really important. It helps decompress stressful situations and reminds us of why we're all working so hard to succeed.
Thanks to John Jonas, Onlinejobs.ph!
#8- Text messaging
Using text messaging to build stronger relationships with prospects and customers has been instrumental to my success.Text messaging is the most underutilized communication channel by businesses today, but it is the most effective and time efficient. It is also surprising because 78% of consumers wish they could text businesses. Why not meet them where they are and give them what they want? I can’t think of any reasons not to.
Thanks to Josue Sanchez, ReplyBuy!
#9- Allocating time for myself to exercise or just relax
Like most small business owners and entrepreneurs there are never enough hours in the day to fit everything in so when something has to give it is usually time I have allocated for myself to exercise or just relax. What I have come to appreciate and realize is that to stay sane and be successful me time is not a luxury or pampering, it is maintenance! I think that respecting my time on the calendar and taking myself as seriously as I take my most important clients is the least I can do for self care because if I am not at my peak performance I am not going to be useful to anyone else either. Give yourself permission to say no. Whether it means sleeping in (no to an alarm clock), getting a massage, taking a walk, or just turning off my phone and computer (no I will respond later on my own schedule), simple acts of letting myself relax and enjoy the moment are the very best gifts I can give myself. You can fill a calendar to stay busy but what matters most is having impact on people¹s lives and that has nothing to do with volume of activity, it is about touching people in meaningful ways which may mean being less busy not more. Disconnect from technology periodically and focus on cultivating human, face to face relationships. Meeting for coffee or lunch can accomplish so much more than e-mail exchanges, social media posts, etc. and it is a great way to get to know people better, their interests, hobbies, and dreams. I have found that building relationships is what drives my business and technology supports them once they are solidified. Technology helps advance the conversation but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time.
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
To be the best CEO that you can be, you have to be extremely organised and that's why I always manage my time, tasks and team with Basecamp. It allows me to create organised lists of tasks and assign them to myself or other team members and it also supports events, text documents, video and discussion. I wouldn't be as successful as I am without it.
Thanks to Marty Rogers, Lead Peep!
#11- Google webmaster tools and Trello
As a blog owner, Google webmaster tools are a blessing for me. While it is difficult to understand and start using it initially, it is definitely a key to growing your business. Each month, I spend a few hours analysing the data and taking informed decision. It helped me understand my audience along with their likes and dislikes, what works on my blog and what does not. It also helps you understand the most popular posts or topics on your blog. You can then move forward with creating similar content or working on a digital product that satisfies the need of your audience. Using all this data, I was able to make over $2k a month with just 20k sessions. A lot of blog owners think traffic is everything and that is far from truth. The key is to get an engaged audience and you can engage audience only when you know them! Sometimes all this data gets overwhelming. So, I also use Trello to organise the next steps and targets for the next 1-2 months. This helps me focus.
Thanks to Chhavi Agarwal, Mrs Daaku Studio!
#12- Blocking and segmenting my day
One hack that I use and have always seen improvements in my work efficiency is blocking and segmenting my day using my calendar. Block out 1-2 hours every day using a calendar event, it gives you a section of the day to work on your important planned tasks. Another tip for improving your efficiency even more is to also block out period of the day that you answer emails. Leave your calendar app closed and your phone notifications off on your phone. These two tips help me get the important tasks done every day.
Thanks to Jack Paxton, TopGrowthMarketing.com!
Regardless of the size of the business you run, the amount of time you have is your most precious resource. I found switching to Inbox Zero to be, after a challenging transition, to be immensely helpful in clearing swaths of time on your schedule. While I never spent a lot of time writing emails, I did spend a lot of time keeping my inbox clean–I had a comprehensive system of rules for Gmail and a host of folders where things went. That was fine, but Inbox Zero-thinking brought to light how easily messages are found and retrieved, so I was able to save the most time by letting go of ten years of systematic email sorting. My biggest concern going in, as a good Midwesterner, was that people would think my short responses as curt, but ultimately those fears were proven to be unfounded. It's particularly helpful if you're the report-to of employees that like to check-in.
Thanks to Mike Catania, PromotionCode.org!
#14- Paying attention to your diet
My number one hack is paying attention to your diet. Above everything, your number one contributor to getting things done is your energy level. If you're tired and depressed it's going to show in your daily output. And caffeine can only get you so far. What I started doing is blending several cups of mixed greens with an apple every morning and afternoon. I even mix in a little turmeric and spirulina from time to time as well. It's made a huge impact on how I feel during the day, my attitude, and how well I sleep. As a result, I've gotten WAY more done during the day, my skin looks good, and I feel great.
Thanks to Brad Ormsby, colorstonemarketing.com!
#15- Using CBD oil
My business partners are avid users of CBD but I didn't try it until about 6 weeks after launch. I was stressed and nervous about our start up and decided to try. Since I started I am more patient, present and focused. I still stress about our growth but it's manageable and I can face the challenges head-on.
Thanks to Paul Miller, Lokus Nutrition!
In a digital business world driven by SAAS tools I use Capterra to help to understand what softwares exist for solving current problems within our organization. This tool allows me to easily filter softwares based off of peer reviews and functionality. This saves my team and I time when identifying and selecting SaaS tools to help grow our business and automate and organize tasks.
Thanks to Chaz Van de Motter, Elite Marketing Studios!
Awesome content! I really learned a lot. It put a lot of things in perspective on how to be more efficient and effective as a CEO and as a leader in general. Thanks, keep it up! 🙂