While working at my company – https://www.proteges.eu, a startup focussed on people & health – for over a year now, I notice that there is a lot that needs to be done when you’re in the product development space. And I get it. All sides of building a business need to be addressed. But going about without focus is one of the worst things one could do. ESPECIALLY AT A SMALL company.
Busy Times, They Are
Market research, Partnering up, idea validation, creating PoC’s and MVP’s, recruitment, Sales and Marketing, setting up landing pages. And I didn’t even bring up medical trials, GDPR compliance, facilitating pilots, keeping up-to-date with the development tools and landscape, etc.
When a bunch of people is working hard on such a diverse set of tasks, its easy to get caught up in everyday life. In getting your task list done, and keeping up.
Sometimes it even seems as if people are hiding in their busy schedules to convince themselves that they’re busy so it should work. But this behavior isn’t rational.
Have you ever seen a runner run towards somewhere, not knowing where and for how long he/she should be running? Ofcourse not. Motion and activity isn’t the same as creating value. Focussed activity that is mindful on what its goals are IS VALUE CREATION.
What I’ve found the most encouraging to do amongst the chaos that arises, is keeping focus. Too often people are getting trapped in day-to-day tasks and it is so, sooo easy to lose track of what you want to achieve.
It’s the same as riding a bike or driving behind the wheel: you need to look at the point where you want to go to keep on track. Otherwise you’ll end in the gutter besides the road. So keep looking at your main goal and always try to evaluate if what you are planning to do today / have been doing yesterday attributes to that goal in one way or another.
Remove The Ballast
While coding on solutions, networking, helping people how to fix their problems and challenges, keeping an open mind is important in the early stages of startup life. And a lot of activity can intervene with keeping an optimal agenda and a clean focus.
So I advice everyone the following – if you aren’t doing this already – steps:
- Get together with your team ????????⚕️???
- Write down your goals for this and the next year ?
- Go backwards from there and see how you’ll meet them ?⏮
- (This is a hard one!) Make the actions S.M.A.R.T. and set stakeholders on each action ?
- Set between 2 – 4 checkpoint moments a year to see where you’re at AS A TEAM ?
- Set a weekly reminder* in your own agenda to see if YOUR WORK has been / will be adding up to the team’s goals
*: I write a short “what have I done last week, what will I be working on this week” mail that I send each monday morning. It helps me to document, communicate my work topics and intent of the upcoming week. This is a perfect moment to evaluate if those things contributed to a goal.
Nope, it isn’t ? rocket science, but it IS a good way to keep your focus where it should be ? .
Take care and wishing you a focussed voyage