Working at a challenging startup can be both a blessing and a curse. For me, the past months have been hectic, but very rewarding. I have learned a couple of lessons I’d like to share:

  • Create a plan for your week. Working on a product that is supposed to be launched in a couple of weeks can fill up all of your time. Block time to spend with friends and loved ones. This helps to pull yourself away from work.
  • Switching from managing my own company to working as a full time developer, I must remind myself daily to process my e-mail and respond to internal questions. Before quitting, I spent almost 50% of my time on reading, processing and responding to e-mail. Even though the volume is different (and urgency might be different too), make sure to block some time to process all incoming communication appropriately.
  • Don’t forget to read. Rushing toward a deadline can give you and your team a very sharp focus on the tasks at hand, but don’t stop investing in yourself. Continue to read blogs, books and get to know new technologies by experimenting. You probably won’t have time to do this while at the office, so you will need to block off some personal time to do this.
  • Communicate. Ask a lot. Ask why stuff is done. Ask people how you can improve. Let people around you know what you are working on. Keep your boss informed. If you have ideas how to make things better, write an e-mail or even better, speak up.