Stressed Out? Try Working Smarter. These days, it seems like the startup world is all about the “hustle.” Work harder, longer, and faster, and you’ll be sure to beat out your competition…right?
Not always. Much of the startup world’s hustle culture comes from a spirit of machismo—the kind that fuels brogrammers on late nights of coding, but doesn’t necessarily serve the startup world at large. A wiser motto for the savvy startup entrepreneur? Work smarter, not harder by investing less time and money and still achieving quality results.
The digital age offers scores of tools to make your entrepreneurial life a whole lot easier. Of course, this isn’t an excuse to start slacking. Make use of these tools and techniques to save time on simpler tasks so that you can focus on what’s important.
Social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest make PR and marketing well within the capacity of any startup entrepreneur. I’m particularly fond of HootSuite, an app that allows you to schedule tweets to be posted throughout the day, so you don’t have to be glued to the computer all day.
And for communication within your company, who can deny the wonders of Google apps? In my book, Gmail, Gchat, and Google Docs make the world go round, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the merits of Skype for videoconferencing and DropBox for file sharing.
The best entrepreneurs know when they’ve taken on too much. Instead of hustling your way through a heavy workload, consider hiring freelancers. Sites like Elance can help you find programmers, developers, designers, writers, and marketers who can do the work that you need to get done for you company. For smaller, yet perhaps more tedious tasks, consider shopping them out to online workplaces Amazon’s Mechanical Turk or oDesk.
But if a task needs to get done and it really has to be you who completes it, try using a productivity app to stay focused. Wunderlist is great to-do list app that syncs with almost any platform, which means you’ll never be without your to-do list. And added perk? Compared to its competitor OmniFocus’ $80 price tag, Wunderlist is 100% free. But if you need an extra push to get your work done, try Carrot—it uses negative reinforcement techniques to essentially bully you into finishing the items on your to-do list.
A final word of advice? Take breaks when you need them. Whether it’s a 15-minute walk outside or a two-week vacation, sometimes you need to take some time away from the office to reevaluate what’s important to you and to your business. Don’t underestimate the effect that clear eyes and a clear head can have on your vision for your company.
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