I'll discuss what it takes to get super productive in the valley, and I will share several productivity hacks that have helped me.
On Quora, the question "How do you stay productive in Silicon Valley?", has received 3+ answers. With great productivity comes great responsibility.
So, for the next article, we'll explore the top productivity hacks in the valley.
In the early days of a startup, it is common to burn out. There are many reasons why burnout happens in the beginning.
You're young. No one is there to tell you no and how you are feeling.
You're overworked and trying to get a product out. You are so focused on your goal you are probably ignoring your physical and mental health.
You've only known the startup life for a few months and probably don't have a support system that you know you need to make it.
You feel great on the outside, but you may not feel great on the inside.
Because of the aforementioned reasons, it is best to avoid startup burnout. Let me clarify something.
I'm not saying to be intense or driven. You have to be intense and driven if you are going to be the best at your company, but too much intensity and motivation can go too far.
The biggest productivity hack that I have implemented in my life and productivity routine to avoid burnout is to get away from it.
Get out of your office to focus on truly important things. Working in the kitchen may work best for you if your office is a kitchen.
Going to the library may work if your office is the library. This is important because when I'm in the center of the frenzy of the valley, I have a hard time remembering that I am getting stuff done.
When I'm back in New York, working on what is important, I'm reminded of the importance of my work.
Sleep is so underrated. If you are not sleeping enough, you are setting yourself up to not be productive.
According to the Harvard Business Review, "The biggest productivity hack in the world is sleeping more.
It's more important for your productivity than caffeine or walking faster. It's more important for your productivity than face time with your clients or the way you talk on the phone."
Sleep is something you need in your life to be productive. Sleeping less and being more productive will set you back.
There are many activities you can do to help you sleep:
Wake up at the same time every day (e.g. 6 AM) and go to sleep at the same time every night (e.g. 11 PM). Stop staying up later.
Once you are in the middle of the workday and you have to wake up, stop working on stuff after hours.
In the beginning, if you have a deadline at midnight, then it is smart to wake up in the middle of the night and work.
But if you want to be productive, do it during normal hours. Limit your use of electronic devices.
You don't have to unplug completely, but you have to limit your use.
Even if you're tired, go watch a TV show or play a game. Research has found that the blue light from electronic devices (e.g. phones, tablets) in the morning can affect your brain's ability to wake up.
By limiting your blue light exposure, you will be able to get a full night of sleep. Using a sleep app can also help you track your sleep.
Eat the right foods. Protein and healthy fats are good for your body to recover after a full night of sleep.
Oatmeal is a great, healthy way to start your day. Good fats will help fuel your body for the day and keep your energy levels high.
Keep a sleep schedule. I believe your body adapts to your sleep schedule, and if you are constantly changing your sleep schedule, your body is constantly battling a sleep deficit.
If you consistently wake up at 7:00 AM, you will be less likely to need an 8:00 AM wake-up.
Life is hectic. You have so much going on and you want to do a million things in a day.
I get it. But if you allow personal relationships to become a distraction, then you won't be productive.
My wife and I have put in place a rule in our home: if there are no personal items in the car, we don't leave the house.
If we leave the house without items that belong to ourselves, then we come back and put the items away. As soon as I tell her where to go, she is on it.
This way, we don't become a distraction to each other. We don't hold each other up.
We have fun together. We can still get stuff done when we are together, but we have time for the things that are important to each of us, such as our family.
As far as personal relationships go, I also try to not let little things get to me.
As someone who has been an entrepreneur since the age of 14, it's easy to get stressed about little things.
But I try to focus on how the little things don't really matter in the long run.
In a world that is filled with distractions, it's important to focus on the most important things.