When you are a CEO, you have lots of goals to meet, hence the many responsibilities to fulfill and tasks to accomplish. Experienced CEOs know how difficult it is to perform this kind of job, so it is important to hear from them which systems and tricks they do to maximize productivity.
Engineers, even those not in management and leadership positions, can learn a lot from CEOs. There are moves from their playbooks that are already worth copying like the ones listed below:
Take Breaks Every 90 Minutes
If you ask Tony Schwartz, president of the Energy Project, he recommends that people should take breaks at work every 90 minutes. Why the specific time? Because research shows that human bodies have an energy cycle that operates at 90-minute intervals throughout the day. Schwartz believes that working on something for an hour and a half or longer will make our alertness levels go down and our attention to wonder.
Make Yourself Uninterruptable Sometimes
Focus is important in any work, especially for engineers. This is why Andrew Marsh, CEO of Fifth Column Games, suggests that people should have time that they are untouchable at work, particularly when working on a big project and you are already in the zone. Engineers should develop a system – perhaps a “cone of silence” – which signifies that you cannot be disturbed. This is important because research says that it can take up to 25 minutes to get back on track after an interruption.
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Manage Your Energy, Not Just Your Time
Time is often the only thing that is managed at work. But The Muse co-founder Kathryn Minshew thinks that energy should be budgeted too. She optimizes her workday by doing her most concentration-intensive tasks during her peak hours wherein her energy levels are the highest.
Set Time to Check Your E-mail
It was a proven time management pitfall: when employees check e-mails regularly. But unbeknownst to many, this kills productivity. Gina Trapani, founder of ThinkUp, already has this habit of checking e-mails during certain times of the day only. Set a schedule in responding to e-mails.
Engineers who have the power to delegate should be able to exercise it. When there are tasks that can be transferred to a subordinate, do it. Delegation is one of the best ways to manage your time.
Source: The Muse