As an entrepreneur, you have that gadget, habit, app, or book that makes your work easier, and 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 you face as an entrepreneur. 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.
Here are insightful responses from CEOs and entrepreneurs about the hacks they use to be successful.
#1- Mind mapping
The habit that has had the biggest impact on my business growth in the last 12 months has been to ask myself ‘What is difficult here?' if I'm procrastinating. When there are loads of competing priorities on my time and energy, it's likely I will procrastinate over the things that I don't really want to do! If I am avoiding them, I try to find out what's stopping me from getting it done and break it down into much smaller tasks using a mind map on a single page. l call it my one-page plan, low tech, visual, and an absolute game changer for me.
Thanks to Jenny de Lacy, Talking Digital!
#2- Incorporating cold plunges
As an entrepreneur and business owner, one of my favorite hacks that has significantly contributed to my success is the habit of incorporating cold plunges into my daily routine. While it might seem unconventional, cold plunges have been a game-changer for me. Taking a plunge into icy water every morning has a profound impact on my mental clarity, focus, and overall well-being.
Thanks to Brad Margist, CyberHoot!
#3- Using Eisenhower Matrix
My most powerful hack is the Eisenhower Matrix. There are so many things an entrepreneur can do to build their business. The Eisenhower Matrix is a clever method to prioritize your responsibilities. This system helps you get organized so you want to work on the most impactful things first. Then you schedule, delegate, or delete the rest. The key is: Don't get trapped in tasks that are urgent but not truly important.
Thanks to Scott Lieberman, Touchdown Money!
#4- Keeping a to-do list
I am the CEO and founder of a marketing agency for health and wellness brands. One habit that I have that helps me stay on track is keeping my to-do list next to me in a notebook. I start the day by creating a list and also wrap up my day by starting the next day's list. This way I can see everything that needs to get done that day right next to me as I am working, so I don't forget anything important.
Thanks to Ana Reisdorf, RWS: Content + Strategy!
#5- Employee engagement
I’m in the office before anyone else arrives, and I’m the last to leave for a simple, but effective reason. I believe that CEOs should lead by example and always be available to answer any questions that their employees might have about the business, no matter how small or inconsequential they may seem. That one simple rule, habit, hack, or whatever else it may be called, is essential for ensuring that every employee feels that they’re valued and knows that we’re all part of the same machine and working for the same purpose. To put our customers and their families first.
Thanks to David Brewer, Protect Line!
#6- Empowering others
As the CEO of Contour Design, my ultimate recipe for success lies in empowering others and wholeheartedly supporting their ideas. Emphasizing the exploration of novel approaches is paramount in this pursuit. Of course, embracing mistakes as valuable learning opportunities is a crucial aspect of our journey toward growth and achievement.
Thanks to Kenneth Nielsen, Contour Design!
Hands down, my favorite CEO hack is meditation. It takes me time to get into a groove with it, but once I do, it's so worth it. I used to think that meditation was just for hippies or people who wanted to spend their time “woo-wooing” around. But after trying out a few different techniques and finding one that works for me, I've seen the benefits of this practice in every area of life—from work to relationships. This helps me make decisions more clearly and with less stress on myself.
Thanks to Gauri Manglik, Instrumentl!
#8- Continuous learning
I educate myself on the practices of those I look up to on a regular basis. I like to follow current leaders on Instagram and research the accomplishments of others through today's Encyclopedia, that being Google. I surround myself with multi-talented mindsets and people of evolved education. Daily solo time is crucial to my everyday. I need 1-2 hours to dive deep into myself. I have to the gym to get a physical workout! Good sleep is imperative for every human, no matter what industry you're in.
Thanks to Barak Zilberberg, Barak Zilberberg!
#9- Assessing each area of life
For myself, the most beneficial hack has been the habit of checking each of my silos every week. What I mean by this is assessing each area of my life once a week to gauge where they are at and also to gauge what needs to shift in the coming week. An example of this would be if I had spent very little time with my partner and also minimal self-time in the past week, I know that it's just a matter of time before my work productivity and motivation drop.
