To military organizations, a battle rhythm is a daily routine or order of business. It’s a conscious cycle of command, staff, and activities intended to synchronize current and future operations. The battle rhythm is the heart of our management process. The length of time and intensity can vary depending on the outcome you’re trying to accomplish. It’s imperative to effectively manage operations to make the right decisions for your business.
My calendar is like Tetris — the tile-matching puzzle video game. Colorful, geometric squares consume my desktop’s screen. New meetings are displaying across my Google Calendar like the random sequence of game pieces falling down the matrix. I am constantly inundated with scheduling, events, startup “check-ins,” programming, mentorship, and investor requests.
I’m starting to become aware that it takes an underestimated skill to make blocks fit like the ones in the popular 80’s video game. How do I balance what I, while managing Bunker Labs (and still to this day), referred to as battle rhythms? The productivity tools I utilize help guide my battle rhythms consistently.
Organizations use a wide variety of productivity tools, but these are the ones that I am particularly fond of that might optimize your workflow:
Airtable is a cloud collaboration service headquartered founded in 2012. Airtable is a spreadsheet-database hybrid, with the features of a database but applied to a spreadsheet. It’s a visually pleasing version of Excel or Google sheets. I’ve used Airtable for customer relationship management (CRM), and it seamlessly integrates with other software.
Basecamp is a solid project management and collaboration tool. I’ve listed to-dos, tasks, reports, internal messages, and files on this platform in the past. You can better track progress from beginning to end, ensuring every team member is on the same page without having to chase emails.
I use Dropbox. Dropbox enables you to bring your files and cloud content together with the tools your team wants to use to host archived documents securely.
Doodle has simplified how I schedule “check-ins” with the startups I mentor, especially during an accelerator cohort. Individually emailing each team proved to be too time-consuming and inefficient. I use Doodle, which syncs with Google Calendars, to poll the entire cohort on its availability to meet. I’m able to schedule dates/times for meetings twice as fast.
Calendly is a free online appointment scheduling software that has taken off during the global pandemic. You can schedule meetings and save hours without the back and forth emails while preventing being double-booked. Additionally, you can set automated reminders and timezone detection.
In my case, Slack, a real-time messaging app, is used to communicate externally with close partners and internally with my team. Slack is also an excellent medium to generate quick responses for real-time feedback on essential projects. No longer will tasks be lost in the email inbox.
As entrepreneurs, we are never going to be optimal in everything, but choosing the appropriate management tools is an excellent place to start. Maybe those pieces will begin to fall into place for you by trying some of these recommended tools. Which productivity tools or software does your organization use to manage battle rhythms?
If you liked this article, check out our comprehensive list of more business tips from Harry Alford in Veteran Startup 101
Feature photo by Lukas Bieri via Pixabay