Time Management Tips and Techniques

Time Management Tips and Techniques

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Don't work hard, work smart"? It might be simple but it's still true. You don't have to work endless hours to be productive. Staying busy or working hard doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to be more successful.

Just because you stay extra hours at work, it doesn't mean you are productive. In fact, the more hours you work, the more likely you are to be less productive because you are tired and your mind is worn out. Staying busy all the time can often lead to mindless "productivity", which is a constant need to do something and the habit of wasting time on menial tasks.

"Work smarter, not harder" is an old adage that signals a simple way to go about work of any kind. Before you start working, you need to take a step back and organise yourself, considering what's the most efficient way to go about work. You need to simplify your tasks so you can accomplish them faster.

Here are some tips to help you manage your time:

First of all, you need to categorise each task and complete the most important and the most difficult ones first. Once you get those out of the way, it will be easier to focus on the other tasks as you won't have to stress out about being able to complete those and your mind is sharper in the first hours of work.

Once you've completed those tasks, you'll feel motivated to continue because you have already succeeded at finishing the essential.

You need to learn to say "no." Although making various commitments can teach us how to juggle engagements and manage our time, it can also be a trap and you might end up caught up in too many engagements. You should only take on those commitments that you know you have time for and that are important to you.

Get enough sleep. Although you might value the extra time you get when you sleep less, the truth is that some people need to sleep at least 7 hours for their brains to function optimally. If you don't get enough sleep, that might affect your productivity later on.

Concentrate on the task at hand. Electronic devices can be very distracting, particularly when you need them to work. First of all, you might need to put your phone away as those Instagram notification can be very distracting. Try not to open any unnecessary browser windows and don't open Facebook under any circumstances. That's like falling into the rabbit hole. You might want to check one notification and then it drags you into everyone's news stories and memes that appear on your newsfeed.

If you can't focus when it's quiet, you might want to listen to classical music or something that is not too distracting. Immerse yourself in one task at a time and don't let anything else distract you.

If you want to be productive, you might want to wake up early and start working in the morning. We all know it's hard to wake up early when you don't really have to, it's much less stressful than procrastinating. Plus, you can always look forward to the end of the day when you can finally relax and reward yourself.

Don't let small obstacles hinder your progress. When you take on a big project, you might find some small details take up too much of your time. This unimportant details might stop your progress and get you stuck. When this happens, you need to focus on getting the bulk done and then revisiting these details you weren't happy about before.

Turn important tasks into a habit. If you do something hard every day, at some point it will come out naturally. It's like going to the gym. The first day might seem hard but once you create a habit, it comes naturally. If your job requires you to undertake a key task often, you might want to do it every day, so you don't dread the day you have to do it. Remember that "practice makes the master."

Although taking a break while working can help you be more productive, it can also trap you in. If you need some leisure time or a breather while working, you have to time yourself so you don't find yourself spending too much time on Twitter or watching TV.

If you are working on your own, you should schedule your day and set a time for each task. That will make you more productive as you know you have a deadline to meet.

UK Top Venture Capital Firms

balderton

Although Silicon Valley remains the triumphant in the world of venture capitalism, the UK doesn't follow far behind. Actually, Tech City reports that the UK attracts one third of all venture capital money available within Europe.

According to figures from London & Partners, UK tech companies made over £2.5 billion in 2015, which represents an increase of 70 percent from 2014 when they raised £1.4 billion.

If you are a startup, you might want to know who are these venture capital firms headquartered or based in the UK and how to make the most of them.

The first one is Balderton Capital. Founded in 2000 by Benchmark Capital Silicon Valley, Balderton became fully independent in 2007 as a UK firm investing in early-stage and internet startup companies that are mainly based in Europe. Balderton is famous for investing early on European entrepreneurs.

With most of the capital coming from university endowments, charitable foundations and pension funds, Balderton invests between £775,000 to £15 million each time and manages around £1.8 billion. Some of the most outstanding investments include Kobalt, Bebo, Citymapper, Wonga and Magic Pony.

They disclaim on their website that they support Europe's leading technology businesses. "Our focus is on early stage, European technology businesses, with ambitious founders and unique approaches. Belderton is the largest Europe focused venture fund, with funds totalling $2.3BN. We invest between $1M to $20M into companies with the potential to disrupt huge industries, and the ambition to scale globally."

"We invest for the long term, with the ability to support our companies from start to exit."

"Our partners are the founders, investors and board members of some of Europe's biggest technology companies. We have a team-oriented approach to building breakthrough technology companies. Balderton is an equal partnership. This means our entrepreneurs get the benefit of a team of experts, in addition to a community of over 150 founders."

