What your to-do-list consists of, and what your metrics for measuring progress should be, depend greatly on the stage (see article on stages) you are at. If you spend energy on a task that should not be on your priorities, it is counterproductive. It can be even lethal. No matter how good or hard working you are.
Very few activities done in startups are inherently wrong. They might be exactly right – for someone in a specific situation. But are they right for you, right now is the question.
A common example of this is premature scaling - the #1 cause of startup death. The activities being performed can be exactly the right ones – for someone who is ready to scale. But if you are not, you may commit a suicide as a result.
A related topic is, what should be the key indicators of your progress. If you are in PMF stage trying to measure Customer Love, think what is a good proxy for that? You get what you measure, so picking the right indicators for each stage is important.
- Identify the stage where you are at and what should be on your to do list accordingly
- Identify the right indicator to measure your progress towards your next milestone
Shortage of time is your biggest obstacle - spend it wisely
Time is the biggest shortage startup has. So you need to spend your time doing right things at right time - otherwise you hours will be wasted on doing something that could have been done on later date.
One of the lessons I learned while entrepreneur was: You can spend your time doing things right (corporation) or right things (startup) !