as possible with the time available to them can make a significant difference in not just
- Outsource the mundane. For start ups this becomes a necessity. As they are wearing multiple hats to get things going, it is critical they put their focus on what is important for them to be doing and find others to take care of the daily 'chores' that need to be done but that don't require them to do it. Certainly this is a key concept highlighted in Timothy Ferriss' The 4-Hour Work Week, but one you need to begin to take to heart. Regardless of your level within a corporation, you likely could benefit from a part-time Virtual Assistant of some kind, if only to handle some basic clerical work for you. Don't limit it to work-only activities though. Consider grocery services, full laundry services, house-cleaning... All of the activities that need to get done but don't need you - specifically - to do them. Do the math. Often these services cost less for you to hire someone to do them for you than they would cost you to do them personally.
- Book yourself into meetings - with yourself. In these days of open calendars, you can get booked into meetings with others until your day has run away from you. Ensure that you book blocks of time into your calendar that are for you. Treat them as sacred. Don't treat them lightly or trade them away too readily. These are scheduled blocks of uninterrupted time that allow you to fully immerse yourself into a project, allowing your focus to be unbroken and you to surge ahead. This time doesn't happen unless you make it happen. Schedule it weeks and months ahead so that it's there waiting for you.
- Don't create MORE mundane work for yourself. In meetings we have a tendency to promise to send information, make a connection for someone, set up another meeting. Don't add it to your to-do list... do it then. If it is something you are doing for the person you are with they will not resent your sending an email right then and there. Now it's not an empty promise, it's a done deal... and it never made it onto a to-do list!
- Trim your meetings. We have a habit of booking meetings in 1 hour blocks or, at minimum, in 30 minute increments. Shave time off your meetings, adding them to your day, by booking what you need. If you only need 12 minutes - book that! Trim the excess up front so others know it will be a targeted meeting. Teach others to be respectful of your time while you are being respectful of theirs.
- Always take the networking meeting. We all live busy lives with more to do than the time to get it done. Therefore, we tend to put off networking meetings thinking we will get to when we have more time - which we never have. Those in start ups know that networking with others is critical to their success. In today's business environment it is critical to everyone's success. Nothing is stable. Building your network, keeping it apprised of what you're doing, helping others within it, are activities that WILL serve you well and is always time that you are investing in your future. Don't go crazy but don't overlook its value. Successful entrepreneurs and start ups don't, you shouldn't either!