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Efficiency advice from busy CEOs

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calendar and clockMost of us are continually seeking ways to work more efficiently and more effectively. Washington Post reporter Jena McGregor compiled a list of the best tips shared by some of the world’s most powerful CEOs. Here’s a sampling of what they had to offer:

Relax on airplanes; don’t work. Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, says he used to use travel time to catch up on work or email, but now he takes a break. He sleeps, reads or plays video games. As a result, he finishes flights refreshed instead of stressed.

Ask for response deadlines in emails. To help her prioritize her time, Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of Birchbox, insists people include a response deadline in their emails. If she knows how quickly someone needs an answer, she can respond within the allotted time frame.

Add notes to your saved contacts. Chad Dickerson, CEO of online mar­­ketplace Etsy, often adds notes in his address book. When he enters someone’s information, he’ll often add where he met the individidual and what they talked about.

Plan as far in advance as possible. Carlos Ghosn is CEO of both Nis­­san and Renault and also runs a Rus­­­sian auto manufacturer. His schedule is often planned out a year in advance to keep up with the many demands on his time. In an interview with LinkedIn, Ghosn said, “It’s not only for me, it’s mainly for the people working for me. They know when I’m going to be in Tokyo, when I’m going to be in Paris, when I’m going to be in New York, so they can organize themselves.”

Solicit input on meeting agendas. To keep meetings on task and moving efficiently, Adora Cheung, CEO of Homejoy, will often crowdsource the agenda. She offers attendees the chance to add topics they’d like to discuss, prioritizes the list before meetings and then they stick to it. If it’s not on the agenda, it’s not discussed.

— Adapted from “How 10 CEOs work smarter, manage better and get things done faster,” Jena McGregor, The Washington Post.

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