I frequently get asked questions about how I spend my time as the CEO of Simple Mills.

Taking a look at where your hours go can be a great productivity benchmark, particularly if you're at a high growth company or early stage startup where schedules can be particularly chaotic.

You'll learn where and how you're spending your time, how it compares to the results you've received. Make changes to your focus or streamline as needed.

It doesn't just work for CEOs or to gauge productivity. Having your leadership, managers and other team members tally the same can be a fun way to celebrate hard work and outcomes.

Here's a look at mine.

365 Days As A CEO:

14 Days in the Factory

32 Days Developing Product in the Kitchen

432 Elevator Pitches

1,196 Hours Meeting With Team Members

34,865 Emails Received

12,093 Email Sent

4 Team Days

140,243 Miles Flown

93 Hours Sitting In An Uber or Lyft To/From the Airport

112 Hours at Tradeshows or Conferences

19 Days on Vacation

21 Cities Slept In

135 Tough Conversations

13 Retailer Meetings

230 Meetings With Other Entrepreneurs

320 Meetings With Potential Business Partners

19 Appearances on TV

22 Meetings With Board Members

23 Panels & Speaking Events

21 Negotiations

47 Meetings With Potential Investors

27 Innovation Meetings

8 Countries Visited In Spare Time

21 Performance Review And Goal Setting Conversations

The data you gather about how you've spent your time doesn't have to be ultra precise or completely accurate - just an estimate or snapshot can be enough to analyze efficiency and effectiveness.

To obtain the numbers above, I looked at my calendar and email, and then combined it with a rough idea of specifics like hours spent in air travel and rideshares that weren't formally tracked. I didn't account for time to and from meetings or events. But, the above numbers were more than substantial to tell a story of what I did in the past year.

From here, I was able to get a real view at how it correlated to outcomes for my business. For example, the 32 days I spent developing product and 14 factory visits in the past 12 months ultimately drove the creation of 11 new products, several of landed on store shelves this year. It was well worth the time and effort.

It can be easy to lose track of where your time goes in any role within an organization. It's particularly if you're the CEO or on the leadership team, but it can be just as possible for your management and support teams to as well.

Everyone has a juggle of duties and responsibilities that ultimately add up throughout the year -- meetings, emails, travel and other activities. It may not be to the tune of 32,000 emails in your in box as the CEO -- yet there are still time sinks no less. It can be just as valuable to see how this adds up among individuals and teams, and how it corresponds to your company's overall success.

You can make it an annual evaluation or do it by the week, month or quarter. While it can be a more serious function, where you truly use it as a means of analyzing productivity and results, taking a look at the year in numbers can be a fun way to celebrate everybody's effort and accomplishment.

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Published on: Apr 28, 2017