Time Management as a young VC

For those that don’t know yet, after four incredible years, I’ve left SendGrid to join the investment team at FundersClub. It’s been three months since I’ve started this new path and I could not be more excited.

Quickly I realized that time management is a crucial part of being a good VC.

It’s quite tempting to mentor, assist, attend as many events/meetups/message board/lists/founders as possible. To promise yourself that you’ll read and study everything, that you’ll take every meeting.

Being “default to yes” is a poor strategy.

Once people understand that you have access to capital, you get twice as many messages, invites and requests for coffee/beer/meetings etc.

Focus is key. Here are some things I applied to my daily routine and have proven to be quite helpful (some weekends included).

Makers Schedule vs Managers Schedule

Inspired by this Paul Graham essay, I made a decision, as a morning person, that I will dedicate my AMs to the following things:

1 — Excercise/Meditate (very important for energy levels/happiness)

I started training with a personal trainer and the results have been fantastic. Certainly won’t pay this much for exercise ($50 a session) during this year, but it made exercise a requirement to my focus/energy levels. Still need a bit more discipline on the meditation side.

2 — Most Important Tasks of the Day / Writing Investment Memos

Once I’ve eaten breakfast, exercised and read a bit of news I’ll go ahead and focus on the most important tasks of the day. I use an Eisenhower Matrix template, saved as an Evernote favorite note. For all other to-dos, I use WundersList + Email Reminders. For group tasks that need visibility, we use Asana.

Here is an example:

3 — Process Email/ Messages (no explanation required).

You can consider these activities, my “maker time”.

How do we manage to advise so many startups on the maker’s schedule? By using the classic device for simulating the manager’s schedule within the maker’s: office hours. — PG

Parsing my day out and knowing that I’ll have that block of time “to get shit done” is very comforting from a mind perspective. It allows you to work with little interruption (often done from my apartment in the Mission or Progressive Grounds coffee shop) —

I take 90% of my meetings in the afternoon and try to follow up on all the pending items, the very next day. In the beginning is hard, but once you get used to this flow, you realize you can scale yourself, pretty rapidly.

By the way, if you also want to become an investor, we are hiring for another associate.