Building a tech-startup can be immensely overwhelming. In the early stages, it\u2019s utter chaos. You\u2019re running short of hands with just so much to do! It\u2019s super exciting, yes\u200a\u2014\u200agetting to build great things; especially when you\u2019re a workaholic nerd like me. But it\u2019s equally exhausting. And the situation can spiral out of your control so easily if you give into this chaos.\r\nNa\u00efvety of a first-time founder\r\nWhen I started building DoSelect two years ago, I used to be this super-charged college kid who never knew how to estimate anything.\u00a0Writing that new product module? 2 days tops! Redesigning the entire dashboard? A week, max!\u00a0Mind you that these are some actual estimates that I had made at the time\u200a\u2014\u200aand failed miserably at achieving. Then, out of panic, I\u2019d stay in office over the entire weekend and try to finish these tasks. Result? I could still never complete it on time.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s not a sprint. It\u2019s a marathon. Don\u2019t burn yourself out so soon before you reach the next pit stop\u201d, a mentor of mine had once quipped. Two years hence when I look back at it, he couldn\u2019t be more correct. Trying to create new stuff while exhausting yourself doesn\u2019t work. Building products is a creative process, and extremely taxing one at that. You cannot do your best work when you\u2019re just rushing to the deadline, over-caffeinated and deprived of sleep.\r\n\r\nThe engineering team at DoSelect also did a few all-nighters, which were extended to as much as 7 days in office. We set high goals. But what we ended up with instead were either half-baked prototypes or shitty code-base that we had to rewrite all over again anyway. So, we got rid of all-nighters altogether. As a result, we\u2019ve shipped better software that looks good on both outside\u00a0and inside. And nobody\u2019s pulling their hair off.\r\nPausing to enjoy the\u00a0scene\r\nAs a founder who looks after product and engineering, I\u2019ve had a habit of rushing from one release to another, for the entirety of my time. I\u2019ve spent most of my waking hours thinking about\u00a0something\u00a0related to my startup\u200a\u2014\u200abe it some engineering problem, business functions, hiring, that module I know I need to rewrite, those pending support tickets that require some major bug-fixing, and so on. Don\u2019t get me wrong, for I actually enjoy doing all of this. The problem happens when you drain yourself too much to do anything. That\u2019s when the breaking point kicks in.\r\n\r\nI had my breaking point a couple of months before. We have been working on a\u00a0major feature release. One fine afternoon sitting at my desk, I got one of those panic attacks. I just blacked out totally in the middle of writing code. A few minutes after I gained back my sense of present did I truly realise what was wrong. These panic attacks became frequent in the coming few weeks, and I knew I had to do something. I had met\u00a0Sampad, an entrepreneur whom I deeply admire, at an event and one of the things I had asked him was,\u00a0How do you do all this as a founder?\u00a0Prioritise ruthlessly, he had said. And I took his advice.\r\n\r\nI started to prioritise everything in my life. It has helped me focus on what\u2019s truly important at the moment\u200a\u2014\u200awhat really needs to be done\u00a0today. In retrospect, I\u2019ve had gotten more shit done. And better shit done.\r\n\r\nThe greatest win has been my change in perspective. Instead of rushing from one release to another, I\u2019ve now started looking back and reflect on all the impact we have made and how much I\u2019ve grown personally. That gives an adrenaline rush on those gloomy Monday mornings like none other!\r\nPerpetual state of work-in-progress\r\nA startup, by definition, tries to define itself by re-defining the status-quo. In an environment like that where conventional wisdom generally does not work and you need your thinking caps on all the time, it becomes taxing for the entire team. This state of work-in-progress needs fuel to churn out great ideas and greater products, after all.\r\n\r\nThis is why I\u2019ve started setting aside time every day to\u00a0consume\u00a0things and unplug for a while. I\u2019ve started reading more\u200a\u2014\u200aactual, real-life books (I don\u2019t like e-readers), listening to more diverse music, and trying to play new stuff everyday on my keyboard. To churn out great ideas you need to ingest a lot of great ideas too, naturally!\r\nI\u2019m still into the figuring out stage of how to startup. There would be plenty of stumbles and victories along the way\u200a\u2014\u200alearning nonetheless. I hope to share more of my experiences in future. If this relates to you in any way, I\u2019d love to hear your thoughts about it!