The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
465: Scheduling Principles for Startup Founders
Nov 12, 2019
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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about scheduling principles for startup founders.

Being a founder of a startup means you’re extremely busy most of the time. It also means that you’re being asked to certain things like speak at events, be a guest on a podcast and so on. When not managed properly, fitting all these into your busy schedule can get out of hand, especially if you schedule way in advance.

In this week’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about a bad habit Steli picked up recently, One way to decide if you should schedule an event in advance and how Hiten schedules events much more. 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:31 Why this topic was chosen.

01:58 Steli’s latest tip in sharing philosophy.

03:22 A bad habit Steli picked up recently.

05:32 One way to decide if you should schedule an event in advance.

06:49 How Warren Buffet schedules events.

08:01 How Hiten schedules events.

09:00 Why you shouldn’t say yes to everything.

09:34 Why you need to ask yourself how saying yes to something will benefit you. 

3 Key Points:

One bad habit that I’ve recently developed is scheduling things for many weeks in advance. If this is gonna happen next week would I do it?We are not Warren Buffet.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: This is Hiten Shah.


Steli Efti: And today on The Startup Chat we're going to talk about scheduling hacks or scheduling tips for founders. Here's why I wanted to talk to you about this. I think we've, with the years, we've talked about how to manage your time in a couple of episodes and shared some of the kind of time management principles that we use to make sure that we get the most out of our time. But recently I made a pretty big shift, there was one ... I've changed many things over the years in terms of how I handled my time and especially the requests for my time. But just recently I made one I feel final big change that I wanted to share, and then I thought it would be fun for us to just share a little bit of how we decide what to schedule, how to schedule things and all that good stuff. So, I'll kick it off by sharing my latest change in scheduling philosophy, and then we can just go back and forth on some tips, tricks. I know that you are really principled and disciplined in the way that you give out your time, because of the demand and requests for your time is so high. So, for me the latest and greatest on this is that, I have stopped allowing anything to be scheduled in my calendar that is further out than four weeks. And here's why. One bad habit that I've developed over the last two years, especially I feel like, is that I've been pretty good at pushing back on requests for my time if I know that you know, this month or the next couple of weeks it's not really ... It doesn't really fit. But it might be something, it's a nice to have. Yeah, "I'd like to talk to you one day," or, "I'd like to maybe do your podcast one day but just this month it doesn't really fit into my schedule." And then one really bad habit that I picked up was that I would just tell people, "You know what, whatever, October, November are not really good months for me to be on your podcast. But maybe early next year." And then they would send me an invite for some random time in January or February and I'd be like, "Sure." If it was far enough out, it would be easier for me to say yes to it, because it just felt so far away. I'm like, "Do I know what I'm doing July, 2025? No. Ah, sure, I might do your whatever." Podcast events, whatever it is. But then inevitably time passes and I look in my calendar and I go, "What the hell is this thing in my calendar?" Why am I doing this this Thursday if this doesn't work at all with the rest of my day?

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