Leading a large corporation means more emails, more employee issues, more meetings and more demands on your time. The more demand, the more time management required. Different leaders choose different management styles and sometimes they can get pretty extreme.
Would you go the same lengths as some of these CEOs just to be more productive?
- Budgeted time. Most people budget expenses, but Steve Ballmer of Microsoft budgets his time for a year at a time. Imagine being able to turn down a meeting because it’s not in your time budget.
- Sleep is for the weak. One CEO in the advertising industry rises at 3.30 each morning. He believes that the day is for living not resting.
- Don’t work all the time. Many business owners don’t just manage their time at work, but also time spent at home. Sheryl Sandberg leaves work at 5.30 every day. Giving a definite deadline for the work day to end is not something everyone is willing to do.
- Work all the time. Instead of a social life, one CEO uses his time outside of office hours to plan, learn and work some more. Essentially, he is never outside of office hours.
- Burn the Sunday night oil. A co-founder of Pugmarks.me stays up until at least 3 a.m. on Sunday night. He appreciates the quiet and says it helps him get ready for Monday.
- Walk out. A CEO’s time is valuable. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos will walk out of a meeting rather than waste his time if you’re not reaching your point or haven’t thought your presentation through.
- Make a pie chart. Former Starbucks CEO Jim Donald would have his assistant make a pie chart of where his time was divided for the month. He maintained an ideal percentage of time for each category.
- Go phoneless. Phil Libin of Evernote has no phones in the office and discourages an email culture. Of course, employees have their cellphones, but that’s two distractions eliminated from an entire office. Everybody saves times.
- Email marathon. Marissa Mayer is said to complete 14 hour stretches of handling emails. That’s a new level of focus.
- Anti-email. Vera Wang doesn’t use email. This practice flies in the face of business operations everywhere, but I’m sure more than a few CEOs are jealous.
Some of these company leaders believe in using more hours in the day to get work done. Others prefer to set limits on their operations. Some use discernment on the way others use their time.
CEOs are not the only people with these kinds of demands. Even if the demands happen on a smaller scale for startups and small business owners, it lends perspective to know the crazy lengths others go to in order to handle their responsibility and to decide what your time management philosophy will be.