At just 22 years old, Tanner James finds himself at the head of a rapidly growing social media company, Tansocial. With busy days and a grueling schedule, making effective use of his time is absolutely essential. In this article, James shares how he functions as a young CEO.
For James, the most important thing is limiting distractions.
“I put both of my phones on do not disturb, during the day and really try to limit my screen time,” James said. “With endless scroll it is so easy to spend hours on your phone without realizing how much time you are wasting.”
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Additionally, James prioritizes keeping his workspace organized and thinking about what he needs to accomplish in order to make sure he is most productive.
“I like to spend time at the end of each day and the beginning of each week organizing my tasks and making sure I know exactly what I need to get done. I set time limits for specific tasks and keep myself honest with how long it should to complete them. I have found that I can now get more done working even 4-5 hours a day than I used to when I would work 10-12 hours,” James said. “I like to say that multitasking has had a detrimental effect on the quality of my work. You don’t actually accomplish much and by dedicating your time to specific tasks and taking it one step at a time you can accomplish much more.”
James added that listening to his body and not trying to overdo it is important as well.
“I try to optimize my time around when I am feeling most productive,” James said. “I have tried everything from waking up early to staying up very late and I find that when I push myself too hard or don’t listen to my body it rarely ends up working out that well. I also try to meditate for 10 minutes twice a day to keep myself sane.”
Lastly, James leverages several technologies to keep everyone in the workplace organized and on the same page.
“Asana is a very effective productivity software, it keeps my team and I organized and makes sure I don’t miss any pending tasks,” James said. “But more than anything I like to use a stopwatch. I can see just how long everything is taking and it motivates me to be more efficient.”
Above everything, James says having the right mindset and wanting to accomplish a lot will lead to success.
“Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us think about a task longer than it takes to actually complete it,” James said. “Once I understood this concept I no longer procrastinated. Even if something is painful to do you just have to suck it up and do it. It will get you so much further than thinking about what you want to get done. Execution is one of the hardest things to find.”