Hackernoon logo5 Productivity Hacks for Solo Founders by@davidplumridge

5 Productivity Hacks for Solo Founders

David Plumridge Hacker Noon profile picture

@davidplumridgeDavid Plumridge

Likes to build things

Let's be honest, starting a business can be challenging, but for many people (like me) - it's a lifelong dream. Although many people feel more comfortable starting a business with a co-founder - it's not always the best decision.

One of the first lessons every solo founder has to learn is that people, even your closest ones, won't always understand (or agree with) what your big dream is.

A co-founder can complement your skill-set and speed up the process of building a business, other times they won't be on the same page and perhaps not share the same work ethic as you.

Sometimes, it's not possible to find the right co-founder. If you decide to go at it alone, make sure you are prepared to be front and center for all successes and failures.

It's not easy bringing your vision to life and it can be really hard to stay accountable, motivated, and productive when you're working alone. Here are my top 5 productivity tips for solo founders.

1. Goal Setting

If you want to achieve something great, setting goals and writing them down is just the first step. Bringing your start-up to life requires a plan, accountability, motivation, and focus.

When I talk about goals, I'm not just talking about the big stuff - I am also talking about small steps that need to be taken every day.

Many people give up in the early days, usually because it feels way too big and unachievable. The trick is to break down your goals into small tasks that can be done daily.

Personally, I enjoy using Trello to write down a list of tasks and prioritize them. I find it beneficial to set goals for each day, week, and month. I'm then able to track my results & learn from my successes and failures.

It's important to make a realistic plan that you can really push through. Don't start with 20 tasks per day that you won't be able to get done, but rather start with 3-5 daily goals and stay committed to accomplishing them.

This will help you stop feeling guilty all the time for not working on your goals and will make you start feeling proud every time you scratch the tasks off from your list.

If you're finding it hard to stay focused on your goals, consider using an Accountability Partner to help stay on track. I've paired up with a friend who is also starting a business. We make sure that the other person is staying focused and getting stuff done.

Keep the process simple and repeatable. You'd be surprised how far you will get if you focus on the most important tasks each day.

2. Do the Most Important Things First

You know that call that you've been avoiding or that email to a potential investor or person who can help you out you've been putting off because of your fear of being rejected?

Think about the important things you've been putting off for quite some time and commit to yourself that once you start the day - you will do the most important thing first. I heard about this concept when I read a book called Eat the Frog.

It doesn't even have to be business-related. If you hate working out, but you know you got to do it to keep your body and mind clear, do it the first in the morning.

Once you start doing the hard things first, you'll start going through the day more relaxed because you won't be dealing with the big pink elephant in your head that keeps reminding you of the things that are still not done.

The funny thing is that such tasks usually take a short period of time to actually get done, but we keep torturing ourselves for weeks, or even months and years.

3. Work On Your Ideas for at Least 10 Minutes a Day

Working as a solo founder, especially if you still didn't quit your job, can take a lot of your time and energy. How many times have you told yourself that you will get more things done for your business, but at the end of the day, you feel so exhausted you just don't feel like it?

The main problem with starting is that we rarely feel like it, but if you start working on your ideas for only 10 minutes a day, it will seem achievable and easy to do. Just 10 minutes and that's it! Such a short time frame is something that sounds manageable and that you can stick to, so it takes the whole pressure off.

The exciting part about this concept is that there is a pretty big chance that you will continue working even after your 10 minutes are over. We often don't realize that the actual job that needs to be done is rarely the problem - the starting part is.

4. Have a Clear Morning Routine

It's not about when you wake up, it's how you wake up. If you
keep running through your days and still don't manage to fit everything into your 24 hours, there's a pretty big chance you don't have a clear morning routine.

Having a morning routine will help you set the tone for the day
and will allow you to control your schedule, rather than having it the other
way around.

There are so many people talking and writing about the perfect routine, but the important thing is finding one that works for you. Personally, my morning routine is a combination of what a few famous people do.

It's important to test, experiment and tweak your routine until you find what's right for you. It will have such a massive impact on all areas of your life once you find the best (and repeatable) way to start your day.

5. Stay connected with like-minded people

One of the challenges solo founders are facing is not feeling
isolated. It's much easier to get energy and fresh ideas when you're surrounded by people who are sharing your passion and vision, but if you're working by yourself, it can get hard to get motivated so brainstorming for new ideas can be quite challenging.

That's why it's extremely important to experience and try out
different things. Start hanging out with people you can learn from, read, and listen to podcasts and share your ideas with people you trust. Most
importantly, make sure you have a mentor who can give you honest feedback.

Working solo doesn't mean that you're completely left to
yourself and getting inspired by same-minded people will boost your creativity and help you to finally get where you want and need to be.


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