10 Productivity Tips From Super Productive Professionals

Emails, meetings, spreadsheets, Direct Debit management, CRM, SEO, go go go! The life of a CEO or business founder can never include enough hours in the day. Fortunately, if you’re run off your feet, you’re not on your own. Here are 10 productivity tips from some of the busiest figures in the business world…

1. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman at Google


“I keep things focused. The speech I give every day is: ‘This is what we do. Is what we are doing consistent with that, and can it change the world?’”

 2. Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post

2. Arianna

“I keep things focused. The speech I give every day is: ‘This is what we do. Is what we are doing consistent with that, and can it change the world?’”

 3. Dustin Moskovitz, Co-Founder of Facebook & Asana

3. Dustin

“With very few exceptions, everyone’s calendar is completely clear at least one day out of the week whether you are a maker or manager […] 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.”

 4. Gary E. McCullough, Former US Army Captain

4. Gary

“When people ask me for time, they generally don’t need the time that they ask for. So my assistant asks people, ‘How much time do you need?’ If they say an hour, we cut it in half. If they say 30 minutes, we cut it to 15, because it forces people to be clearer and more concise. By doing that, I’m able to cram a number of things into the day and move people in and out more effectively and more efficiently.”

5. Christian Sutardi, Co-Founder of Lolabox

5. Christian

“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.”

 6. Tony Schwartz, President of the Energy Project

6. Tony

“The counterintuitive secret to sustainable great performance is to live like a sprinter. In practice, that means working at your highest intensity in the mornings, for no more than 90 minutes at a time, and then taking a break.”

 7. Gina Trapani, Founder of ThinkUp

7. Gina

“Shut down Outlook, turn off new email notifications on your BlackBerry, do whatever you have to do to muffle the interruption of email.”

8. Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction

8. Wendy

“There are two things I do to get the energy, capacity and focus I need to not only be efficient, but effective. Personally, I take 15 minutes every morning for contemplation and to empty my mind. I take a bag full of thoughts I need cleared and each morning I pick one out, read it, and send it down the river near my house. Watching the thought float away really helps clear my mind, reorient things and increase my focus for the rest of the day.”

9.  Kevin O’Connor, Founder of Double Click & FindTheBest

9. Kevin

“Most people tend to focus on the 100 things they should do, which can be overwhelming and result in the failure to actually accomplishing anything of importance. I try to focus on the three to five things I absolutely have to do. I don’t get distracted by those ninety-seven other unimportant things that don’t ultimately contribute to my success or the success of my company.”

10. Carol Smith, Chief Revenue Officer at Harper’s Bazaar

10. Carol

“I come to work almost every Sunday for at least four hours to go through my e-mail. I did it when it was a real inbox…and now I do it with email. I’m glad I come in on Sunday. It’s the quiet time. I get things out of the way…so when I come in on Monday, it’s like my vacation day.”

Which very busy professional did you find most helpful? Who is your productivity guru? Share your tips and opinions with our readers below. 

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