Leadership

The entrepreneur’s dilemma: How do you prioritise everything?

Callum Humphreys /

As a founder, you’re probably very aware of the importance of prioritising things. It helps you stay on track and keeps all the essential tasks completed. However, how do you prioritise when everything seems important?

We’ve all probably felt overwhelmed at least once in our life. What happens when that feeling remains for months or years? This is very often how a founder feels. The truth is, we can only balance so much before it becomes unbearable.

Here are our top tips on prioritising and keeping your life as stress-free and well-rounded as possible.

1. Your at-work tasks 

So, you go into your startup or company, and it seems like you have 500 things waiting for you to do. As a founder, I can completely relate.

Of course, it would be fantastic if we could all have a personal assistant, but that isn’t realistic for everybody. So, here are the ultimate founder hacks that I live by:

Start and end the day with admin work. Things like replying and checking emails, sorting out paperwork, finances, graphic design work, and all those other tedious tasks. This helps you wake up and get in the groove, and end feeling organised and relaxed.

  • Eat the frog. For those not familiar with the phrase, it basically means getting the worst task out of the way first. If you keeping avoiding it, it only gets worse.
  • Assess the value. How vital is each task, really? Could some of them be postponed for a couple of days, which ones are urgent?
  • Know when to eliminate. Some tasks just aren’t worth your time or effort.
  • Don’t use too many organisation tools. Stick to one diary and one tool. Otherwise, you’ll begin to feel overwhelmed.

2. Your relationships

As a founder, you might start to distance yourself from your friends, family, and partner. This could be by accident, or on purpose to free up your time.

Relationships are so important. We are social creatures, after all, never forget that.

Take time to schedule catchups, dates, and movie nights. It only takes a couple hours from your day, and will make you feel so much better.

You never know, talking to people about your problems as a founder might just help you. It could also open your eyes and some doors to new opportunities.

To prioritise these, schedule time in your week for each. It doesn’t have to be long, but at least you’ll get those human connections that you’re unknowingly craving.

3. Your mental health

Building a great company should never come at the expense of your mental health. For this reason, at the top of your priorities should be:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Self-care

You’re a founder, not a machine. You need to put your phone down at the end of the day and get a good night’s sleep. You need to go jogging or take a few exercise classes to burn off steam. You need to meditate or indulge yourself in luxury to feel relaxed.

Book trips away. Treat yourself to a spa day. Journal. Go on a hike. Do things that make your mental health better, whatever it is.

Your founder story is personal to you. Ignore the ones you read online and gather what you need emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Maybe you need your family and a good night’s sleep?

Perhaps you need to organise your paperwork which has been stressing you out?

List everything you need to do from most important, to the least. Not for your business, but for you. Sure, a phone call to a client might be super important, and a phone call to your friend may just have to come in front.

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Callum Humphreys

Callum is the founder of the Sydney based design agency Creato Design. Creato helps Australian businesses with their logos, websites and graphic design.

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