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Working on like a bazillion things but still feeling not productive?

When you start a startup, you typically work a lot, usually on many different things all at the same time. At times it can feel a bit uncoordinated and even make people feel less productive. Although they do a lot, sometimes in the evening one looks back and thinks ‘what did I actually do today?’

There can be many reasons why this happens

One of the most common reasons is that we do work on many small things but do not really keep track of them. This could be replying to emails, doing paperwork, calling the accountant, etc. These small things are of course important but compared to other things happening during the same day, like creating new product features, agreeing on a new design language, moving forward with important partnerships, hiring a new employee, etc. they might still look less important.

Get organized

One of the most important things is actually very simple: have an up-to-date todo-list and actually use it. But don’t just put all the tasks on one list because then it will simply grow without end. It might make more sense to have two todo-lists: a short-term and a long-term one. The short-term one should only have tasks, which you really intend to work on within one day or one week for example. On the long-term one, you can basically add whatever you want. And always when you completed a couple of tasks from the short-term list, simply move some over from the long-term one.

In addition it can help to reserve some mediation time every morning, like 5 to 10 minutes, to plan the day. This would also be the time to check the todo-lists, to make sure they still make sense.

Mark things as done

There’s one more important thing, which can be done. As Marc Andreessen pointed out, it can be very helpful to create an anti-todo-list.

So, what is an anti-todo-list? It’s actually a very simple but very powerful thing: always when a task is completed, note it down on your anti-todo-list. It doesn’t really matter how small the task is, the only things that matters is that it consumed some of your time and that you completed it.

After a day’s work is done, simply look at your anti-todo-list and smile. Yes, you did all these things in a single day!

Being organized helps big time

We tried the above described techniques for quite some time now and although it needs time to get used to it, it works and helps!

Being organized can be very rewarding but it also requires discipline, especially in the beginning. If you’re not organized all the time, it will feel like a waste of time because you will constantly be trying to catch up. But if you are organized constantly, you will be able to work faster, more productive, and even feel better.

Now gather all your newly won motivation from being organized and start a startup with Founder2be and become part of one of the biggest co-founder finding communities!


Image by pjohnkeane.

Filed under productive productivity hard work to-do todo-list anti-todo-list organized getting things done