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Five Famous CEOs Share Their Top Time Management Tricks

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Five Famous CEOs Share Their Top Time Management Tricks

Laura Stack's latest book explains how time management is perhaps the most important skill for executives to have and lays out a plan and strategy for how to manage time effectively and efficiently.

Many well-known leaders have their own personal strategies for effective time management; here are just five and their hacks:

1. Chad Dickerson, CEO, Etsy: Dickerson is a huge fan of systems and even teaches classes on systemization to his staff. One of Chad's best tricks is when he adds new names to his address book, he also includes notes about where and when he met the person and what they talked about. That way, he will always have a point of reference for when he reaches out to them in future.

2. Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Nissan: Ghosn is not just the CEO of Nissan, but also Renault, and chairman of Russian auto manufacturer AvtoVaz--three companies in three different countries that he has to manage! His hack for time management? Having his schedule set more than an year in advance. It's not so much for himself as it is for others, he once explained. The less time people spend trying to track down where he is at any given moment, the quicker interactions take place in real time.

3. Larry Page, CEO, Google: Page does as much as possible on his phone and encourages his senior staff to spend at least one day a week working only on their mobile devices. Because they are not tethered to their desks, workers are able to get much more done while moving about from place to place and meeting to meeting.

4. Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Chairman, Twitter: In 2012, Dorsey explained at a conference how he manages his time while working for two companies at once. One strategy he employs concerns "theming" his days. Each day of the week is for a particular type of work and so has a theme. Mondays are for management, Tuesdays are for product development, and Wednesdays are for marketing, and so on. The process calendars his time and keeps his focus on specific issues each day rather than trying to do battle with everything all at one time.

5. Katie Beauchamp, Co-founder, Birchbox: Birchbox is a well known beauty-sample subscription service that requires careful coordination and timing between numerous departments within the company. She insists that all of her employees always indicate when they need a response to any email they send to anyone else in the company. Giving deadlines allows each person to be able to prioritize tasks and updates and get back to people in a timely manner.