As a startup founder, you have a lot on your plate. But if you’re in a constant state of rushing from meeting to meeting and working through an endless task list, it’s almost impossible to make time for the creative ideation and strategic planning that your startup needs to be successful.
9 Productivity Hacks To Get More Done As A Startup Founder. By implementing productivity hacks, you won’t need to sacrifice sleep or quality time with family and friends.
Here are nine strategies that my cofounder and I use to be more effective in our roles and happier during the day.
1. Reduce the number and length of meetings.
Take a page from the agile development handbook, and reduce or eliminate meetings. First, start by getting rid of status meetings. Make sure people are regularly communicating their status verbally or through concise emails.
If you find you need a meeting, make it brief. If you’re working together in an office, you can do a 15-minute stand-up meeting to reduce the temptation to drag the time out, or simply meet for a few minutes to cover key points.
Meetings are often an inefficient time drain, so reducing and optimizing them gives everyone extra time in their day.
2. Say no more often.
As a startup founder, you’ll always have someone interested in your time or your thoughts, or want you to do something. It’s inevitable that you’ll feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions. You have the ability to stop the madness with the simple word “no.”
It’s hard for those who want to make everyone happy, but remember that saying yes to one thing automatically means saying no to something else that could have taken its place.
Be in control of where you spend your time. Either politely decline anything, not in line with your priorities, or ask someone else to do those tasks. Related: 10 Unique Business Ideas to Inspire You in 2019
3. Take time weekly for self-development.
Spend some time each week on activities that spark your creativity or help you improve as a person. Self-development can take myriad forms, including learning a new skill, reading a book that’s been on your list or even hiking or going to a show.
You can apply what you learn to be more effective at work, and taking this time will recharge you and make you more productive.
4. Limit how often you check email.
Email can quickly turn into a time drain. Though it feels good to respond quickly and maintain inbox zero, it’s often not required.
Set a time to respond to emails at times you’ve predetermined will fit best into your calendar. This enables you to focus on your priorities and respond thoughtfully.
People will appreciate your consistency. Unless you’re filling a sales role or handling customer service troubleshooting, you don’t need to worry about being constantly connected. Related: 12 Business Ideas for Entrepreneurial College Grads
5. Focus on one thing at a time.
It’s impossible to focus intently on more than one thing at a time. Multitasking only works with tasks that don’t require concentration.
on one task at a time helps you to be more efficient. You may feel productive when you’re checking email and putting the final touches on a presentation while on a phone call, but you’ll slow yourself down and miss things. By doing one thing at a time, you’ll actually boost your productivity.
To focus effectively, it’s important to minimize distractions. Turn off your phone or silence alerts, and close your door if you need to.
Doing this, even in short-term increments, will help you increase your productivity and the quality of your work, as well. If you want to dive deeper into focusing strategies, author Cal Newport has some great insights.
6. Match your activity to your priorities.
As a founder, you’ll have a lot of things vying for your attention, and many of those will be good things. But part of your job as a leader is to determine what will really move the needle forward.
are your priorities and values? Spend your time doing the things that are most important to the success of your company.
7. Take better care of yourself.
You would never think to rely on a worn-down machine that’s in need of repair to keep your business running. But so often, we expect that our bodies can run on low sleep, poor nutrition and without proper exercise.
The better care you take of yourself, the more productive you’ll be. The machine that is your body runs better when it is taken care of properly. How to Find New Business Ideas
8. Hire the right people and empower them with leadership.
Selecting the right people to help you run your startup is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Your team will help do all the things that need to get done in order to reach your goals.
Get the right people on your bus, in the right seats. Train them well, and share your values and vision. Then let them do their jobs.
9. Reduce your workday.
It may sound counterintuitive to reduce the number of hours you work to be more productive, but it’s effective.
Have you ever found yourself working a 12-hour day, only to find yourself staring at your computer unable to get your thoughts together to complete the task you started an hour earlier?
At some point, you are no longer productive, and no amount of added time you throw at the task will help.
Sometimes it’s better to walk away and go back the next day when you’re fresh and alert.
If you find you’re regularly working excessive hours, take a step back to rearrange your workweek so you can work fewer hours. You’ll find you can get a lot more done. Related: Business Ideas for Creative Artists
Increased productivity helps you get more done but also has amazing side benefits: improved employee morale, better employee retention, and overall job and life satisfaction.