The Most Effective CEO Habits

We all get 24hrs per day.
How you use your time will lead you to success or ruin.

This article will lead you to:
More profit
Higher productivity
Healthier work environments
More success

What are the most effective CEO habits you do?
8 Successful Business owners/CEOs have answered this question!

You’re welcome.

Dean Salakas
CEO of The Party People

I manage my whole life by to-do lists.
My work and personal tasks are all on the same list.
If My wife asks me to do something, I add it to the list.

To-do lists ensure:

  • I am always working on the highest priority tasks.
  • I don’t get stuck completing something of a moderate priority.

To-do lists help me sleep at night.
I go to bed knowing everything is on my to-do list. So, I don’t stress.
If I get an idea anytime/anywhere, I make a note and email it to myself.
Then I add it to my to-do list.
It frees up my brain for thinking rather than remembering.
It also allows me to focus on execution when I am busy.

During 9-5 pm I have lots of phone calls to make.
So at 8 am I get my to-do lists in order.

At 9 am, I focus on purely executing what’s on the lists.

Overall I spend less time prioritizing because I do it once a day.
The rest of the day is execution.

I have the following lists I maintain:

  • Day List: items to do from 9 am to 5 pm.
  •  Night list: items to do after 5 pm or before 9 am
  •  Weekend list.
  •  Car List: Thinking or strategizing items or Calls to do while driving.
  •  Follow-up: includes other people from outside the company I need to follow up with.
  •  Staff Lists: We use a software tool to assign tasks.

It allows me to assign tasks to my team and review their task lists & priorities.

Each list splits into 2 or 3 priorities ( high, medium, low.). I also periodically clean them up.
So depending on where I am or what time it is, I will work through that list.

I find this a highly efficient use of my time. I am in control as I work through my list in priority order.
If I am too busy I cannot do all high-priority stuff?
At least I know before it’s too late.


Tom Agnew
CEO at Brafton

I meditate,
eat healthily and all that dull stuff.
But, the most cutting-edge health ritual I have is a mental-health ritual.

I start the workday a little early to have breakfast with my kids.
It lets me check in with myself & my family before I get lost in the day.


Clive Carlin
Owner and Director at Carlin Hall

Keeping on top of finances and cash flow ensures the business is healthy.
It’s essential for business owners to take the temperature of the business regularly.
Spend time with your employees.
Discuss, How are they feeling?
What challenges are they facing inside and outside the office?

It allows you to make decisions based on emotional intelligence & feedback.
Not just numbers!

An unmotivated or unhappy team can lead to a drop in revenue.
Similarly, motivated employees feeling valued perform more efficiently.
Good business owners should make a habit of checking in with their staff.

These are the most effective CEO habits!


Elley Hudson
Owner of Excellence Property

The number one priority is to create a safe environment.
It’s when employees are accountable for their standard of work.
It’s also when they have the support and systems they need.

Don’t look at your employees as a way to fill your pockets.
If they’re honest and hard-working people, then that’s how you should view them.

After all, people are your most important asset.
Reward excellent people with limitless career opportunities.
They should be encouraged to operate with an entrepreneurial spirit & mindset of a shareholder.

Shaunak Amin
Co-founder and CEO of SnackMagic.

Listen to everyone.

Business success usually involves hard skills:
Understanding sales and systems.

But, since the pandemic, it’s vital to discover soft skills:
Listening and empathy to succeed in business.

Learning how to understand people better is essential.
It helps build stronger, longer-lasting connections.
Addressing someone by their name creates an instant connection.
They tend to listen to you better.
When you ask people questions, it shows you’re interested and care about them.

Listening with empathy helps people feel important and validated.
It makes them more receptive to your thoughts and ideas.
Round yourself with both soft and hard skills.
It will make you an unstoppable force in business.

Julian Van der Waal
Director and Founder of Empower Solar Commercial

The bigger the why,
The easier the what.

Being unique starts with being you.
True growth comes on the back of challenging times.
Success is a very dangerous place to be.
As good times cause bad policies and habits.

