Sunday, 5 August 2012

Stop faffing about

I just read a great post on Techcrunch called "First-time tech entrepreneurs - Stop fucking around" that discusses all sorts of procrastination we face when working for ourselves. In writing, I prefer a slightly mellower language, hence the title of this post.

As I'm in the process of starting my own company now, I found the piece intriguing in two ways: First, I recognized myself in some of the ways the author discusses procrastination and at the same time I was happy that I'm immune to some others. Let's take the more memorable ones one by one:

1. "Your workdays are sacred". The author urges us to fend off stuff that's not related to our business. "If someone just wants to meet up, turn it down or defer them to the weekend." That's definitely a big one for me. I tend to allow many non-work related things to slip through - be it tennis (my only form of workout), house chores or a friendly coffee with an ex colleague. Especially with the latter I allow myself to interpret "business purpose" a bit loosely and fool myself that it all serves a networking goal. This will definitely be a challenge going forward but I trust that the article has given me a good impulse to push some things away a bit more.

2. Find your thing: Allow yourself the occasional thing once a week that makes you unwind. I agree but I often think that I'm doing that way too much - tennis, drinks with friends, my band. Something's gotta give and I'm really not very good at saying no as often as I should.

3. Use a project management tool like Asana and have everyone else on the team to use it. Big credit to my co-founder here who was right and I was wrong and I'm a devotee of Asana now.

4. Use the 20 minute rule: If something can't be solved/decided in 20 minutes, don't dwell on it and move on. I don't necessarily agree with it

5. Respect the zone: That's a big one. I need to do a better job at switching off all the other distractors that can disturb important tasks that require concentration.

From my experience, I would add to this list:

  • Not every email warrants an answer
  • Don't get too creative in the kitchen (unless it serves the business purpose like in my case)
  • Don't let the phone interrupt you but call people back when you have finalized one task
And now, back to work!


Ankur said...

Very intresting.

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