Feeling overwhelmed by many ideas and possibilities and burdened by excessive work is common as a startup founder.
This post explores various tips and techniques to help you regain control.
Before changing habits, however, it's important to understand that productivity without purpose is futile. It's like running fast without a destination. When necessary, use your north star to reorient and prioritize.
Let's dig into some habits we could consider changing to benefit ourselves.
Daily. Plan your day for a few minutes either the night before or early morning.
Weekly. Plan your week at the end of Friday or first thing Monday.
Meetings. Go into every meeting with a clear sense of its objective and what value you bring and/or receive. Review your meetings quarterly and cancel or remove yourself from ones where no value is gained.
Calendar. Block time for priorities such as professional and personal goals, projects, and self-care. These blocks may move but should not be deleted.
Tackle the most important projects and work during your “high-energy” times.
Perform work requiring less mental energy during your low-energy times.
Improve at delegating. Done constructively, this is good for removing responsibilities and helps someone else to develop their skills.
Consider a virtual assistant to outsource time-consuming tasks such as social media, trip planning, and scheduling.
Batch email responses versus responding to people throughout the day and check messages and social media only at designated times, not constantly.
Do the worst thing first: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen the rest of the day” – Mark Twain
Breaks. Move your body and refocus your mind regularly.
Focus. Remove or silence smartphones and other distractions.
News fast. The news makes us less happy, so take a break during periods or even try for a couple of days.
Honor transitions. If you had a rough morning or a bad meeting, walk away or shake it off to bring your best self to the next activity.
More. Some people work better under brighter light/sunlight, cooler temperatures, calmer background noise, improved chair & desk position, clean workspace, etc.
Learn & Adjust
Record these areas weekly: Accomplishments, Ideas, Progress, and Ways to Develop. Revisit your Accomplishments during a tough period.
Track your time, including meetings, projects, tasks, and planning. Based on your priorities, reallocate your time so your efforts align with your objectives.
Experiment with productivity apps e.g. timers and wearables.
Recognize that you are building mental muscle, so it will take time to see results.
Sleep. Since a lack of sleep leads to slowness and foolishness, get what you need.
Exercise. Schedule short workouts every day and try extra activities when stressed.
Eating Habits. Keep healthy snacks on hand and stay hydrated.
Mindfulness. Many people benefit from learning practices for breathing, meditation, journaling, and yoga.
Prepared. For unexpected downtimes, keep a list of tasks to accomplish in 5-10 minutes.
Connect. Meet regularly with people who want the best for you.
Don’t try to change everything all at once. Pick one practice to start, and once that works for you, consider adding another new technique.
Expect a new habit to take at least four weeks to absorb, often eight. Finally, forgive yourself if you try a change and it doesn’t work out. The key is persistence, not perfection.
Good luck in building the best you possible!
Photo by Andreas Klassen who can be found here
𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗲: 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗣𝗲𝗮𝗸 is a 500-page handbook with over 130 articles that ascend into topics like leadership, growth, sales, marketing, operations, finance, and teams.
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