Business, Politics & Society

Using Your Time Effectively

Bob Iger

Lesson time 6:10 min

To demonstrate how to use your time effectively, Bob shares in detail how he structures his day to make the most of it. He talks about making time for focus and reveals just how early he wakes up.

Bob Iger
Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership
Disney CEO Bob Iger teaches you the leadership skills and strategies he used to reimagine the future of one of the world’s most beloved brands.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - Oh, come now. Dry those tears. Even miracles take a little time. CINDERELLA: Miracles? - Mm-hmm. MOUSE: Oh, lookie, lookie! [MUSIC PLAYING] - I happen to believe that in every day you need to have some quiet time to think, where you're not really being bombarded by external forces. In some cases, you're not doing email, you're not watching television, you're not doing anything really but enabling yourself to concentrate on whatever it is you might be anticipating or what you are planning to do. That's vital. It also, I think, is energy producing in a way because while it might not necessarily be the greatest form of relaxation-- because you're thinking about work-- you're at least thinking about work-- thinking in a very effective and efficient way. And I find that when I can be alone with my thoughts about work, my thoughts tend to be far more focused and have a lot more clarity. I have a mental checklist that exists at all times, and it's fairly lengthy in nature. Occasionally, I write down on a piece of paper things that I must do, but typically there are only two or three of them, while, in my head, the list sometimes could be 10 to 20 items on it. [MUSIC PLAYING] My job demands a lot of my time and a lot of energy, and so I've adjusted my daily routine over the years to enable me to do my job effectively. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is I workout. And I workout in solitude, typically in a darkened room, listening to music. There's a television on, but there's no sound. That's probably not necessarily a great commercial for our television programs, but I tend to use the music sort of as a means of meditating in a way. And during that workout, which I do, as I said, alone, I get a chance to really think about things. It's my most creative time in many ways. I also make sure that I don't look at any email before I work out. Because if I do so, that tends to distract me and, at times, can really be mood changing in nature. And I need that time to be kind of cleansed of too many external forces or influences so that I can really have clarity of thought. [MUSIC PLAYING] I typically get to the office sometime between 6:30 and a quarter to 7:00 in the morning most mornings. I travel a lot so I'm not at the office every day. But when I am in town, which is in Los Angeles, and I have an office day planned, I tend to be the first one there. I turn the lights on and make the coffee. I don't like to walk into the office, get to work, and immediately be bombarded by external forces. I like easing into my day a little bit more. It's just what has worked for me, whether it's psychological or whether it's physiological. The saying, "The early bird catches the worm," is one of the oldest cliches in the books, but there happens to be a lot of truth to that. I happen to believe that showing up early-- first of all, it gives me more solitude. It gives the ability to b...

Embrace risk, build resilience

In an era of disruption, Disney CEO Bob Iger led one of the world’s most beloved brands to unprecedented success with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Now, through case studies and lessons from 45 years in media, Bob teaches you how to evolve your business and career. Learn Bob’s strategies for expanding a brand, leading with integrity, and making big moves—from risk management to the art of negotiation.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Wow, what a delightfully insightful look at how Bob transformed Disney and many of the principles he installed throughout his tenure! This has been one of my favorite Master Classes yet! Thanks Bob!

Bob Iger shared some valuable nuggets in his experiene prior to becoming CEO and during his tenure. He has grown the company tremendously by being a risk taker. one of the valuable gems he shared is being a risk taker and how to negotiate deals.

I'm an Executive Coach and will be recommending this to all my clients to watch. Bob Iger shares everything from mindset needed. The balance between risk taking and doing due diligence. How to prioritise and use your time to great effect to build an energising balance of work and family time. Highly recommended!

Great theme - strongly relatable because I love Disney.



Very simple but good advices. It actually came to my mind while I was watching this video, the book by Robin Sharma the 5 a.m. Club, which I recommend to you all!

Kevin B.

I can learn so much from this. There is totally no structure in my life. I feel like saying you need/want structure is much easier then creating structure. I tried for a long time to get structure but it never works. after some time I always go back to my old habits. But hearing this lesson motivated me to try harder. Thank you!

Kevin P.

Really effective way of structuring a day - I can learn from this! Especially the “don’t look at email until I’ve prepared mentally for the day” insight. Question : What time does Bob typically go to bed? After the 8pm-10pm work segment - he might read or watch a tv would that be 11pm? I ask because that would mean 5 hours sleep a night if he gets up just after 4am. Is that correct?

Andrew L.

My huge takeaway was to allow myself some quiet time to think. I need to structure that into my day. I definitely need it - but I have never allowed myself to have it as I go from one crisis to another. I loved the example of not looking at email until after a morning workout because it can create distraction from the time that is needed. I get into the office before my employees but I have not been good about allowing myself some time so I can keep up my energy and creative thought processes. Thank you so much for that great reminder. That is early to get up and work out. I am very impressed!

Linda D.

It made me realize I need to add more structure to my day. I am currently working 45 hours a week and currently enrolled in a MBA program and find it is difficult to manage my time effectively. In adding an early morning workout (which i previously did) will allow me to focus me energy, get to work early, and to be home at a decent time each day.

Ian S.

Succinct and very useful. As a father, husband, creative person and business owner my time management can certainly be improved on. Useful to hear from the best!


English subtitle is not correct in first video, please make a correction! Thank you!


Thanks for these powerful tips on how to structure a day. Yes, it is true that working less can often mean better work, I'm hoping to get better at this.

A fellow student

Saw this online and committed to it in a heartbeat. I’m the CEO of an Entertainment Manufacturing company and Bob Iger is someone I look to regularly to see how he is growing the Disney company. I watched the entire MasterClass in a day and took extensive notes. I will be coming back to this again and again and implementing several things I got from this to grow my own company!! Thank you for this!

simon B.

The phrase "external forces" and its meaning is something I'm going to try to remember.