How should CEOs spend their time?

Last week Joel Gascogine from Buffer came and spoke at our weekly Founder's Stories. I respect the hell out of Joel's ability to be on the leading edge of thought-leadership, especially the way he institutes distributed working at Buffer and his membership in the Open Startup Movement. This made me question how much time he and other CEOs think about the future and the market, and how else they spend their time.

thinking Joel

I have roughly this time allocation in my mind:

During company building mode:

  1. 40%-50% of the time: Internal team issues, hiring, motivation (I've been reading this Medium post talks about building teams and this post has tips on how to manage a current team)
  2. 5%-10%: Strategizing on next steps and the market
  3. 5%-10%: Managing existing investors and conversing with potential new investors
  4. Rest of the time devoted to product and/or sales

During fundraising mode, potentially up to 90% of time can be spent on engaging current and new investors.

Thanks Kaili Kleemeier from Deekit, Marcus Greenwood from UB, Mick Hagen from Mainframe, Paul Murphy from Clarify, and Aneesh Varma from Aire for feedback and edits.

PS: The above guidelines are stage specific, and pertain to pre-product and post product stages.