Scottish Equity Partners is another venture capital firm that has made over 150 investments with more than 110 exists ever since its foundation in 1991. With offices in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, the firm invests companies in different fields such as energy, healthcare and technology. With over six funds under the management of 20 employees, the firm invests up to £20 million in high growth technology companies. Investments include Cyberhawk, SolarCentury and Skyscanner.

On their website, they state: "We are an independent owner-managed firm with 45 experienced professionals (...) Our team is knowledgeable, well-connected and experienced in supporting high growth companies across a range of technology sectors."

"We forge constructive long-term relationships with the companies we back, providing continuity and building trust, supporting you from the start of your partnership with us all the way to exit."

"We are approachable, enthusiastic and keen to work with the inspirational entrepreneurs behind Europe's most exciting high growth companies. We understand the challenges and opportunities involved in scaling a business and are skilled in helping to identify and to capitalise on future growth opportunities."

DN Capital invests primarily during the growth stage from £214,000 to £13 million per company. The firm has professionals operating in the London, Menlo Park and Berlin offices, which invest in marketplaces, e-commerce, software, mobile apps and digital media sectors.

With 55 investments and 16 exits across eight countries, DN Capital specialises in assisting US companies to the European market. Important investments include Shazam, Hppm and Seedcamp.

Michael Bruce, the founder of Purplebricks.com, said: "DN Capital was a valuable company and share in that early vision to invest in scaling our disruptive business model across the UK."

DN Capital managing partner Nenad Marovac also joined the Purplebricks board of directors. He said: "At DN Capital we are constantly looking to identify the next breakthrough UK technology companies. We believe that in Purplebricks.com we have found a game-changing proposition that will resonate deeply with UK property sellers and buyers.

"We are very impressed with what Michael and Kenny Bruce have built so far, and are looking forward to bringing our technology experience to help build a significant business."

Another firm worth mentioning is Bridges Ventures. Founded in 2002, the London-based firm manages £600 million and aims to creating investment returns through social and environmental challenges. Bridges Ventures is focused on sustainable and impact investment strategy and for that it uses Sustainable Growth Funds, Property Funds and Social Sector Funds.

Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs

Inspirational Business Quotes for Entrepreneurs

Whether you are just starting your business or you already got your business on the ground, having our business is hard work, so here are some quotes to keep your spirits high.

"Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career." - Ryan Freitas, About.me co-founder

"Every time we launch a feature, people yell at us." - Angelo Sotira, deviantART co-founder

"Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that." - Anthony Volodkin, Hype Machine founder

"Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don't want to run out of gas on your trip, but you're not doing a tour of gas stations." - Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly Media founder and CEO

"If you can't feed a team with two pizzas, it's too large." —Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO

"Don't worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop." - Jeffrey Zeldman, A List Apart Publisher

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." —Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. co-founder, chairman and CEO

"Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you." —Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

"The value of an idea lies in the using of it." - Thomas Edison, General Electric Co-founder

"Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don't find one, it's you." - Mark Cuban, AXS TV chairman and entrepreneur

"It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen." - Scott Belsky, Behance co-founder

"There's nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team." - Jason Fried, 37signals founder

"Get five or six of your smartest friends in a room and ask them to rate your idea." - Mark Pincus, Zynga CEO

"Best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch." -Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder and co-editor

"If there's something you want to build, but the tech isn't there yet, just find the closest possible way to make it happen." - Dennis Crowley, Foursquare co-founder

"Nothing works better than just improving your product." - Joel Spolsky, Stack Overflow co-founder

"If you're interested in the living heart of what you do, focus on building things rather than talking about them." - Ryan Freitas, About.me co-founder

"It's hard to do a really good job on anything you don't think about in the shower." —Paul Graham, YCombinator co-founder

"If you're interested in the living heart of what you do, focus on building things rather than talking about them." - Ryan Freitas, About.me co-founder

"Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create." - David Karp, Tumblr founder and CEO

"I don't think an economic slump will hurt good ideas." - Rob Kalin, Etsy founder

"I doubt I'll ever go back to corporate work. Once you see the light, there is no turning back." - Magnus Jepson, WooThemes co-founder

"Stay self-funded as long as possible." —Garrett Camp, founder of Expa, Uber and StumbleUpon

"Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success." - Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder

"When I'm old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow, that was an adventure,' not ‘wow, I sure felt safe.' " - Tom Preston-Werner, Github co-founder

"No more romanticizing about how cool it is to be an entrepreneur. It's a struggle to save your company's life – and your own skin – every day of the week." - Spencer Fry, CarbonMade co-founder

"The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world." - Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO

"I knew that if I failed I wouldn't regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying." - Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO

"We've had three big ideas at Amazon that we've stuck with for 18 years, and they're the reason we're successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient." - Bezos

"If you double the number of experiments you do per year you're going to double your inventiveness." – Bezos

"Life's too short to hang out with people who aren't resourceful."

