One of the easiest traps I realized when I had an operational role in a startup was to get buried by everyday stuff to do. Doing this research, updating tweets, tracking a bug, preparing that report, responding to unclear business inquiry, etc. etc.
Getting things done makes you feel good for sure. But, you need to make sure that the stuff you are doing and checking off of your list is the right thing to do at the time. If it is not necessary or doesn’t have any impact on desired outcome, then the time and energy you used to finish the task is complete waste. Even worse, it gives you a false sense of accomplishment.
There are only a few things that matter depending on your phase. Get a new user. Make a user happy. Engage a user. Decreases user dropout. Increase revenue. So on and so forth. Does the stuff you are doing right now contribute to any of these?
Most of the to-dos and daily routine were planned at some point to address these, but they may not be appropriate any longer. Situation may have changed or they simply have lost meaning behind once assigned to someone else.
It’s about the old efficiency vs. effectiveness dilemma. There is no point in executing wrong things perfectly.
It is so easy though to postpone what really matters. Life goes on by attacking to-do list heads down day in and day out. Especially so when you are swamped or even have a not-so-enlightened micromanaging boss. What you have to do is to step back once in a while and evaluate if you are moving to the right direction.
You gotta start and move a step forward. Easier said than done, I know. This is a note to myself as well. I had procrastinated for too long to do this first post. The theme and rest of the setting is not done yet, but so what, it doesn’t matter.