5 productivity hacks for startup entrepreneurs

by | Aug 17, 2017

Featured Image: Wiertz via Flickr (cc)

Staying productive is one thing you can never do without as a startup entrepreneur. Especially, at the early stage of your business. This is so because, you are most likely going to be the only one — or one of few — doing marketing, building product, making sales and probably some PR.

It is very important to maximise the use of your time at this stage. Someone once told me how they wished we had more than 24 hours in a day — which is not possible except you are in space.

But is there a way to play this entrepreneurship game and be more productive? The answer is yes. Here are 5 ways you can get more productive as a startup entrepreneur, doing more important work in less time.




Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

One way to be more productive is to automate tasks by creating a process, like a how-to guide, for building your product or getting your product to the end user that anyone, apart from you, can easily follow even when you are not around. This will lift the work off you. And thanks a lot to technology, we now have productivity applications that can also be used to automate tasks.


Doing everything that comes your way at the long run tends to be futile, as you most often discover that you’ve left a lot of the really important tasks undone. As an entrepreneur, you need to prioritise by separating tasks that are important from those that are not.

You need to apply the 80/20 rule that states that 20% of what you do should account for 80% of your results. Your work is to find those 20% and really do them to the core. What causes failure among most startup entrepreneurs is not recognising what task is really important.

To learn more about prioritising, I recommend you read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, specifically the chapter on the principle of personal management (Habit 3).

Work with smart people

The safest way to do this is to hire or co-found with smart people from the start, people who don’t need to be micro-managed, and can think for themselves.

If you hire/work with lazy people, you will end up doing their job and then paying them for you doing their job. It is possible for you to have made this mistake in the past by hiring dumb lazy people. But it is not too late to let them go.


Take Brian Tracy’s advice — the first time you think of firing someone is the best time to do so.


You need to delegate less important tasks to others or quit doing them totally. A good way to know if a task is important is to see if there is a negative consequence for not doing it. And the reverse is also true.

ReadHow to Delegate More Effectively and Hold People Accountable

Learn to say “No”

Saying yes to one thing means saying no to another. I bet you still remember that song you used to sing when you were in primary school. It goes:

“…do not say yes when you mean to say no.”

Yes, that is the one I am talking about. You have to embrace the lesson in that song. The whole essence of entrepreneurship is not about doing many things, it is about doing those little things that really matter.

About the Author

Tope Alao is the co-founder of offkrent.com, Nigeria’s leading online hostel booking platform. You can connect with him on Twitter via @alaotope160.

Guest Contributor
Guest Contributor

Are you in tech and you are looking at getting a foreign remote job or you want to move abroad? Fill this form and you will get the BEST resources to help you get that high paying remote job as well as japa easily! WAGMI!

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Simple, easy to recall pointers. thanks!

Recent News

Reclaiming stolen African artefacts

Reclaiming stolen African artefacts

On #TechpointDigest, Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria) discusses how Traction wants to stop fake alerts, Canza Finance’s journey, Esaal’s $1.7m seed round, and JABU’s $15m series A.

[PODCAST] Relooting African art with NFTs

[PODCAST] Relooting African art with NFTs

What do you think about an NFT project that wants to reclaim Africa’s lost artefacts? Well, the editorial team had some interesting thoughts, and you can listen to this and other stories on today’s episode of #TechpointAfricaPodcast.

$2 million to drive learning via WhatsApp 

$2 million to drive learning via WhatsApp 

On #TechpointDigest, we discuss how major players in the African mobility space can change the mobility narrative, FoondaMate’s $2 million funding, Twitter Create, and AMP’s $5.6 million seed round.

[PODCAST] Taxing calls to give you healthcare

[PODCAST] Taxing calls to give you healthcare

The Nigerian government wants to tax phone calls to provide better healthcare. In today’s edition of the #TechpointAfricaPodcast, we discuss possible implications and upsides to this.

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Blockchain Explorer

Analysis oninnovation, regulations, and trends inthe blockchain sector, as it concerns Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap