Extreme Productvity

This article is from the Harvard Business Review OnPoint, Winter 2013

By: Robert C. Pozen

A veteran top executive at two giant mutual fund companies, the author has also been an attorney, a government official, a law school professor, and a business school professor— sometimes simultaneously. Over the years, he has devised a number of principles and practices to maximize his personal productivity without sacrificing his health or family life. In this article he presents six of them.

Know your comparative advantage. Focus not on what you do best but on what your organization most needs from you—and don’t spend to much time on operational details.

It’s not the time you spend but the results you produce. Most executives put a huge amount of time into their jobs, assuming that more hours equal more value added. That’s too simplistic.

Think first, read or write second. Figure out your argument in advance; then jot down your four or five key points  and write the concluding paragraph.

Prepare your plan, but be ready to change it. Arrive early for speaking engagements in order to grasp the mood of your audience and tailor your speech accordingly.

Let others own their space. Instead id assigning detailed tasks, present general priorities and let your reports decide how to implement them.

Keep things short and simple. Routine meals, naps, and travel habits can save time, effort, and health



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