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My most frustrating days, are the ones where I don’t get anything done. Maybe I sat in meetings all day long, maybe I had to fight fires or maybe I just had a shitty day.

There is little more frustrating and dissatisfying for me, than going to bed, knowing I didn’t move my boulders forward by at least an inch.

Do you know that feeling? If so – here’s how I deal with it:

I make sure I do at least one productive thing a day.

I refuse to go to bed (regardless how tired I might be) without having done at least one action which got me closer to my goals.

Regardless how small this action might be – as long as it contributes to the things I want to achieve, I am fine. And oh, by the way – it also makes me sleep much better.

The trick is to have these actions at the ready when you need them. If you need to break your brain to figure out what one of these actions could be – chances are you won’t come up with one (particularly not when you’re coming off of a shitty day). I keep a running list of tasks which need to be done and can be done in a fairly short amount of time.

Did you achieve what you wanted to achieve today?

If not – find a thing which needs to be done and DO IT NOW!

This leads me to another point — what and how to measure.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the magic metrics you monitor obsessively to determine if your company is on the right track or not. Setting up the right set of numbers to track, sometimes feels equal parts science and mystery. It’s easy to track the wrong things and send your company on a wild goose chase.

Nearly ten years ago (gosh – time flies!) Dave McClure of 500 Startup-fame formulate his AARRR metrics (“Startup Metrics for Pirates”). It is a simple framework which puts numbers behind the typical steps of the customer acquisition funnel:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Activation
  3. Retention
  4. Referral
  5. Revenue

To this day I find this framework one of the easiest, most robust and relevant to use – it focusses on what matters, cuts out the fluff and is typically easy to measure.

Check out Dave’s post with links to videos and his deck. And become a startup metrics pirate!
And what metrics do you use to measure the progress of your startup or project? Let us know in the comment section below.

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