13 Simple Principles CEOs Can Use To Get Important Stuff Done

13 Simple Principles CEOs Can Use To Get Important Stuff Done

A friend of mine said to me the other day, “How do you get so much done?” She said, “I always feel really productive until I see how much you’ve accomplished.”

Yes, I get through a lot.

I thought I might share some of the ideas and principles that I use because it occurs to me that all CEOs need to get a lot done. They have big portfolios and big responsibilities, with many demands on their time, yet they need to accomplish the things that are really important in a timely manner.

Most recently one of the important things I did was to write another book. Writing a book is an intense piece of work that requires my focus, and I am the only one who can do this work in my business. I’m sharing the principles I use that allow me to write a book, while being the CEO, with the hope that you may find something that works for you.

How do I write a book? The Key principles:

I decide to.

I make a very clear decision and commitment that writing the book is going to be a priority, that it is important, and that I will make time for it.

I set specific time aside to focus only on this.

This is not an indefinite amount of time. It is a very specific container of time. During this time, writing the book is the only thing that I do.

Prepare the situation.

To help me to accomplish a singular focus, I make sure that I have set up my systems, my processes, my team, and my family to make it possible for me to set that time aside.

I do the preparation to make it possible.

I get myself into the right state.

I let go of everything else, allowing myself the time and the space to focus on this one thing so that I can create.

I also inform people.

My family, my team, that this is what I am doing for this particular time period, typically a week. This is about them honouring my commitment, so they stay out of my space unless it is an emergency.

In the lead up to that committed time, I collect all my thoughts and inputs into one place.

Typically, it is a Dropbox folder, and includes documents, meeting notes, transcribed voice recordings, coaching notes. It all goes into one place and is really easy to find.

To prepare, I work with my book coach.

This helps me to create specific focus, to get very clear in my thinking and have a planned approach, or at least a broad vision of what I am trying to achieve.

Stay in my Zone of Genius.

In the book writing process, I do the things that I am great at and I do not do the rest of it. I focus entirely on the creative process: the writing process; the idea generation process, and developing the manuscript.

From the point I have a finished manuscript, I give it to my publishing team to do everything else until I have a published book in my hands, because that is what they are great at.

I also work very clearly in the way that I work best.

I do the things that I know work best for me, rather than using other people’s processes and approaches. I voice-record my books, have them transcribed, and then I edit them. I am a speaker who writes, not a writer who speaks.


I work with real intensity when I am in book writing, because this is the one thing I am focused on. This allows me to get a lot done in a short period of time.

I work with a finite timeframe.

I do not give myself extensions. I need to accomplish the task in the available time, and I make it as easy as possible to achieve this.

I trust the process.

I know that I will get the outcome I want by doing what works for me. In fact, this most recent book was challenging in the initial stages, yet I continued to follow the process that I knew would get me a really great outcome, and it did.

Aim high.

I do aim to stretch myself, and I celebrate progress along the way. This gives me the energy to keep going.

When you have big things, big ideas, big dreams, big vision that are important to make progress with, give some consideration to what will make this possible. How can you set yourself up for success?

If you are the CEO, then you need to lead by example in terms of committing and completing the things that are important, truly important, that will make a difference. This will be far more possible if you set yourself up for success.

What are one, two, or three principles that you need to introduce into your own approach, to give yourself every opportunity for successful outcomes on the important? Develop the principles that work for you.

In a busy, busy world where everyone is competing for your attention, time, energy, and focus, what can you do to take control of delivering on the important?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

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