It’s Monday again and it’s time to get s*** done! ⏱
Monday #Productive is a weekly interview format, featuring peak-performers from my network, who share 5 quick ideas on how to boost your productivity and stay at the top of your game.
1. You are the CEO of a fast-growing e-wallet platform. And a managing partner at another successful startup. What helps you to be on top of your time and prioritise well?
▶ My most important routine is to list one to three mission critical tasks for the week. Most often I do this over a shot of espresso on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. I always try to have well defined expected output. For instance, if I’m working on a very important deal which won’t be closed during the coming week, I would set a reachable milestone: “define and agree on terms sheet”.
Before setting the weekly priorities I do a retrospective analysis of the output from last week. I check stuff like: Have we achieved our goals? If no, why? Where is the bottleneck? Has something more urgent taken over my time and why this happens.
This gives you a clear vision of where you stand, how your organization is going and how effective are you.
2. How do you motivate yourself to get sh** done, when you are tired and overwhelmed, and don’t even feel like getting out of bed?
▶ Everyone has sh**ty days, sometimes they come in a row and you start hearing some voices in your head mumbling how bad you do. You know what? Mumbling won’t help! You have your team working really hard, your investors trust you and support you. Just get up, walk in the office with your best spirits, smile, be positive and work hard to fix whatever is going wrong.
Sometimes you feel really crushed, kind of empty, you just can’t switch to positive and productive mode that fast. You better don’t let anyone sees you like this. Seriously, It can be devastating. Get yourself together first! I often go to the gym or take a walk with my little dog. This little ball of fur is just beaming positive energy. 🐕
3. I’ve been in your offices and what impresses me is the cool energy in your team: a good balance between producing tons of results, but also having fun. How did you manage to create such an environment?
▶ I consider that having fun and joy at what you do is very important to keep you motivated and productive. This has kind of integrated into our culture, into the DNA of our company. It’s very easy to achieve when you are like five people in the office. The challenge is to keep it as you grow. Our team grew from 5 to 17 people for less than a year. When we are hiring the first meeting with a candidate is focused on making sure that she fits our culture. Skills come next, no matter how good one is if she don’t fit she would create a rather toxic environment and the overall result won’t be positive.
4. Do you have mentors and advisors? How often do you meet them? Do you have any tips on having effective meetings with your mentors / advisors / board?
▶ We don’t have a formal advisory board. I’ve been lucky to meet some really great people, who I call for an advice whenever I need one. Something very important: no matter how smart and experienced your advisors are, you should know that every decision is yours and yours only. No one else than you, knows what is right. Quite often I consider the advice, and I do exactly the opposite, because not my advisors, but I will have to live with this decision and its consequences.
5. In the last few years – what habit or belief have you acquired, that helps you to be an effective CEO today?
▶ From 2015 on I’m logging my time on 15 minutes intervals in Google Sheets. It’s really simple, each year is a separate file and each week is a sheet. Columns are week days and rows are 15 minutes interval, 1 hour is 4 rows. Time accounting done that way is very effective, it takes seconds to track: you start doing something at 9AM and finish at 10:15AM, you just select 5 rows, merge them and type in: “Monday productive interview. Done.” I don’t like complex time accounting tools, they tend to defocus me from what’s important.
It all started when one Sunday after working very hard all week long, including Saturday, I felt lost. It was clear that I haven’t reached my goals but I even couldn’t tell what I have actually done.
Time accounting helps a lot not just to track what you have been doing. It builds discipline. When you start working on a task you know that you will put this in writing and if you are not focused, you will add something like “de-focused” on your timesheet. The feeling when you list something like this is not nice. You want to avoid it and you just keep focused.
[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader?
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Happy Monday! 🔥
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