- Business Insider asked seven New York City-based execs about the first thing they do when they get into the office.
- Some hold meetings while others work solo on a project.
- Many check in with their teams — even if those teams are across the world.
The first hour or so of the workday can be rough.
There’s always the temptation to dive straight into your inbox — and potentially stay there for the rest of the day.
Or, you might sit twiddling your thumbs because you didn’t plan accordingly and have no idea which task to tackle first.
These problems are only exacerbated if you’re a top executive juggling multiple priorities, and everyone’s demanding a piece of your time.
To find out how said executives approach this issue, we asked seven New York City-based CEOs and company founders how they like to kick off their workday. Read on to see how the super busy and powerful manage their time.
Once I'm in the office, I like to use that time to respond to email.
I read a book recently called 'Deep Work' by Cal Newport. The thesis is that it's really important to give yourself space to think. Your greatest insights often come when there's the fewest distractions.
To that end, I like to focus on email at six points in the day (the first is in the early morning) so I can spend most of my day focused on the big picture, which manifests itself in meetings with my management team.
I'll quickly look over my email. If there's nothing urgent, I try to do something that is not reactive, that's more of a project-based piece of work that takes dedicated time. Generally, it's trying to get the most important thing done, which is not typically email.
For me, it's very easy once I get in email-reaction mode to be doing that all day and not doing any high-level work. So I try to avoid that as long as possible and try to knock out whatever the most important thing is.
Once I get to the office, I have a 'do not schedule' blocked on my calendar for the first two hours. It is one I try incredibly hard to adhere to.
I find that if I can get through my most important tasks first thing in the morning, it helps me to not only feel more productive and more control of my day going forward, but it also helps me be more present in my meetings throughout the day.
We have this Slice logo; it's a neon sign. I have this superstition around making sure that sign is lit up as soon as possible. So the first thing I'll do is make sure that logo is bright and shining that day. It's kind of like our spirit.
Aside from that, I'll check in with our team in Europe -- we have a team of 200+ people there. I'll also catch up with Pete Chen, who is our president and COO and basically my business partner here, and we'll sync on what we're tackling that day.
I'm often spending more time with our China office because it's their evening at that point. I'm talking to the product team there, thinking through different ideas around new products and new features that we're developing, and weighing in on those.
Then I'll typically sync with the team here in New York.
We have an all-hands meeting, which we call 'morning rounds.' It's a great way to kick off the day, and it's a kickoff for the whole team.
We talk about the important things that are going to happen today, and we review our high-level KPIs (key performance indicators) as a company. We celebrate wins from the last 24 hours. So if someone closed a big contract or we shipped a new product, we'll talk about it there.
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