Time Management for Single Founder

Time Management for Single Founder

It has been 11 months of being a single founder of a startup. As I have spent several months, I learned about time management on how to do things when not everything is moving in a speed that I wanted. I have to be mindful on what I am doing. Here are a few learnings that I want to share.

Meta management of time

The money and time is one of the most valuable pieces in one’s life and this is more true for startup. Especially managing time is more challenging than others because of wearing many hats as a single founder. As a result, I give a extra thought on how I am spending my time and whether it is worth it or not. I call it as ‘Meta management of time’. I use morning time to decide what to work on and my meta management mainly consists of estimate.

When I start a task, I try to give an estimate and try to stick with it as much as I can. Giving estimate is a learning process though. As long as I am mindful and give a thought, I expect that it is going to get better. On picking up a task, I think of impact of result, this is also a try and error process because priority that I envisioned originally does not always turn out as I expected. I suspect the more I am aware and the better I will estimate.

Fast Context Switching

As a single founder, I spent time on multiple things such as programming, marketing, customer development and business model validation just to name a few. I realised that tasks are managed in sequential like concurrency in computer system. Thus while I am on that task, I give a full attention but when I am done, it is important to switch context quickly to another mode of operation.

This is rather easy said than done. I found myself thinking about post-task in my head though I have to pay full attention to my task. So, I try to wrap it as one atomic unit that I can take my mind off later. For example, give a post-analysis of the task before start a new one. This way, your mind can move on.


Though it is not in an area of time management, prioritisation is critical on any business and it affects all aspects of daily activities. If you are validating my business, your focus should be testing your ideas quickly. If your idea is validated, then focus should be build up into a product and at the same time, keep in touch with potential customers. This will drive many decision on how you manage your time.

This post showed how I decide on using my time on daily basis. Next post about startup, I will talk about struggles that I had. Stay tuned.

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