Life hacks — we all need them. Whether it’s to get past those tiny obstacles throughout the day or on the flip side, or continuing to run a multimillion-dollar company without flinching, there are many tips on how to manage time and remain productive.
Last week, Keds celebrated Women’s Equality Day with a special panel featuring female entrepreneurs, including actress Brooklyn Decker and Whitney Casey from Finery.com, SoulCycle’s CEO Melanie Whelan, It Cosmetics’ CEO Jamie Kern Lima, Sarah Kauss, S’well’s founder and CEO, and Anu Duggal, Female Founders Fund’s founding partner. These women all continue to be leaders in their respective fields and are constantly on the go. During the talk, they let everyone in on their own personal life hacks that are surprisingly easy and doable.
Here are four CEO-approved tips to ace your workday.
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“Mine is exercise,” said SoulCycle’s Whelan. “I always found that no matter how busy I was, I always felt better after I worked out, and especially now that we are connected 24/7 to our devices.”
She added that putting down the phone is key to disconnecting.
“You’re always on, and someone is always pulling at you, so for me to take 45 minutes in a dark room or even if you give yourself 20 minutes on a treadmill to just disconnect [is vital]. I play mental Tetris to let the pieces of my day fall into place, so I can come out and really prioritize,” she continued. “I can be busy with a million things, but to have impact, it’s got to be a couple things and without the disconnection for me, I’m not able to see where that is.”
Both Decker and Duggal swear by to-do lists to help them start and end their days.
“What I realized over the years is that when I start my day, I have to focus on three things I have to get done because the reality is you’re just not gong to get everything done on that list,” Duggal said. “It gives me some mental relief at the end of the day to be able to say those three things are crossed off the list. It’s small, but it makes me feel better.”
Decker banks on her nightly “brain dump” to remain efficient. She lists everything out that she did that day or needs to get done before she goes to bed at night. “When the room is quiet, my mind is actually the most vocal. So writing everything down [helps],” she said.
“I pray and I mediate,” said Lima. “And for a lot of people, it can mean the same thing.” The It Cosmetics CEO said that while her brand was being acquired by L’Oréal in the company’s largest acquisition in its history, she focused on mediation and praying to get through the process. She added, “I just remember saying, ‘This is bigger than me,’ and that’s how I got through it. I think god can dream a bigger dream than we can for ourselves, so for me that’s how I do it.”
Meetings With Yourself
Taking that time to be alone is another key to success, according to S’well founder Kauss.
She explained, “I started putting fake meetings on my calendar with myself. I found that I was not finding time to prioritize the most important things in the day. I would be in 12 to 14 hours of meetings, and I’d come out on the other side, and I wouldn’t have actually accomplished those most important things thats I wanted to do. [Now], I put fake meetings on and try to get things done. That’s the only way I can do it.”
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