How To Avoid These CEO Time Sucks

Every CEO fears the danger zone of wasted time: email, social media, meetings and more. They suck you in and the hours slip away. Getting back that wasted time? Impossible. Protecting those precious hours for the future? Priceless. Here are five tricks to boost productivity and make the most of your workday:

1. Take the Chairs out of Meetings

Meetings probably steal more time than any other activity — and many are unavoidable. Good ones, in fact, are excellent time investments. Here’s an idea: take away the chairs. Walking meetings lead to more creativity, honest exchanges and, as a result, more productive meetings. And stand-up meetings have also been known to reduce meeting time by 34%. When people stand, they naturally command more attention, plus it’s pretty hard for people to nod off or peek at a computer while on their feet rather than their seats.

2. Outsource your Office Hunt

Eliminate the time-consuming chore of touring office space, working with contractors, nabbing city permits, ordering office furniture and collaborating with office interior designers. New agile office services now let companies outsource their office-building headaches. At Knotel, for instance, we will find, renovate, design and manage your space — for one fixed lease price. Plus, the lease terms are flexible. Companies aren’t charged if they need to expand or shrink the office footprint. They are only charged for the space their employees use.

3. Let AI Manage the Inbox

Every CEO understands the black hole otherwise known as email. Management philosophies addressing the email issue abound, including whether it’s a rule to only check the inbox every 45 minutes or throughout the day. A variety of apps including Sanebox promise to help with the influx, but they require access to what could be sensitive information. One new email client called Superhuman promises to use artificial intelligence to highlight the most important messages, to send users automated reminders to follow-up on sent messages and to cut clutter by snoozing unimportant conversations.

4. Use a Virtual Assistant

Take more off your plate with services like Prialto, which employs virtual assistants to clear executives’ time — everything from ordering and sending gifts, to booking appointments and sending reminders to respond to important emails. Another service, YouCanBookMe, eliminates the back-and-forth email parade to schedule meetings efficiently.

5. Schedule Interruptions

Establish a regular block of time every afternoon to handle things that pop-up among employees — and respectfully decline handling their questions until that time. Think of it as a professor’s office hours, enabling executive leaders to focus on key tasks without interruptions.

Now, if only you could schedule more hours in the day.