secret that Amazon is a giant success… But how did Jeff Bezos manage to grow
the company to where it is today? As the world’s richest person and CEO of
Amazon, he has had his share of success. Bezos gave some insight into his business
tactics recently when he disclosed
his three key productivity tips. While we may not all reach Bezos’ level of
success, we can all apply these tips to further advancement in our own careers.
1. He gets
plenty of sleep. Studies have shown
for years that good sleep "helps us to think clearly, remember
information, and make decisions," according to The
National Sleep Foundation. "When we don't get enough quality
sleep, it impairs our 'executive function'--a set of abilities we need to do
well in school, at work, and in all realms of daily life."
Bezos is a believer. He goes to bed early and makes sure he gets
eight hours of sleep. "I think better, I have more energy, my mood's
better," he said.
2. He doesn't schedule meetings before 10 a.m. Unlike high-powered
executives who start at dawn, Bezos says he likes to "putter" in the
morning--reading the newspaper, drinking a cup of coffee and eating breakfast
with his children.
That may seem like wasting time, but Bezos is actually gearing
up for the day. As Laura Vanderkam writes in Fast
Company, too many morning meetings can be viewed as an opportunity cost--yes,
you've checked that meeting off your list, but you could be using your time for
more productive work. "Researchers with Johnson & Johnson that
measured people's energy levels throughout the day found we hit our peak right
at 8 a.m.," explains Vanderkam. "That is game time. We are ready to
execute. But an 8 a.m. meeting supplants a time you would have been motivated
to start something big."
For Bezos, the strategy is to schedule "high IQ"
meetings starting at 10 a.m. and ending at lunch.
3. He makes just a few decisions a day. As a senior executive,
Bezos says that his primary job is to make a small number of high-quality
decisions. "If I have three good decisions a day, that's enough," he
said. "They should just be as high quality as I can make them."
That doesn't mean that Bezos makes decisions slowly. In fact, as
he wrote in his 2017 letter to
shareholders, Bezos believes that for a company to maintain the
energy and dynamism of a start-up, "you have to somehow make high-quality, high-velocity decisions.
Easy for start-ups and very challenging for large organizations. The senior
team at Amazon is determined to keep our decision-making velocity high. Speed
matters in business--plus a high-velocity decision making environment is more
So Bezos works to make a few crucial decisions that will keep
Amazon--and his other ventures--moving ahead. "Even though Amazon
is a large company, I want it to have the heart and spirit of a small one,"
Have you ever received
a reply to an email asking you to clarify a detail you explained in your original
email? Or maybe you've been stuck waiting for a reply to a time sensitive email? While it may be all too easy to reply to these emails with passive
aggressive comments such as “per my last email” or "did you receive my email?", it’s
important to take a step back- after all, you’ve probably been guilty of the
same behavior in the past. Check out Inc’s
guide to improving your emotional intelligence- and patience- below:
1. Your cold email was totally impersonal and
You may be in a position in which you have to
cold email people for work. That's fine. But make sure the emails you send are
really compelling and captivating. Otherwise, you can expect to get a lot of
radio silence -- which is a loud and clear message the recipients aren't
Remember, from important work emails to spam-y
marketing emails, the email bombardment never stops. Your recipients can't
reply to every single one. So make sure to personalize your email. Sending the
same blanket email to 100 people is a sure-fire way to get ignored.
Oh, and a super-duper important tip: Triple
check the recipient's name before hitting Send. Yes, I definitely saw your last
email. But you didn't just spell my name wrong. You used someone else's name
entirely because you're copying and pasting the same message to 100 people. If
you didn't take the time to get my name right, why should I take the time to
2. You're being passive aggressive.
"Not sure if you saw my last email"
is the digital version of the passive-aggressive note posted above the break
room sink about washing your dirty dishes.
Yes, they probably saw it. Reminding them of
it is not going to make the situation any better. Take a page out of Mark Cuban's book and just get to the
point. Keep the email brief and tell them what you need and why. For example,
if you're waiting on them for a decision and you have a deadline, let the
person know. Don't expect them to be a mind reader.
3. You're potentially being disrespectful of
your recipient's time.
How long has your email been sitting in this
person's inbox? A day? Maybe two? Remember, not every email demands an instant reply. So following up 24
hours later to ask if they got your last email might not be necessary. Give
them a chance to reply first!
And on that note of respecting people's time,
was the request in your last email clear? If you're prone to writing emails
several paragraphs long, that could be part of the problem. People might be
ignoring your emails because they don't have the energy or time to wade through
the epic novels you send.
And while you may be writing your emails on
your computer, it's likely that people are checking them on their phone. The
Adobe survey found that more employees are checking emails on their smartphones
compared with last year.
Your long-winded emails feel even longer on a
tiny screen. Reread your emails before sending and see if you can slim them
4. Email might not be the right medium.
If this is someone you work closely with but
can never seem to get a reply, consider a different medium. Maybe this isn't
the ideal way to get in front of this person. Consider that they might be
overwhelmed by their inbox. It's entirely possible they didn't see
your last email because there are hundreds of others demanding their attention.
Perhaps scheduling a regular one-on-one
meeting with this person every week could be more productive. Even if it's just
for 30 minutes, you can quickly run through all your requests when you have
their undivided attention.
Don't beat yourself up too much if you've
recently used this phrase. "Not sure if you saw my last email" is
simply a symptom that we all send -- and receive -- too much email! But you
still want to stay on people's good sides. So it's wise to try to phase it out
and improve how you craft your emails.