What distinguishes highly productive leaders from ordinary ones is their daily habits.
Since launching Ellivate, we've worked with many SaaS leaders, and they've provided us with a view of some of their daily routines to stay productive at work.
Without a doubt, they are confronted with distractions frequently. But as leaders in the SaaS industry, what habits do they have that help them stay focused?
Here are the 5 powerful habits for SaaS leaders to stay productive on a daily basis:
1. They begin the day by working up a sweat
Did you know that regular exercise helps senior-level executives have better leadership skills?
According to the Journal of Managerial Psychology, executives who exercise consistently were evaluated substantially higher as leaders than executives who don't have the habit of working out.
SaaS is a big industry, and stress is also prevalent for leaders as they strive for business growth.
That's why most SaaS leaders have a daily habit of working up a good sweat to start the day to lessen or avoid stress.
"I work out more often than not—the benefits of exercise are well documented."
- Steve from StatusPage.io in an interview with Process Street.
This habit can also give them the confidence they need and allow them to take control, take a step back and think things through.
A classic example is when they receive feedback, such as "your product was poorly created" or "your product didn't help our company at all". They may feel frustrated because of these criticisms, but with daily exercise, they can think more clearly, take the feedback on board and get to the root cause of these issues.
They find that starting their day with exercise gives them energy and improves mental clarity, and they are more likely to seek new and improved ways to communicate.
Working out first thing in the morning can also create energy, making the rest of the day seem more manageable.
By taking this initial step as a SaaS leader, you may maximise your ability to complete the day with a clear perspective at work, allowing you to advance in your business and personal life.
Want to stay focused? Learn more by applying these 5 steps to help you stay focused during your business' growth.
2. They look to various industries to develop their distinctive business concepts
It's challenging to stay motivated every day, but we can always look for inspiration one way or another.
Some of the most innovative and effective ideas of SaaS leaders have come from researching and understanding best practices and successful advancements in industries that are entirely unrelated to their own.
It's easy to become complacent when you're successful. That's why to be able to perceive multiple viewpoints and come up with better solutions; these SaaS executives usually focus not just on their organisations but also their competitors or other industries.
Outstanding SaaS CEOs understand that to become genuinely productive; they must continue to learn, improve and innovate.
As a result, they commit to studying leadership from different industries and examining the market and focusing on new product launches, sales, and operations. They also listen to podcasts, attend webinars, read books, and seek advice from mentors. They try new things.
As a leader, you must also look outward since doing so not only helps you to tap into your creativity and motivation but also empowers you to drive significant breakthroughs that have the potential to change your company and outperform your competitors.
3. They stay away from decision fatigue
SaaS-based businesses have risen to become some of the world's most valuable companies in half a generation.
But often, SaaS leaders can become indecisive due to the volume of information and speed at which they are moving, especially when scaling their businesses.
This leads to decision fatigue.
Decision fatigue is the deterioration of a person's decision-making quality over a long period of time. It has the potential to lead to illogical actions and unwise decisions.
That's why most leaders avoid decision fatigue by being open and honest with their employees, using a simple checklist of "Agree," "Disagree," or "Let's Discuss" to guide them.
Like Zuckerberg, Meta founder, some leaders avoid decision fatigue by eliminating minor choices, such as wearing the same shirt every day. This is to enhance his decision-making process.
"I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community. There's actually a bunch of psychology theory that even making small decisions, around what you wear or what you eat for breakfast or things like that, they kind of make you tired and consume your energy."
– Mark Zuckerberg explaining why he wears the same grey t-shirt every day
This is something that we can all learn from - as a SaaS leader, you need to remove basic decisions, empower your team and streamline complicated choices to be more productive and make the best judgments for the most important things.
If you get into the habit of it, you'll be less stressed and can make better judgments.
4. They're the last ones to speak
Simon Sinek, a leadership guru, has made a profession out of describing what makes excellent leaders great.
For an aspiring leader like you, his advice for meetings is:
"Be the last one to speak up at a meeting so you can be a better listener."
This is true, especially in the SaaS industry, where team empowerment is critical, yet executives sometimes overlook what actual team empowerment entails.
However, exceptional leaders wait to hear what their teams have to say. The reason? It allows their teams to develop into future leaders who can comfortably share their ideas and thoughts with others.
"I like to think I am a very democratic leader. I don't want to be the person always saying, "You have to do this now." Because then they're not going to care."
– Justine Bienkowski, Director of SaaSOps at BetterCloud
According to Harvard Business Review, "it is the ability to manage conflicting tensions - as opposed to seeking cohesion - that is the most predictive of top-team performance."
If this is not on your list of daily habits yet, you should consider this one now to prevent workplace chaos and help your teams grow with the organisation.
5. They find time to connect with others
One of the problems of being a leader is finding time to connect with others.
It's not always easy for SaaS leaders to find out what their teams want, need, or struggle with.
If they don't figure out how to break the code, they risk losing top talents.
In business, feeling a sense of belonging to your team or organisation isn't something that is frequently acknowledged. However, great leaders intuitively understand that a sense of belonging is what pushes their organisation or team ahead.
"I always try to find time throughout the day to ask people what's going on in their lives and how they are doing. It's important to have those connections and day-to-day interactions with the people around you and foster a sense of community."
– Dr Laura Hamill, Limeade
You won't be able to grasp what's going on at each level of the company unless you're prepared to leave the executive floor and dig into the day-to-day operations.
People will crush it for you if you make them feel important to the firm.
Check our blog about building rapport with your teams, and you can learn how you can form a harmonious relationship with your team.
Ready to Add These Habits to Your Daily Routine?
The activities you do every day, whether for your physical health, emotional attitude, or degree of productivity, define your quality of life.
You don't have to perform all of them to be successful, but if you're having trouble finding routines or habits that work for you, the practices listed above are worth trying.
Making a deliberate effort and knowing your 'why' behind applying them is the best approach to getting into the flow and developing good habits. Whether you manage a remote, hybrid, or distributed team, you'll be well on your way to strengthening yourself as a leader if you do these things.
Now, if you're ready to take your productivity and your business further, or if you just need an expert coach or partner, let's talk.
Schedule a FREE 30-minute coaching session, and let's take it from there.