Delete To Compete

Man on top of mountain sitting on the rock watching a nice sunrise in the village“As a founder in the early stages, it is extremely important for the company to stay focused on its core mission.” This is what Darpan Munjal, Founder & CEO of Squadhelp, said to me in this week’s podcast interview.

He went on to say, “It’s not easy to say no.”

Darpan’s company has experienced a lot of success as the go-to place for crowdsourced naming options for new business and products. He attributes the success of Squadhelp to keeping his team focused on doing only one thing well.

It’s an important idea for all of us to keep in mind. I’d like to take it one step further.

It becomes increasingly important to delete to complete.

Darpan spoke about keeping his team focused. What about YOU? How do you keep yourself focused?

One way to keep yourself, a busy Founding CEO, focused is to delete as much as possible from your calendar. Yes! Be ruthless about it. If it doesn’t relate to your family, growth as a leader, or the singular focus of your company, delete it.

Why is this so important?

I can tell you from first hand experience that being a CEO is often more about energy management than it is about time management. Energy management means you preserve your best self for the key challenges that your company needs you to handle.

Building a great company takes enormous energy. Deleting the extraneous from your calendar helps you to avoid calendar vampires.

What are some examples of calendar vampires?

  • Do you take breakfast, lunch, dinner, or coffee meetings with people where the agenda or objective is unknown?
  • Do you accept speaking engagements where the business purpose is unclear?
  • Do you attend internal meetings that are not really ready for your involvement?
  • Do you gravitate toward aimlessly watching Youtube videos, keeping facebook open, or channel surfing?
  • Do you accept calls from friends, family, or fans who want to “pick your brain?”
  • Are you “over-volunteering” in your startup community?
  • Are serving on a not-for-profit board when you really don’t have the time?
  • Are you training for a 10K?

These are some of the things many of you have told me fill your calendar with no real measurable impact on the business you have poured your soul into.

These activities are important. They have their time and place…when your company has traction, you have a high performing team, and you have a spot in your energy matrix that allows for them.

Delete so you can compete.

My guess is you have a lot on your calendar that you can get rid of right now. You don’t believe me? Here are three exercises that might make you think differently about how you use your time as a Founding CEO.

  • Go back and review your calendar for the last month. Rate each activity on a scale of 1-5. 1 is not productive or relevant to the business and 5 is very relevant and productive for the business.
  • Start color coding your calendar. Time with your team. Time with your investors. Etc. Then go back and take a look at the last month.
  • Ask your team what they think about where you spend your time.

What are some of the things you have found on your calendar that just need to be deleted?

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