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How do your work habits compare?

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in Leaders & Managers,Office Management,Workplace Communication

Peak performers all seem to have this in common: They work long hours; they visit customers and employees; they function on little sleep; they exercise; and they manage to work in family time.

But all the top executives interviewed by Fortune have idiosyncrasies — secrets, if you will — for making sure that they lead the pack. What’s remarkable is how much their work habits vary.

A taste:
  • Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience for Google, reads all her e-mail (up to 800 a day), as does HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman. In it, they find hidden gems.

    Example: Friedman read an e-mail from a 12-year-old Chinese girl that sounded so wonderful she sent it to her editors. They agreed and published the girl’s book.

  • Federal judge Richard Posner takes his laptop practically everywhere, for reading or writing legal opinions, a book or a blog.

  • Bill Gross, chief investment officer at bond fund Pimco, practices yoga every morning.

  • Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault in France and Nissan in Japan, follows a rigid schedule. His assistants screen every bit of his reading material. One-topic meetings never run longer than 90 minutes unless they’re operational: half for presentation, half for discussion.

  • Thomas Edison did his best work at night and boasted that he never had a clock in his workroom.
-- Adapted from “Secrets of Greatness: Making Your Work Work for You,” Jerry Useem, Fortune.

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