In a startup, there is an abundance of work to do, and what feels like very little time to do it. Some people have trouble even getting started, while others may find that they burn out during the intense startup phase.
Set achievable goals
It is important to celebrate the small successes that take you closer to your dream. If we only aim for the ultimate ambition, then we risk never making it there, as well as never recognising all the positive things we did along the way.
Make short-term goals that are reachable. Book a meeting with an investor. Make a sale. Launch a website, or maintain a social media profile. These sorts of things all present their own challenges, yet they are very doable.
Each milestone that is reached should be celebrated in some way, as it takes you closer to your main goal. Positive reinforcement is very valuable and should not be underestimated.
Prioritise your rest
By prioritising rest, you prioritise yourself and your startup. Rest does not just mean getting a good night’s sleep. Rest can also refer to taking breaks during the day, as well as taking time off work completely.
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that rest is for the weak. Particularly when starting out in a new business. In a startup, there is so much to do and deadlines are everywhere. Staying up all night can seem like a good solution, and is one that many people opt for.
By not prioritising rest, there is a very real risk that the quality of work will decrease. This can result in extra work, wasted time, and at a very high cost to one’s health.
Set an alarm
If you want to be effective with prioritising your rest, then you need to be serious about getting back to work too. Start by setting an alarm, and stick to it. Snooze buttons are best avoided, as interfering with an alarm can lead to accidentally turning it off altogether.
As well as a literal alarm, be strict with your breaks. Keep work and break-time activities separate, so that the two do not blend into one. Before you start a break, decide when you are going to get back to work, and stick to it.
It is not wise to think of taking breaks or resting as a reward. They are just as important to the overall functioning of a startup as the hours put in at work.
Book a weekly meeting
A weekly meeting serves both as a chance to discuss the week that has been, as well as plan for the week ahead. With a weekly meeting, it is easier to get an overview of what has been achieved. It is also an opportunity to review the things that might not be going so well, and make changes.
If you work alone, then book the meeting with yourself. Set the time aside once a week to focus, reflect, and structure the week ahead.
Stop waiting for perfection
It can be scary to launch things before they feel ready. The fear of being judged for something that is not finished can stop a lot of startups from making any real progress. Not getting the product out there also means missing out on valuable feedback.
It is not worthwhile to spend forever on making things perfect. It is more important is to get the product, or service, out there, and worry about perfection later. Especially as the definition of perfect can change once a company is launched and customers have their say.
When ambition takes over, it is difficult not to get swept away by big dreams and master plans. While these things are very important, they can do more damage than good if not managed carefully.
Keep your dreams in front of you and let your ambition drive you. At the same time, do not forget to celebrate the small achievements as well as the big ones.
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