7 Productivity Hacks for Startup Founders

Even though there wasn't any pressure from anyone, the founding team decided to put Nov’30 as their launch date. The bug list is still running into the 200's. They need to hire at-least 2 more full-stack devs, a marketing and a sales intern. Hiring takes more than 3 to 4 hours of daily work time. The deadline for all 3 accelerator programs they decided to apply is in next 3 weeks. And the 2 blogs per week which they decided to write is still a distant dream. Ask any startup founding team and their to-do list never gets finished.

And that’s why you have to be selective, productive and focused. After reading and trying many things, i came up with this small list of productivity hacks. Try it may be it works for you as well…....

  1. Shut down yourself

Every day, ideally just before bed, keep 15–20 mins to recap your day, the good things you could achieve. The stuff you could get finished, the small tasks which got done. Give yourself a pat on the back. Visualize your next day, things you would do. Plan what you’ll wear, which friend you will catch up while driving to work etc. Just try to keep yourself away from anxiety & worry of doing too many things. Shut down your mind and get a good sleep.

2. Copy

Now this might sound like bad or unethical to few, but remember we are talking about productivity hacks. There are so many successful startups who have done many things which you are going to try. Read about them, learn from them and implement it in your own way. How salesforce scaled from 0 to 100Mn$ or How Brian Chesky got initial traction for AirBnB, its all written. So basically its about learning from them while copying some of the tricks.

3. Stop Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking a cool thing and demonstrates a high IQ if you have ability to do many things at a time. But may be not at your own venture. The most successful startup founders have been able to sit at one place, thinking or working on one thing for hours before they get it finished. When you are trying to grow or are growing fast, its very tempting to sneak peak how many people liked my last tweet or how many new visitors saw my last blog post. All this is little distraction. Stay focused, do one thing at a time.

4. Sacrifice Perfection

You are building a company, a business and if world likes what you are building there will be time for corrections. Don’t try to perfect every single pixel, dont be too hard with yourself. Set high standards and big goals but keep a check on your current resources. Time to market, MVP, getting those first 20 customers etc are more important than having everything perfect. This attitude sometimes help to move-on and get things done.

“The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake — you can’t learn anything from being perfect.” — Adam Osborne

5. Quarantine

Switch off slack and emails every now and then…the constant notification on the team channel or emails take away lot of your attention and energy. The habit of working in 15–30 mins of quarantine periods will help you finish things. Plan your tasks in byte sizes, small achievable things.

And finally two things which are more personal in nature.…

6. Keep your passion

Your startup idea is “dear” to you, you want to spend 24*7 working and building it. But stay with your other passion, whether its sports or stock market. It is important to pursue something which helps you stay from anxiety of just thinking about your startup. Believe me, it increases your creativity if you are able to give pause and restart after these rejuvenating breaks.

7. Fitness & Sleep

Every day you’ve the urge to slog and finish things in one sitting. Let me take a shot at 18–20 hour day this week and i will get this finished. It never happens. The day you’re unwell or are not able to do much due to ill health, you feel more frustrated. It is during those days you realize the importance of maintaining a routine and working your usual 8–10 hours a day and maintain a steady progress. So keep your mind, soul and body fit as much as you cam. And finally sleep like a baby!

Just remember

You can have it all. Just not all at once.” — Oprah Winfrey

Keep moving !