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In his exceptional book Indistractable, Nir Eyal illustrates the flaws in the human condition. We have been programmed to be distracted and less productive than we could be.
These flaws are exacerbated by the habit-forming nature of technology. We are hooked on social media. Our browsers are open to a chat program, our stock page, our fantasy football roster and Outlook, all at the same time. It’s no wonder we are stressed and frustrated. Our attention has been hacked by outside forces — forces we could control if we chose to.
I’ve had the luxury of working with remarkable people, having coached over 150 CEOs. I’ve noticed that the most balanced among them are those who tend to focus their energy on the most important things. Here is a formula for taking control of your business and your life.
1. Be more strategic.
The demands of our daily work force us to serve clients and execute tasks. That role is how lower-paid workers deliver value.
But if you are a chief executive, focusing on operational detail robs your company of the opportunity to look around the bend to consider changes in the operating environment that can alter your business forever. For every moment you are stuck in operations, you could be falling behind competitors who are innovating with new products and services.
The CEO’s job is to enable the effectiveness of an entire company. To do that, you better be productive yourself. Don’t get sucked into the vortex. To be a truly effective executive requires you to be hyper-focused on one thing at a time, and perhaps driving three to four initiatives within your organization.
2. Focus on the highest use of your time.
As Eyal puts it, if you don’t plan your time, someone else will. The most effective executives are meticulous about time management. They almost always have a qualified executive assistant who acts as their chief of staff.
They are masters at pushing administrative details down to others. They delegate in a thoughtful and intentional way. They plan their workweek and do not participate in activities that don’t deliver enterprise value for their firms.
3. Plan ‘think weeks.’
As portrayed in the recent Netflix series Inside Bill’s Brain, Bill Gates regularly plans time in a Pacific Northwest cabin to read dozens of books on a specific subject or multitude of subjects.
Find time in each and every year for deep strategic thinking and research. It is impossible to realize this level of reflection in your natural environment. Make time, even separated from family in a retreat, so you can collect your thoughts.
4. Pay yourself first.
Those who maintain their health and achieve work-life balance pay themselves first. To do this, schedule your workouts and attendance to your children’s activities as protected time within your calendar.
Block off things that are important to you and explain why to your team. Encourage them to do the same, and they will be more loyal employees, which will also enrich your life.
5. Eliminate distractions.
Distractions act as a cognitive drain on your thinking. You either control external triggers or they control you. For example, eliminate non-urgent notifications on your device like news and social media alerts.
Structure your ideal workday so you check email four times a day at the most. Check your other systems or websites (such as LinkedIn) in a calibrated way. You can maintain a checklist of things to read on your terms, as opposed to content being pushed to you.
By turning off distractions and focusing on what is strategically significant, you can be the best version of yourself and deliver the most value to your business. It will also allow you to live a healthier and more balanced life.
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“Five Essential Habits Of Successful CEOs” | Written By: Marc Emmer, CommunityVoice / Forbes – Entrepreneurs
November 19, 2019 at 08:02AM
VIEW ARTICLE ON Forbes – Entrepreneurs >> https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2019/11/19/five-essential-habits-of-successful-ceos/