Thanks to Sebastian Jania, Ontario Property Buyers!
#10- Getting everyone to align
Going back to first principles. Getting everyone aligned on the problem we're trying to solve, and then looking at different solutions. Just separating the problem from people, and getting everyone to agree and align on what we're solving for is the best way to move forward.
Thanks to Barzan Mozafari, Keebo!
#11- Developing modern approaches
The book Freakonomics is the one resource that has contributed a lot to my success. The book has taught me how important it is to navigate from conventional patterns and look at things with a modern perspective to remain competitive in developing new approaches. One super learning from the book is that the so-called “circulated wisdom” based on which we often decide is the most wrong approach because the world is spinning around economic realities. The deeper you contemplate the economic realities, the better you move on toward success.
Thanks to Glen Maguire, Clickthrough!
#12- Developing positive habits
The key to conquering complex or monotonous tasks is to break down big goals into small, achievable steps. Entrepreneurs who prioritize developing positive habits tend to achieve the most success. I regularly use our 1AND1 App which uses AI to build repetition into my schedule. The 1AND1 app aids people in their journey toward becoming 1% better daily through incremental changes and has an array of features carefully crafted to support users in building better habits.
Thanks to Thomas Drew, 1AND1life.com!
#13- Prioritizing professional development
Prioritizing professional development for me is a favorite resource that makes me successful. In a world where change is the only constant, engaging in professional development through seminars, networking with industry experts, and even getting professional coaching helps to learn about industry trends and encash opportunities as they present themselves. It also enables me to learn more about my blindspots, get feedback on requisite changes, and become better leaders.
Thanks to Roman Milyushkevich, Scrapeitcloud!
#14- Networking and continuous learning
As a CEO, my go-to hack and resource that have proven invaluable are networking and continuous learning. Connecting with like-minded professionals, mentors, and industry experts through various channels has provided me with invaluable insights, fresh perspectives, and potential opportunities for collaboration and growth. Engaging in industry associations and online forums has broadened my horizons and allowed me to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices.
Thanks to Lucia Zelesco, Zelesco Consulting!
#15- Being real
When I stopped being part of the ‘fake book' society. Posting picture-perfect, airbrushed snippets of the entrepreneurial life. No one can relate to this and it actually makes them feel worse because they are living something different. Show up as you. If it's a good day, great share that. But if the wheels have fallen off, share that too. The ugly cry photo, the no sleep photo, the on the couch with a glass of red photo.
Thanks to Shar Moore, That IMPACT Book!
#16- Utilizing your circle
For me, it is to utilize your circle. Ask questions and be willing to learn. My brother and I are the directors of McPhails Furniture, our family- furniture company that our dad and mum founded 40 years ago. When lockdowns hit, we nearly had to close. Our business grinded to a halt with no one being able to come to our store. We spoke to some friends in the area, and some of my old friends from University. One is in social media marketing expert now and helped us get onto Facebook, create and test exceptional ads which brought our business from near closure to a $22mil company.
Thanks to Casey McPhail and Taylor McPhail, McPhails Furniture!
#17- Contrast Therapy
I use Contrast Therapy as an effective way to remain mentally alert and physically energized as a busy CEO. By alternating between hot and cold temperatures, the contrast stimulates my blood flow, reduces inflammation, and boosts my mood and cognitive function. This helps me to stay focused on challenging tasks with greater clarity of thought so that I can make sound decisions quickly.
Thanks to Dan Xie, Sunmood Divorce Consultancy!
#18- Cultivating an adaptable mindset
In the dynamic world of business, it's paramount for CEOs to arm themselves with tools and habits that streamline their journey. For me, my game-changer has been the book “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. The philosophy of iterating rapidly, gauging real-world feedback, and continuously refining based on this feedback has been instrumental. It's not just about the application of a methodology; it's about cultivating a mindset of adaptability, resilience, and customer-centricity.
Thanks to Ben Pu, ShipSage!
