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.

It would be very helpful to have a full transcript of this class. The abbreviated version is too short.

I finished this was quickly! It was amazing to hear from someone up the top in ways that were easy to understand and inspiring.

So helpful - really good ideas on time management, really liked the phrasing for hiring: 'Look for brains, energy and integrity, though without the third one, the first two will kill you.' What I really liked about it is that he handles issues, ideas and opportunities much like our company does, though he says it all much more clearly than I would. I'm paraphrasing him going forward!

Great information. Got so many golden nuggets from this masterclass.


Marcus M.

Time management is key. I'm not at the 4:15 wake up yet, but I'm at 1 hour later. LOL. That is just to get ready to commute to work though. Hoping I can become better with time management in 2020!

Jason A.

This was especially helpful for me. Bob's advice seems very obvious when you hear it, but working in an industry where it feels like your work is never done and there are always more projects to get underway and more fires to put out, it is very easy to let the inertia of your day drag you along. Creating a structure for my workday is something I'm going to focus particular attention on over the next few months.

Amanda K.

A good reminder to structure the day AND week in a way that you're able to be effective on all fronts, professionally and personally. I really am going to sit with this concept and figure out a better way to make my day more time effective.

Tebogo M.

I've learnt from experience that planning one's day with enough balance for personal time makes you way more productive. My personal schedule is similar - I live in a driving city, and don't like spending hours in traffic. So I get up super early get a head start to the day, I do take 45minutes to ease into the morning and make sure I've had my tea before I switch on my laptop. I then start working, before phones can even start ringing (tend to get a lot done), I get to the office at 10h00 and leave by 18h00 and have an evening at home.

Bill D.

The primary reason I signed up was for this class and I haven't been disappointed.

Jose C.

I had heard of a study that found that most successful leaders start their day early. It was interesting to see how Bob Iger structures his day. I like that he works out in a dim room in the morning and that he's the first one to get to the office. I like it when I get to the office first. It helps my mind transition from the previous night to the present. This is specially true on Mondays. I also like that he leaves work early to be with his family. I wonder what he typically does from 8pm to 10pm when he does some more work. Probably check emails. I find it hard to get to them during the day with all my meetings.


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!