Back March 15, 2017

Take Your Time. How Much, Though?

Small companies and startups, in particular, are defined by enthusiasm and proactivity. There is an energy that transfers from founders to the team and everybody seems eager to see their goals achieved, plans put into action and the results shining brightly. There is a frenetic atmosphere and people seem to be in a hurry to achieve something, check To Do lists and meet deadlines. Gradually, the time pressure is growing heavier.

At ThinkOut we are just as enthusiastic as you would expect a startup team to be. But we take our time. We had our frenzied times and energy spikes, only to come rapidly down and get us in a state of fatigue. Then we would put in the effort to get back to the enthusiastic state, which seemed to have evaporated. So we decided to take our time. Not get slow, just go at our own pace, respect our own rhythm.

Startup burnout is a phenomenon that is taken pretty seriously as it affects more and more people. While it is widely discussed in relation to founders, it becomes pretty clear that employees get affected just as well. It is the particularities of such a company that exposes the entire team to the high ups and low downs of the business life. The time pressure is real. The money pressure is real. A lot of pressure there. So why add more when there isn’t a real need?

Take your time. Do things in your own team’s rhythm. You’ll do well, undoubtedly; even better, if not hurried unnecessarily. It’s really important to breathe and give time for the thoughts to align, the mind to focus and the energy to gather. Don’t speed up processes; not unless there is no alternative and there is too much at stake.

Speaking of which, a question arises: how do you know when to stop taking your time and increase the pace? Because reality has proven in so many ways that sometimes you just need to hurry. We haven’t found the right answer; we just adapt to situations, trying to do things in our own time and step on it when results don’t look close enough. But maybe there is no right answer. Maybe it’s up to each startup to determine when it’s time to stop taking the time. What do you think?