A startupist’s typical start-up life
When it comes to the word ‘startup’, it seems like only a single word; however a load of tasks must be done and a lot of work hours must be filled. If you see your startupist friend making a lot of money, it is not because he was lucky, but because he has transcended beyond his own limitations in terms of time and energy. When other people have a 9 to 5 working day (8 to 4 in some other cultural contexts) and wait for their monthly salary, a startupist lives on the margins, and works hard from 5-5, (whether both AM or both PM; it makes no difference.)
The way they work always reminds me of the following quote by Confucius:
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
For a startupist, being alone and helpless in the beginning of his/her venture is something natural. So, as a startupist, just be patient and strive to use your time and energy efficiently. Forget about inviting people to help you because most of your friends or colleagues are accustomed to their typical jobs and the wages they make on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Be sure that you are alone and have no choice other than to trust your own energy, confidence, capability, and the limited options around you. Don’t expect any extra hands from even your closest friends.
A startupist’s tasks, sub-tasks, or maybe sub-sub-tasks
Normally a fresh startupist’s daily tasks are divided into two or three parts, depending on the digital market in which they are going to be active, as follows:
- Website-related tasks (from being active on social networks to producing content for the site…)
- Studying and learning
- His/her daily work as a mechanic, teacher or whatever. Of course, those who have no sponsors need to stand on their own feet to win some bread.
So, let’s take a look at tasks related to the website itself:
- Producing textual content
- Producing videos (in the next steps if needed)
- Re-planning and redesigning as the website improves
As a startupist, you may need to learn Photoshop, Premier, or Camtasia or even other software depending on the type of activity your website does. For example, a website which is about English learning requires different content compared to a website which is about furniture or dairy products. In other words, the nature of the content depends on the nature of the website itself.
It is true that Rome was not built overnight
So far, we and other startupists have learnt that when one wants to launch a digital market, a great deal of time and energy is needed. It is a good idea to take a look at the table below, which demonstrates the starting and flourishing times of some startups.
A possible good technique to save your time
Let’s start with a question. How many minutes or hours do you waste during one year, one month, one day, 30 minutes, or one minute? As you can figure out, there is a correlation between the time span and the possibility of wasting time. The bigger span, the greater possibility there is to waste time. If you have only a glass of 30 minutes to write (not to drink) a composition in an exam, for example, you will drink every single drop of that time effectively.
To do a task, choose a block of time within which you actually cannot do anything else. For example, 30 minutes or 45 minutes would suffice. It is up to you. What should you do within this time frame? You should choose one task and focus on finishing that specific task. No tea, coffee or chatting with a friend, not even answering a phone call. Seems a bit tough, but it will help you do your tasks smoothly and above all, be satisfied at the end of the day. In fact, time is not money; it is a tool for making money but only if used efficiently. Time can make money and bring prosperity for you as long as you keep it alive.
Tabulate your tasks and spice it with times you have to study and learn about your new venture and the tools you require.
How is our time killed and saved?
It is always difficult to break old habits or replace them with new ones, but it is essential. If you want to reach your desired goals, you need to develop and also get rid of some habits. As Brian Tracy says, “Successful people are simply those with success habits.” I would say that killing seconds is the worst habit that someone can grow in oneself but saving them is a success habit. The difference will be seen in the long term. In fact, we kill time second by second, so it will survive only if you feed it. How? By using it in an appropriate way.
The time is murdered when two, three, or four hours is spent on doing one task. In this case:
- Your telephone may ring several times and you have to answer
- You may get distracted by other things
- You may get tired of doing one thing for hours
What if you spend as short as thirty minutes on only one task?
- You can manage the task and the time effectively
- You won’t be distracted because the specified time is too short for distractions, but long enough to do/finish something useful or at least complete part of it.
- You won’t get frustrated with doing only one task for hours.
There are always some tasks for which we can never plan, but have to do them as soon as they arise. For example, when your son/daughter gets sick, the time one of your pipes starts leaking, or when some guests arrive out of the blue. You must get back to work as soon as they have been sorted out. Note that you are not living in an isolated environment, so unplanned tasks are part of your life; not external disturbances which will derail your life or your fledgling business. Therefore, accept them willingly. To manage these tasks better, use stickers and stick them on the wall in front of you. Do them as soon as they emerge and don’t postpone them until sometime later.
It is possible to save a lot of time and use it effectively, only if a startupist learns to cut 24 hours within small fragments and consume them wisely. Listing your tasks only is not enough and does not help, unless your specify a short (shorter than one single hour) to them. If more time needed, again it must be planned within the time frame mentioned above. Never kill your time, if you want your business to survive.
Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.
– Charles Duhigg