Productivity is just one element of a successful career, but without it you’ll get nowhere. From Steve Jobs to Shan-Lyn Ma, the biggest-hitting business founders didn’t just start with a big idea – they knew how to work to make it happen. 

The greatest ideas in the world can be jeopardized by a dip in productivity. And these days it’s all too easy to get dragged out of the ‘zone’ and into meaningless meetings, deliberation, procrastination, or that ever-distracting social media. How can you stay on-track? 

There’s only one person in the world that can justify spending his whole working life on Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg. So it’s no wonder he’s learned the power of prioritizing. 

“The question I ask myself like almost every day,” says Zuckerberg, “is ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?’” 

Other successful founders agree on the importance of prioritization to maximize productivity. 

LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel suggests that automation is the secret to getting those easy but unproductive tasks off the table. 

“The more tasks that are low excitement, like ordering paper towels, that can be taken off my plate and fully automated, the better,” von Tobel told Entrepreneur. “I then have the energy and the brain power for things that are real decisions I need to make.” 

Resume.io has gathered 15 productivity tips from top company founders that are backed up with scientifically-verified ways on how to put them into action. 

Productivity is the base-line of getting your project to where you need it to be. Combine it with kindness, creativity, and the wise suggestions of these successful founders to become an effective leader.