The most effective CEO habits that I have found:

1. Creating time to think.
We seem to have adopted an unhealthy love for being busy.
And wear it as a badge of honour!
The most annoying days for me are when I am busy but yet not productive.
Focus on productivity rather than busyness.
Create the time to sit and think.
The first time you do this, your mind may race around without clear direction.
Give yourself time.

Intelligent questions require intelligent answers!

I sit in front of my whiteboard with my goals, vision, expansion plans.
And look at it over and over.
The question I ask is: what do I not see yet?
It allows my brain to step away from the current visual and create a new view.

2. The habit of allowing the plan to take shape.
Further, having our stop losses clear to stop the bleeding quickly.

Too many decision-makers change too many things at once!
It creates ripples and waves in the company. Ones the people are not ready to ride.
Implement the new technique gently. You don’t need to alienate the current conditions.
Unless you want to start a department from scratch.

In this case, you should prepare yourself to rebuild that entire section.

3. Fitness and good health.
We are professional athletes but of business.
Healthy bodies & clear minds create confidence.
Overcoming challenges in other areas of life offset the troubles & adversity within the business.

Bad gut health,
Not feeling confident in your own skin.
It all leads to limited growth potential and terrible decisions.
Especially when it comes to “going with your gut”

Instinct is a forceful decision-making ability all business owners must develop.
You can enhance this ability with a clean lifestyle.
And -of course- with a reduced stress environment.
We already have enough going on.
Let’s not handicap ourselves with vices and counter-productive lifestyles.

4. Finding peace within the storm.
Business isn’t simple.
Sometimes you need to allow the crazy busy times to wash over you.
Try not to let it cripple your life.

All wealthy & successful people I’ve met/worked with lost or nearly lost everything. At least once.
The impressive aspect is within a short time post-disaster, they are back!
And with more power than they had before.
Like a knight’s sword forged in the coals and fire.
Being beaten over and over to create its design, strength and longevity.

So success comes with this galvanization of effort, challenges and learnings.
Experience is usually pricey to get.
It comes off the back of adversity.
And usually, adversity costs businesses a lot of money.
When you make mistakes, learn from them.
Learn from mistakes others made when you can.
Save yourself the cost.


Glen Bhimani
CEO, Founder, and Owner of BPS Security

1. Outsourcing your weaknesses is as important as working on your strengths.

2. Hire people who are smarter and more efficient than you. Don’t worry about getting taken advantage of by them.
We all grow and learn from each other.
If you take care of them,
They will take care of you.

3. A consistent schedule and routine allow for a more productive day.


Ray Zinn
CEO & founder of Micrel Semiconductors

One of the most effective CEOs’ habits is to do the tough things first.
Tackle the most difficult tasks early on every day.
It can be anything;
That dreaded budget report,
Creating a new process for quality assurance,
Launching a product in a post-pandemic business environment.

Whatever is the hardest thing on the to-do list for the day, do it first.

In doing this, you will end up mastering tasks and skills you used to dread or hate.

Finally, the effective CEO not only becomes proficient at those tasks.
They learn to love what they once hated.
To grow and lead, the effective CEO must master a wide variety of skills.
Especially, what they dislike!
You can’t put it off.
If you hate exercising, do it first thing in the morning.
If you dread budget reports, hit that one task the moment you sit at your desk to work.
The better you get at something, the less you dread it.
Often you dread it simply because it’s not easy for you.
With practice, anything becomes easier.

Eventually, you may even learn to love what you once hated.
This singular habit is something that takes on a life of its own. It makes a leader.
Especially CEOs, increasingly effective.
Once the toughest task is done, you are freed up.
And ready to turn your attention to other tasks.

 What are the most effective CEO habits?

Wake up early,
And eat healthily.
Don’t forget your family time. These steps are keys to clearing your mind. Also, it will strengthen your mental health and confidence.

Use to-do lists effectively to save your time and energy.

Make sure your employees are happy.
The success of a business depends on employees.
That’s why every business owner should reward, support and provide what they need.
Encouraging them will reflect positively on the business.

It’s so important to listen and be empathic.
Hire people who are smarter than you.
It’s a win-win deal!

Start your day with the difficult tasks first.
In doing this, you will end up mastering tasks and skills you used to dread or hate.

Need help to build effective CEO habits? check our Habit Hero