Time is the Valuable Asset for your Startup – Don't Waste it and be Productive!
“You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours…It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions…No one can take it from you. It is unstealable. And no one receives either more or less than you receive. Genius is never rewarded by even an extra hour a day.” - Arnold Bennett, “How to live on 24 Hours a Day”
Nowadays time is becoming more and more scarce, and, thus, more valuable intangible asset for the company. But are you actually using your time properly? Let’s figure it out now. Here are five tips which may be helpful for you to save you time.
Do not spend time on making “Daily To-Do” list — it is only confusing and frustrating you
Yes, you read it correctly. The classic time management tools cannot be fully applied to our reality anymore. There is too much daily distraction, personal commitment and workflow which simply cannot be squeezed into your Calendar. The “To-Do” list may obviously help you to organise a small part of your daily tasks, but doesn’t guarantee the real accomplishment of the most important ones and doesn’t really give you a big picture. Only few people prioritise their tasks in a productive way, most of them are simply trying to gain more “psychological payoff” by finishing many small unimportant tasks instead of concentrating on first-priority duties.
Always prioritise and delegate — if you run after two hares, you will catch neither
What is more important for you right now, to design the logo of your startup or to reply to 30 emails? It may seem simple, but that is exactly what you should do - rank you agenda, focus on the most crucial tasks, evaluate which of them bring you the biggest benefit at a certain point and put a greater effort to accomplish it. Additionally, are you the right person to do this task? Think about it. If the answer is no, pass it over to your team member. That is especially relevant when your startup is growing - you have to share responsibilities to make the business more efficient and decisions more agile. But keep in mind: delegating something doesn’t mean shifting poorly formulated or unimportant work to your team members. Rather, delegate necessary coherent work which cannot just be eliminated. Don’t make the solution process longer!
Do not postpone decisions and agenda sharing — meet with you team and keep it updated
You as a founder have many challenges to think about and a huge workflow to deal with. You probably think you don’t have time right now to spend on making certain decision and you just want to leave it. You also think you can meet with your team and share information with them later on. Here is the tip: try not to postpone that, you will save so much time afterwards if you decisions will be solved up to date. Schedule everyday meeting. Keep it short and precise. Doesn’t matter whether it is a brainstorm meeting or just an update, it has to be organised and well prepared. Be on time, finish on time. Just a small remark so that you take this tip seriously - Google is following these principles. Probably worth trying now, what do you think?
Do not spend time on irrelevant information — develop a selective ignorance skill
Imagine now, how much time you are spending on the information which is unnecessary both for you personally and for your startup goals. Of course, you perhaps want to know more about the market or be more competent in your business area, but more doesn’t automatically mean better. Don’t spend time on what you consider to be irrelevant even if you’ve already started it. You have to concentrate only on that information which you can apply as a solution to a problem or create value out of it immediately. Otherwise, just skip it, really, you don’t need it. At least, you don’t need it right now. You have to learn how ignore unimportant information flows and become extremely selective.
Be both efficient and effective — one without another is a waste of time
You should distinguish between those terms, they matter a lot. It can be a bit confusing though. Let’s clarify them first. Efficient means that you are basically accomplishing your tasks, not depending on their importance level with the least time-spending. Being effective, in turn, means achieving your goals in the most comprehensive manner and with the most contribution to the future development. So why do you need to know this? Here is the answer: if you are doing something unimportant really well, it still doesn’t make this important, even though it is time-consuming, and you’ve already spend much time on that. Your primary result is more significant than how you achieved it, but still only together with applying the right methods, thus being efficient on the way to your goal. Even though you are, for example, really efficient at financial modelling, you could be more effective by implementing more sophisticated solution tool.
Now when you learned these tips, try to bring them to life and you will be much more productive and successful!