Startup plan builders hate waste of time. They constantly work on focusing – on what’s important and what isn’t. I found they managed highly disciplined calendars, yet maintained flexibility and were swift to respond to encounters that popped up – good and bad.
1. Focus the Business
Over decades I could see that startup veterans consistently begin by deciding on how to focus the business – first timers struggled greatly with that. Veterans had learned that great startups succeed focusing on doing one thing best – so customers rave about what they offer.
2. Focus Your Priorities
Focus is also about setting priorities. I noted that effective startup builders constantly re-prioritized their to-dos daily, hourly. Mentally juggling while getting each task done.
3. Focus Your Calendar
I’ve found startup builders immediately get control of their calendar – they drive it, instead of letting it driving them crazy. They lock in firm days for re-occurring group meetings each month
4. Focus Your Days
Then the veterans focus their own weeks. They begin by blocking time each day to do solo work – they make meetings with themselves, and do not interrupt them.
5. Focus Your Meetings
Then the builders focus their choice of singular meetings, selecting only just the important ones. With the monthly and solo meetings in the calendar taking up space, the inevitable one-time group meetings must be fitted into the remaining space.
6. Focus Your Day.
Noteworthy is a daily discipline I watched work well with startup veterans. They ended each day by choosing the most important task to complete the next day. Starting with a too-long-to-do list, they sorted it (perhaps into Covey’s Quadrant), picked from the most important tasks, and labeled them as “As”. Then they picked one: it become their “A1” for the next day. It’s a focus tool that made them very effective.
7. Calendar Rhythm
I could tell when a startup was managing its growth well as I entered the room. I could see and even feel the rhythm. Its calendar regularity was evident as people actively and quietly working, exuding confidence. They had set into motion a cadence beat that kept the growing number of employees on the same focused path. They were confident of weathering inevitable crises that would come.
That’s how startup builders focus on what’s important.
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I wish you The Best on your adventure!