Oct. 4, 2016

Stay Productive! Top Tips for Startup Owners and Employees

Thomas Oppong

Working in a startup is cool and exciting, but that doesn’t mean the job is less challenging. In fact, most startups – especially those who are still bootstrapping – often ask a lot of their workers. Late hours, weekends at the office and still plenty of tasks to bring home with you are not uncommon at all.

The burden is even heavier if you’re an owner or part-owner of the startup. The responsibility is yours to carry, which means you often have to work twice as hard. The next few tips we are about to discuss in this article will help you keep up with all that and stay productive.

Know your limits

Having a balanced life is the key to staying productive. You can only push so hard; at one point, you will feel burnt out and your productivity will start to decline. In fact, going on an all-work routine with long hours will reduce your productivity level much quicker than you think.

I know there are so many things to do in order for the startup to be successful. You may even want to contribute more to the success of the company. These are great intentions, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice other parts of your life to get there.

At the end of the day, you just have to know your limits. When you start feeling burnt out, take a walk or go on a relaxing getaway. A movie night or a staycation over the weekend is often enough to get you energized and ready for more challenges.

It is also a great idea as a startup owner to schedule similar activities to keep all employees fresh and full of energy. You’ll be surprised by how much going out for a relaxing dinner with the team will boost productivity.

Stay off medication

Another increasingly common trend among startup workers and owners is relying on medications to perform better. This is a dangerous path to choose and will only lead to more problems in the future.

I’m not just talking about prescription medications like Z-Pak either. Energy drinks, strong coffee and other substances that are believed to help with productivity can quickly turn into sources of problems.

The best way to avoid this is to avoid them altogether. There are better ways you stay healthy and high-spirited. That brings us to the next tip on our list, which is….

Make time for the gym

The best way to stay energized when you’re under a heavy workload is to take the time off and simply exercise. This is part of the reason why bigger, more successful startups have their own fitness room at their offices.

Exercising can really help with a lot of things. It can help improve your body’s natural metabolism, allowing for better blood circulation. This, in turn, helps with focus and concentration.

Exercising regularly will also help you fight common fatigue problems. Feeling sleepy in the middle of the day? Taking 15 minutes off work to exercise can help you fight the sleepiness in no time. Sometimes, even sitting back and taking deep breaths can help.

Manage your tasks

It is easy to get stressed out by the pile of work you still have to finish by the end of the day. The stress certainly doesn’t help and will only push your productivity further down. When you’re facing a heavy workload, take a step back and find ways to handle it properly.

First, organize the tasks you have at hand based on priority. You can then choose to work on them in order, either start with the ones that you can finish the quickest or with the ones you like doing the most. As you finish one task and move on to the next one, give yourself a little reward.

Again, this is an approach that startup owners can also encourage workers to take. Reward your employees for every completed task and you’ll see a jump in productivity almost immediately.

Do it together!

There are plenty of things to do in order to take a startup to its maximum potential. Fortunately, you don’t have to do these things alone. One of the best things about working in a startup is the fact that you can share the workload with coworkers.

Most startups are designed to be open and casual. You will also be part of a team from the moment you start working. Instead of relying on yourself, learn to work together and cover each other. Life as a startup owner or worker will be so much easier – and so much more fun – this way.