How to be a more relaxed founder? Use this checklist that I used to maintain a good mental health while running the company.

  1. Turn off email notifications:
    Handle emails on your own schedule. Don’t get distracted every 5 minutes. Also: mute Slack for channels that aren’t urgent.

  2. Don’t reach to your phone when you wake up:
    This is a best practice for life, but when you have so many emails & messages after a night’s sleep, you should avoid this even more. Start the day at your own schedule (e.g. after 30-60 minutes), and handle work stuff when you’re ready.

  3. Use weekends to rest:
    Breaks are necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and calm mind. Urgent stuff (funding round, closing a candidate) can’t wait, but use weekends to rest, not as a way to check items off your to-do list.

  4. Sleep & eat well:
    This might be the easiest to implement but so many struggle. Proper sleep (7 hours) is not optional, it’s a must. And even when you’re very busy, try not to always eat junk food - it adds up to how you feel mentally.

  5. Exercise:
    When you are in (healthy) physical pain, you inevitably take your mind off work. This is like a long meditation. I recommend a physically challenging activity like strength or stamina exercise (vs walking, which is also good). It also promotes better sleep.

These don’t make you a selfish founder, they make you a better founder and probably a better person and leader. What methods work best for you as a founder?

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