“Getting things done faster” has been on top of my agenda for the past month. As a freelancer my income often depends a lot on how fast and how well I can finish a project and jump onto another one or just go out and have some fun, catch up with my friends or family, travel, you know, have a life outside work.

There are loads of advice on when you should work, what should you eat and how you should plan your day to be the most productive.

Yet I’m always been more interested in first hand experience, especially from someone I admire. Here are some words of wisdom from some really successful CEOs about staying on top of your productivity scale.

Adora Cheung, CEO – Homejoy

What are your top tips for maintaining a work/life balance?

It’s important to find a de­stresser. Mine is coding. It’s a very focused activity, and I’m always building something that I know is going to be useful for something. Every other weekend I’ll spend a day just coding. It’s a Zen thing for me.


Share a little-known home organization hack

Wires are a big deal in my world. Every device has them, and they’re pretty unsightly hazards. There are a few things I do with wires. First, instead of letting extension chords hang out on the floor, you can tack them onto the underside of your desk or table so all the plugs can just pop in there without having to go all the way to the floor. To reduce the space the actual wires take up, you can re­use things like bag ties and the cardboard from toilet paper roles to bundle them all together so they’re not going everywhere.

Chris Sullivan, CEO –Gazelle

What are your top tips for maintaining a work/life balance?

It’s difficult to do two things at once, so live in the moment and give your
full attention to what you’re doing whether its family, work or play.

Share a little-known organization hack that keeps you productive

I strive to handle any incoming item once. So, I address it, file it, and move on.


Sean Brecker, CEO – Headspace

What are your top tips for maintaining a work/life balance?

I am guilty of being a slave to my calendar so I find it’s all about scheduling. If you schedule a meeting, you go to it right? So why not schedule the things you want to do outside of work? I make sure I have a lunch scheduled with my wife at least once per week, and I often block off time in my calendar in the early evening so I can make it home to give my kids a bath and read them a bedtime story.

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I also took on a soccer coaching commitment at my son’s school last year, which meant leaving work a little earlier (something that, coming from a banking background, felt pretty strange) but really helped me to keep my priorities straight.

How do you keep your mental health a priority with such a busy schedule?

I’m at a slight advantage because I work for Headspace, so, even though we work hard, maintaining a healthy mind is written into our DNA. We always offer the opportunity for people to meditate in the office, and the fact that everyone (or nearly everyone) that works with us is a meditator makes for a very compassionate working culture. It wouldn’t be a great advert for Headspace, after all, if people came to the office and found us all shouting at each other.

Miriam Warren, Vice President of New Markets – Yelp!

What are your top tips for maintaining a work/life balance?

I strive for work life integration by:

  • Working with people I enjoy spending lots of time with in a job that indulges many of my personal passions
  • Booking a barre, spinning or other fun workout when traveling for work
  • Enabling the “do not disturb” function on my phone from 10.00 - 07:00
    am.

Share a little-known tech hack that makes you more productive

I use Google Tasks in Gmail and also have a shortcut to it on my iPhone’s home screen - everything that needs to get done goes out of my head and onto that list. I also get a lot done when listening to the Spinning station on Pandora


Emmanuel Schalit, CEO –Dashlane

What are your top tips for maintaining a work/life balance?

Block time in your calendar for non-work related things like family or exercise and consider them as unmovable as your most important meeting

Share a little-known tech hack that makes you more productive

Manage your passwords with Dashlane

Harpinder Singh, Cofounder & CEO – Slice

What are your top tips for maintaining a work/life balance?

I enjoy work and don’t need to create boundaries - I am happy with work permeating both my work and home life. I however value the flexibility so that I can do what I want, when I want.

If somebody asked you for one piece of life advice, what would it be?

As my co-founder reminds me, life is a marathon not a sprint.

Alison Hillman, National Marketing & Partnerships Manager – Instacart

What are your top tips for maintaining a work/life balance?

I love working out and spending an hour everyday before or after work to focus on my health (away from a screen). When I am active, I feel more creative and energized. I also sleep better which leads to a more productive day of hard work. My fiance and I do not have screens in the bedroom or at the dinner table.


How can food positively or negatively affect productivity levels?

I feel sluggish, tired and unproductive when I indulge in junk food or overeat. My mind will get tired, and my productivity plummets. Fresh ingredients, lots of protein and water help me stay alert, focused and motivated to dominate my afternoon.

Josh Rosenwald, CEO and Co-founder – Unroll.me

What are your top tips for maintaining a work/life balance?

Know your limits. No one ever died wishing they had worked more. Work should enable a full life, not be one.

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The tips have been sent to me by folks from Unroll.me as part of their 25/7 week campaign.