There is no doubt that start-ups and stress go hand in hand. You have this incredible idea and one opportunity to make it work. Often, financially, you are on a knife’s edge. Time is not your friend and you need more hours than you can muster. You are under incredible pressure, both from yourself to give every little thing your all, but also from others — perhaps those who have a financial investment with you, but also those friends and family who are watching (you want to succeed and prove this to them, too).
Do not fear, however; there are plenty of practical steps you can take to minimize the pressure and boost productivity for your start up.
1.Spread the Load from Day One
As CEO, you are responsible for running your business day to day, but don’t feel like you need to burden yourself with every task, even to begin with. You could choose to spend hours laboring over a small task that’s not under your skills umbrella, or you could find someone who’s willing to do it for you for very little cost.
Fiverr is brilliant for this and is brimming with freelance professionals who can provide almost any service at a low price, from translation to social media marketing, from voiceovers to graphic design.
It’s a good idea to employ admin staff as soon as possible, and before a desperate panic to find somebody results in poor decisions. This way, you can concentrate on the more creative side of growing the business from the beginning. Embarking on business leadership training will keep you in good stead for ensuring that you and your staff are at your most dynamic from day one.
2.Use a Great Task Management Tool to Organize and Prioritize
The key to minimizing stress is to be organized. An online task management tool such as Trello can be accessed from anywhere and can be shared and co-used with others, and so is brilliant for delegating tasks and keeping everybody up-to-date.
However, the ultimate tool for prioritizing your own personal tasks is a good old-fashioned post-it note. Its size constraint means you can only list the absolutely essential tasks for that day, meaning you’ll never feel completed overloaded.
3. Every Second Counts, so Use Them Wisely
There’s no reason for you to work every hour available; this would be unhealthy for yourself, your relationships and family, and ultimately your business. The important thing to remember is that you should make every moment as productive as possible so that you can achieve more in less time. If, like many of us, you are prone to procrastination, there are a few tools that you can employ to combat this.
First of all, you can monitor your own productivity using tools such as Toggl and RescueTime which will share feedback with you at the end of the day. You can clearly see how you used your time; you’re pretty much guaranteed to be surprised at first, but you can quickly use this information to improve productivity drastically through delegation and reorganizing your working day.
Minimise email, too — both the amount you send and the time you spend reading and responding to it. A designated time and portion of the day is a good idea for email, as this forces you to prioritize and means you don’t flit between unproductive email and more productive tasks.
4. Reach Out to Others
Launching a startup is not easy; in fact, it can be incredibly daunting. The biggest jumpstart you can give yourself is to take advice from someone who knows the process, has been through it themselves, and has succeeded. Finding a good mentor is like startup gold. A personal business coach can offer advice and solutions to everyday problems, open your eyes to different pathways on this incredible journey, and empower you to be your most confident and motivated self.
5. Look after Number One
That’s you! You are the startup’s number one asset so it’s imperative that you take care of yourself from day one. The alternative risks are burnout, mental health issues and relationship issues, and ultimately, all this means your startup will not take off as it should.
Never feel guilty about taking regular breaks throughout the day, or taking time to get some fresh air or exercise, or preparing a healthy meal. Ensure you do everything in your power to regularly get a good night’s sleep. You can only be positively productive if you are at your physical, mental and emotional best!
Nobody can ever tell you that a startup can be stress-free, but the secret is to channel all the energy and adrenaline from stress correctly. This is the key to productivity — not working every hour until you drop.
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- 5 Ways To Make Your Stressful Start Up Positively Productive - November 18, 2017