"A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well."

"One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out."

"What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind – you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn't a strategy." - Bezos

Apple staff in Berlin coworking space

apple mindspace berlin

Despite being famously known for its corporate secrecy, Apple has set up a small steam in a coworking space in Berlin. The distinctively secretive iPhone developer has placed a small team into a property where Israeli coworking space provider

Mindspace

occupies a number of floors. Although neither Apple nor Mindspace confirmed the claims, they didn't deny them.

An Apple spokesperson stated: "Unfortunately, I cannot give you any information since we generally do not talk about single locations or teams nor about temporary office space we probably rent."

The tech giant also has a discrete office around the corner in Gendarmenmarkt square, which was unveiled in May. When the office was identified, Mindspace tweeted: "Hi @Apple you could have avoided all the hassle of locating an office in Berlin. Next, just come to Mindspace."

An off-the-record source told Business Insider: "It is only a small portion of the Gendarmenmarkt office (that has moved). So the rest (of the team) is still in the old office. For now, there are three employees. Two girls and the head of Apple Music (for Germany, Switzerland, Austria). They rented the suite office which is like a private open office for 10+ employees."

An anonymous source told Business Insider that Apple strategically moved in on Here's talent as the mapping company was passed from Nokia to the German automotive group.

"It's a simple story: Here was in disarray after Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia," said the source, who works in the Berlin tech scene. "Apple saw the opportunity and opened an office in Berlin, specifically to siphon Geo Information Systems (GIS) talent."

The source added: "These people independently complained to me that Apple opened an office in Berlin specifically to cherrypick at Here." This claim was backed up by another source in Berlin.

Here - which provides mapping data, software and services to the automotive, consumer and enterprise sector - was "bleeding talent" as Microsoft's deal with the German car consortium went through. "Things are getting a bit better now, but GIS talent is rare."

A spokesperson from Here told BI: "Between the Microsoft deal and our acquisition by the German carmakers, the team grew by more than 100 people and our global sales grew significantly over the same time frame. the trend has continued. I state these facts since they contrast with the picture painted by your source."

Mindspace offices have also been rented by other giants, including Samsung, Coca-Cola and Barclays.

While Apple has never confirmed the existence of any office in Berlin, it's believed that the company's work in the city is linked to the exceedingly secretive Apple Car project.

If there actually is an Apple Berlin office in Gerdarmenmarkt, it's meant to be hidden. Although there are no logos to be seen anywhere, the company has its name next to a tiny buzzer outside the building's main door.

A report from German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine said "Apple is running a secret laboratory for the development of an automobile and this in the middle of Berlin."

According to the report, the laboratory housed 10 to 15 staff, who were engineers or had backgrounds in software, hardware and sales.

After examining LinkedIn, you can see Apple has 168 employees working the "Berlin area." Out of these employees, many work in the Apple Store in Kurfürstendam but LinkedIn shows that Apple has dozens of engineers working in Berlin as well.

Apple has hired at least six employees from automotive mapping company Here - owned by Audi, BMW, and Daimler - for a Berlin-based Apple Maps team.

Although the giant has never admitted that it's working on an electric car, Apple has hired dozens of automotive experts from companies like Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

Apple's efforts to build a self-driving car are internally know as "Project Titan," which has caused rumours and speculations for years. These speculations have evolved and Apple's focus is now believed to be on building autonomous software rather than an entire vehicle.

This is not the first time Apple recruits people with automotive engineering backgrounds. For instance, at some point, former Ford engineer Steve Zadesky helped build the iPhone. Johan Jungwirth, who was Mercedes Benz's R&D chief, also worked for Apple.

Mindspace writes on its website: "Our designed shared office space is at the epicentre of entrepreneurship and innovation. It provides an all-in-one office space solution for startups, entrepreneurs, accelerators, service providers, investors and VCs who are looking for the ultimate coworking environment in Berlin-Mitte."

Mindspace has another space around the corner on Krausenstraße - Apple's "secret" office - and it's going to open a new one in Kreuzberg at Skalitzer Straße.