Need some inspiration? Here are 7 tips for staying productive while working for a startup:
1. Practice Zero Inbox
Try to practice zero inbox. Even though emails may keep piling on, it’s not productive to keep them lingering around. Process emails as quickly as you can. Reply to the ones that need replies. Delegate the ones that need to be delegated. Delete the irrelevant ones.
Not working for you? Try a simple tool, like FollowUp.cc. It lets you push emails out until you need to handle them, and reminds you of people who haven’t replied yet.
2. Avoid Distractions
Take control of all distractions. Distractions are any kind of communication tool from email to IM to Skype. It’s challenging to do, so try to keep a block of time where you concentrate on your most important tasks at hand.
Close all apps that aren’t your primary focus, put on some good tunes, and GSD.
3. Take On Items You Want To Accomplish For The Day
Make a list of the top items you want to accomplish each day. It’s best to get this done the night before, but doing it first thing in the morning works too. This list of top items that you want to accomplish is your basic schedule for the day.
4. Make Continuous Improvements
Strive to make continuous improvements to your processes. A culture and practice of improving your efficiency with your team members is like agile development. Try to improve the process of anything that seems inefficient at both a personal and company level.
An example of this is noticing that you’re spending too much time on email. If that’s the case, reduce the amount of time that you’re checking and replying to emails. Schedule time slots when you check email.
If you’re sending random emails to members of your team, try queuing up all your requests in one large email and sending it towards the end of the day. That saves time and ensures that you get responses to all your requests.
5. Work When You’re In Transit
Try working in transit, especially when you’re flying. When there’s no Internet, it forces you to focus. The next time you take a long flight, use that time to get your larger tasks done, or projects that require a large amount of thinking and planning. So, if you know you have a flight coming up, use it to work on those big items, like forecasting.
Travel is also a good time to catch up inspiration – like those books you’ve been putting off. It keeps your eyes away from the screen, and gets you to think different.
6. Schedule Time Off
Typically, people who work in startups are all about work. Relaxing is something that we all need to get better at. Try to do a lot more of that. Rest on weekends, and do a little exercise every day. Too much work isn’t good for the brain.
It’s not work if you’re having fun 😉
7. Stay Positive
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the things on your to-do list. Try not to let it bother you. Keep a positive attitude. Engineer that like you do your projects.