Andy Katz-Mayfield, cofounder and co-CEO of the men’s shaving company Harry’s, can’t afford to waste time.
Since he founded Harry’s in 2012 with co-CEO Jeff Raider, who also cofounded Warby Parker, the company has gone up against established brands like Gillette and the fellow startup Dollar Shave Club by being the only major razor-subscription service that makes all of its own products.
Harry’s has raised more than $US200 million over the past few years, and as of this summer it was valued at $US750 million.
To maintain control of production, Harry’s bought a razor factory in Germany, and the company’s co-CEO structure requires Katz-Mayfield to spend a significant amount of time in Germany while Raider takes care of daily operations in the company’s New York City headquarters.
To help his company scale and ensure that things operate smoothly overseas, Katz-Mayfield has adopted a strict scheduling habit. “The key to productivity is ruthlessly prioritising time,” he tells Business Insider.
“At the start of each month, I make a list of my top priorities,” Katz-Mayfield says. “I focus on the five to 10 most important things that I have to get done in order to be successful.”
It’s important to be transparent, he says, for productivity’s sake: “I share the list with my cofounder and several other people on my immediate team, both to make sure I’m focused on the right things and also to help hold me accountable.”
Once he has established his monthly objectives, he will go through his calendar “and slash all meetings, appointments, and calls that don’t directly line up with one of those priorities,” he says. “I’m always asking myself: ‘Is this the most important thing I could be doing right now?’ If the answer is no, then it gets cut.”
Then, at the end of each month, he evaluates his progress. He asks himself: “Did I do what I needed to do? Where could I have been better? What priorities will drive the business forward over the next month?”
It’s about strict self-coaching and linking his success with the success of his company.
“This ongoing assessment of key priorities — and pushing those priorities through to my calendar and day-to-day — helps me continue to use my time most productively,” he says.
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