In a country whose citizens work longer and get more done than those anywhere else, no one is more productive than entrepreneurs. They have unparalleled freedom to work the way they want, and many create truly personal productivity systems to lash their to-do (and do and do and do) lists into submission. Like the companies themselves, those systems reflect the CEOs' values, goals, and leadership styles. To get a look inside the minds of the superefficient, Inc. interviewed successful entrepreneurs in various industries around the country. (For more, see

  • The Chief Recruiter: Kevin P. Ryan, AlleyCorp: Ryan's encore to DoubleClick—the ad-serving behemoth he sold for $1.1 billion to private equity firm Hellman&Friedman in 2005—is AlleyCorp, a variety pack of Internet start-ups he founded in New York City.
  • The Alphebetizer: Barbara Corcoran, Barbara Corcoran Inc.: Corcoran made her mark building one of New York's largest real estate companies. Today, she is a panelist on the ABC program Shark Tank and runs a much smaller firm that works with the start-ups she chooses to invest in on that show.
  • The Free Thinker: Caterina Fake, Hunch: Co-founder of the photo-sharing site Flickr. Her new start-up is Hunch, a website in New York City that takes user input to make recommendations on thousands of subjects.