For many first-time startup founders, one common trap is thinking that being “busy” and making “progress” are the same thing. It is somewhat comforting when you are busy. You are in motion and you are on a consistent and fast-paced tempo of completing things on your to-do list. It makes you feel like you are doing “work.”
However, it is very important for startup founders to be efficient with their time. Founders are consistently constrained by resources so they need to make the most of what they have learned and quickly plan their next actions. Reflecting for a few hours per week can help founders to absorb the lessons and the experiences in a shorter time and help them to use their time more efficiently. Below are the points founders should cover when reflecting.
Planned to be done and actually done: What did you plan to have done this week? What were the goals you set for this week? Were you able to complete them? Were you able to meet your goals? If you haven’t been able to accomplish them, then what is the reason and what needs to be changed so that you meet your goals? This is important for analyzing if you have been efficient with your time, if you are able to complete the big things you need to get done, and if any changes are necessary in the way you work.
Your condition: Do you have energy? How is your health? Being an entrepreneur is like being a professional athlete. Maintaining your mental and physical health is a big part of your responsibilities. Add sleeping and exercising to your plan, and also the occasional vacation to prevent a major burnout.
Recalculation: As you learn more about your users, your market, and your business, make adjustments to your growth plan, business plan, and milestones so that you have a more up-to-date and clearer idea of the future of your business.
Winning: Define what it means to be in a “winning state.” What milestones and what accomplishments do you and your company need to achieve that state, and plan the actions to get you there. This will ensure that you don’t become trapped in just operating and managing your company, and actually take the actions necessary for becoming a winner.
What went well, want didn’t: Reflect on the things you’ve tried that worked and what didn’t work. Analyze down to the “why” and use that lesson for your next actions. It is important to take time to understand and absorb the successes and mistakes resulting from your actions.
Revisiting your vision: It is good to revisit the vision you have set for your company. Make sure that the company is heading in the right direction and that you, as a founder, are making bold decisions to ensure that you are on the path.
To be an effective entrepreneur, it is important to spend time on reflecting, which will allow you to get the most from your experiences and lessons and let you think thoroughly about the next steps. The time to reflect can be a few hours during the weekend, or 15 to 30 minutes every morning, whichever is more suitable for you and your schedule.