It seems like every great thinker in history has something to say about habit. It’s no secret that today’s top leaders and achievers, including CEOs, rely on good habits to stay productive. Here are some of the greatest daily habits that our favorite CEOs can’t live without, courtesy of Malak Saleh and Christina DesMarais of Inc.
Of all the advice CEOs give, this one almost always tops the list. Exercise was cited as the #1 most indispensable habit by Elliot Tomaeno of ASTRSK, Hannibal Baldwin of SiteZeus, and Eric Garrett of The Garrett Companies, among countless others.
PGi’s Don Joos makes exercise productive for his mind as well as body by listening to View From The Top, the podcast by Stanford Graduate School of Business while he runs.
Know What’s Trending
“I spend an hour or two every day keeping up with tech news on Twitter,” says Michael Bruch of Willow. “It’s not good to obsess over what other people are doing, but staying informed is certainly important.”
Make the Most of Your Drive Time
“I spend about 45 minutes driving to and from work each day. I can spend that time listening to music or talk radio, but I choose to spend it listening to business books and self-improvement books,” says George Zlatin of Digital Third Coast. “Over the last two and a half years, I have listened to nearly 40 audiobooks. These books have given me incredible insight into how to run my business and sharpen my skills.”
Also making the most of his drive time, David Goldin of Capify uses his car commute to get meetings out of the way. “I like to schedule some of my most important calls during my morning drive to the office,” Goldin says. “I find this time very useful for scheduling calls that are uninterrupted.”
Similarly, PGi’s Don Joos takes calls on the way into the office, but if he finds some free time he’ll tune into Grateful Dead.
It is critical to use communications tools that enable you to easily start or attend calls and meetings from anywhere so you can maximize your time while stuck in traffic on your daily commute.
Make Every Meeting the Second Meeting
This gem comes from Craig Boundy of Experian, which was named one of the world’s top 100 most innovative companies by Forbes.
“Always have papers before a meeting, read them, and never just do a page-turn,” Boundy advises. “That way, every meeting is really the second meeting.”
It’s a brilliant way of framing a meeting and makes a lot of sense when you stop to think about it. So many meetings start with a review of a document or transcription. Those documents could’ve easily been shared in advance, resulting in a smoother workflow. Why not make that a standard practice?
Talk to at Least One Customer Every Day
“It’s by far the most efficient and productive way to gather feedback on the company, and to understand the business more deeply,” says Navid Hadzaad of GoButler. “My company is nothing without its users, and the information I receive from customers is hugely influential.”
Harness These Habits
Like anything else, establishing a new habit or routine starts with the first step. Why not take that first step today? Even adopting just one or two of the habits on this list can help you and your company flourish.