“Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.” – Michael Jordan

Productivity is a key ingredient startup founders need to have both in their organization’s processes and employees. Productivity is measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input. Let us look at 7 Productivity Hacks startup founders can utilize in order for their businesses to be successful.

1. Focus

This is one of the essential features every startup needs. It is easy to get carried away with other matters such as finalizing the marketing materials for the business, hiring people when it is not needed or focusing on other events in your life when you really should be focusing on growing the business.

Make it a practice to always question what you’re working on by asking, “What’s the one thing I can do, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

This is also known as a “focusing question” that will force you to do the things that matter against the many trivial things that don’t matter.

It is important that you maintain a healthy work-life balance, but while you are at work, you need to focus purely on work while keeping other distractions away.

So that even if you work only 6 – 7 hours per day, it will be highly productive. Germans follow this principle where they work only for a less number of hours per day (less than 8) but they focus only on work during that time frame to ensure that high productivity levels are achieved. At the same time, when they are at home with their families, they do not concentrate or think about work which is the ideal scenario to maintain a good work-life balance.

2. Implement Systems and Processes

The main reason for the failure of many growing companies is due to a lack of proper processes within the Organisation. Some Organisations still follow manual procedures which lead to human error and mismanagement.

For example, if the sales team needs to submit manual timesheets of their sales visits, they could mismanage it and enter wrong data and information. However, if a mobile App or a software system is provided to them, they can enter the correct information when a job is done. Furthermore, the time sheets which are generated through a mobile App or the Software could be linked to an accounting software platform which is used by the Organisation, thus eliminating human error or mismanagement, which in the long term if left unchecked, could have drastic consequences on the company.

3. Hire Slow, Fire Fast

To achieve great things, you need to have great people on board. Some founders make the mistake of hiring staff before they even get started on the business which leads to major issues. Take time in hiring people to your team, who believes in your vision and what your Startup does.

After you hire, you need to be realistic on what can be delivered by your team. If they need support or training, you should be available to provide that. However, after a while, if you realise the things are not working out and the results are not progressing, you need to have the courage to let them go.

4. Define Roles and Delegate

A trait found in a good leader is the ability to define roles and delegate work among his/ her subordinates. Once the business grows, it is important to understand that you should hire the right people for the right job and delegate work accordingly.

Delegating goes beyond passing on all the work to your subordinates and hoping the end result will be positive. It is essential that you monitor the work of your team members on a continuous basis so that you are aware of their progress and can provide constructive feedback which will enhance both their performance as well as that of the company.

5. Run Productive Meetings

Some employees believe meetings are a waste of time. However meetings are essential in a team environment to know what everyone is working on, so that the Founders can make better decisions.

If you have too few meetings, the founders will lose the pulse of what’s going on with the Startup. If you have too many meetings, it will waste time of your team.

Always have an agenda or an outline prepared before the meeting, so that you can cover the essential items at the beginning. Avoid the temptation to cover unrelated or unnecessary topics that every team member wants to discuss.

6. Prioritise the To-Do List

As the Founder of the Company, it is important to have a To-Do list on a daily basis before you start work. But unlike standard To-Do lists with a never-ending list of items, identify what’s important to the company. In a Startup, you may feel that all tasks are urgent and need to be done right now, however the best Founders can filter the important from the urgent and work on the important tasks first.

After you prepare your ToDo list for the day, ask the “focusing question” again. “What’s the one item I can do, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Then work on that task as the first item.

7. Surround Yourself with the Right People

“You are the average of the five people you most associate with” – Jim Rohn

Try to surround yourself with people who are better than you or who are always trying harder to reach up. This will help you to stay motivated when you go through a tough time. You can do this by being a Startup co-working space, having mentors or just by reading books by successful business founders.