The most successful people are not always the most talented. The world’s top business leaders earned their stripes by maximizing productivity. Here are a few hacks from some of the best CEOS of SMEs.

Monitor How You Spend Your Time

Patrick Gelsinger, the CEO of VMware has read a number of case studies on executive time management. He keep careful track of the own time spent in meetings, conducting strategy reviews and doing other tasks. He color coats his schedule to see how his time compares to case studies. This allows him to see whether it is being used optimally and find ways to improve time management.

Take Regular Micro-Breaks

Tony Schwartz, president of the Energy Project understands the importance of taking breaks. He said that everyone should take a break once every 90 minutes. Even a five-minute MICRA break can make a huge difference.

Provide Deadlines for Employee Responses

Employees don’t always realize that certain request for information urgent. Katia Beauchamp, the cofounder of birch box says that all employees are given deadlines to respond to questions asked in email. This makes a huge difference in cutting delivery times.

“I insist people on the Birchbox team indicate when they need a response in all emails,” she told Lifehacker. “It makes prioritization so much faster.”

Make Yourself Uninterruptible

Andrew marsh, the CEO of Fifth Column Games has a system to keep employees on track. Every employee is given a cone that symbolizes silence. If they put the cone on their desk, other employees know not to interrupt them unless it’s an emergency. This is very helpful for employees working on highly complex projects that require extensive concentration.

“I use the cone of silence when I’m working on a complex project that I need to concentrate on. Being able to focus intensely without interruption is a valuable productivity tool for everyone at Fifth Column Games.”

This is a great idea, because a study from Carnegie Mellon University found that it can take 25 minutes to get back on track after an interruption.

Staying productive is absolutely crucial if you want to succeed. We encourage you to read tips from other leading business executives to bolster productivity.