#19- Powerful project management
Scheduled emails. There is nothing more satisfying than having time outside the normal working hours to attack your inbox and set up all your replies to send the next morning. Flexible working. Choosing when you work is a powerful way to retain control over the chaos that is running your own business. Powerful project management. We work in a creative, project-orientated business that requires multiple stakeholders and contributors, as well as numerous tasks and sub-tasks.
Thanks to Ryan Stone, Lambda Films!
#20- Influential leadership
The best habit that I have gained throughout my years on the entrepreneurial path is using influence, not positional power. I always try to listen first and dial-up empathy to help others be successful. I believe all leaders should ask questions to assist people in identifying issues and exploring options to make effective decisions. At some point, I realized that it is much more efficient not to tell people what to do and how to do it, but rather to help and guide them.
Thanks to Dmitrii Kustov, RegexSeo!
#21- Time Doctor and Coda
As a CEO, managing time effectively and overseeing various projects can be challenging. This is where Time Doctor and Coda come into play. Time Doctor is a productivity tool that allows me to monitor tasks, track time spent on different activities, and provides detailed reports. On the other hand, Coda is a versatile collaborative workspace, perfect for project management. It allows us to integrate notes, tables, and checklists all in one place, eliminating the need for multiple disparate apps.
Thanks to Vikrant Shaurya, Authors On Mission!
#22- The paradigm shift
As a CEO, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz has completely changed my thoughts. I now view success differently, thanks to this fantastic book. I adore the author's straightforward counsel, which speaks to my problems. I can relate to Horowitz's experiences as a CEO. His advice gave me vital techniques for making decisions and managing situations. The suggestions are excellent advice. I strongly advise every CEO to read this gem.
Thanks to Brindha Dhanabalan, All Cotton and Linen!
#23- Using project management platforms
My favorite CEO resource is using project management tools like Sunsama, Notion, or Asana to help me stay productive and keep track of long- and short-term projects. These platforms allow you to collaborate with team members, set time-specific deadlines, set up boards for a specific project, and set recurring deadlines to save time on replicating tasks. These tools help me stay organized while working on multiple projects while increasing efficiency and team effectiveness, and eliminating confusion on projects.
Thanks to Mitch Chailland, Canal HR!
#24- To start the day with positivity
My favorite hack, and likely one shared by many others, is to orchestrate the start of my day to be as positive as I can make it. Most often, this is in the form of a truly excellent cup of coffee, either from my favorite café or via my prized coffee maker. This is a pretty benign hack, and when it’s not coffee, it can come in the form of a simple, easy-to-accomplish task or fun meeting. Something to set the tone for the day.
Thanks to Paul Gordon, Catalyze APAC!
#25- Being open to change
The book “The Art of the Pivot: Leadership Lessons from the Dance Floor” by Olivia Twirl, a former ballerina turned Fortune 500 CEO, is my favorite “CEO hack” as the CEO of Brandloom, an emerging marketing agency. Despite the out-of-the-ordinary nature of the recommendation, this book had a profound impact on my outlook as a startup leader. In, the book Twirl compares the skill of pivoting in dance to that required in business. She describes how, like dancers, CEOs need to be nimble, open to change, and capable of guiding their teams through twists and turns.
Thanks to Avinash Chandra, BrandLoom!
#26- Getting on top of social media
Social Media allows Custom Neon to monitor and measure the impact our business has which we can see through metrics such as followers and engagement with our posts. Custom Neon would not be where it is today without social media, as we began as just a small Instagram page. Working on your social media presence and engaging with customers is absolutely the best way to get your business to hit the ground running.
Thanks to Jake Munday, Custom Neon!
#27- Using a calendar
The calendar is my trusty companion and my secret to success. It holds the key to unlocking productivity. When I set up my time, I always ask two vital questions: Do I have a comprehensive to-do list, and have I seamlessly integrated it into my calendar? Is my to-do list complete, and how can I ensure I allocate my energy so I can perform at my best at the task? A wise mentor once shared with me the ultimate truth: “If your calendar is complete, all you need to do is show up”
Thanks to Alena Bennett, Alena Bennett Pty Ltd!