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5 Ways To Upgrade YourSocial Circle on Your Journey to Success

5 Ways To Upgrade YourSocial Circle on Your  Journey to Success

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

Stop for a minute and think about the company you keep. Do they represent the direction you want to go? Are they inspiring you to be a better version of yourself? Do they support your personal growth?

This the Law of Averages.

In all probability, the average of your group will take influence. So, if you are hanging with 4 broke friends, guess what, you’ll be the 5th…eventually.

Like attracts like.

If your friends don’t value ways to create more income for themselves and how they spend their money, you more than likely don’t either.

If they don’t mind going through life leisurely and not hold themselves accountable to their goals, you might have some of the same viewpoints.

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We naturally hang out with people we feel most comfortable with, as we should. I wouldn’t want to hang out with a group that made me feel inadequate?! The convenient middle ground, however, is individuals who accept you as you are but require more from you.

You may know these type of individuals already. You know the one. Whenever you complain to them, they want to come up with solutions. Or the annoying friend who will ask you to go to the gym with them, and tell you all the health challenges they’re trying, just so you can get serious about life.

That one!

Those friends who will call you out, for you to step it up because they’re stepping it up. The ones we associate with do influence our way of thinking, our self-esteem and impact our decision making. These are vitally important to manage when it comes to creating a vision for yourself and direction towards success. Those friends want to see you win, just like them. We need cheerleaders and we need coaches.

If our friends can be both, we’ve struck gold!

Having a hard time getting into a social circle that reflects where you want to be? Here are a few ways to get into the right mindset, attract it and jump into finding those friends immediately.

1. Take Inventory of You

Sorry, but before we can expect more from others, we need to expect more from ourselves. In order to upgrade your social circle, you will have to raise your status – there is no way around this. Decisive leaders, wouldn’t keep company with someone who is unable to make up their mind about lunch. Leaders hang out with other leaders.

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Begin to position yourself as someone who is decisive, coordinated and knowledgeable.

Whomever you seek to be in the same circles with, you will need to acknowledge the skill sets you currently do not have and work towards acquiring and improving them. This will open doorways to deeper conversations; then let your personality seal the deal.

2. Listen to Podcasts of Interest

What interests you? Where do you need to increase your knowledge base? What is your passion and focus?

There are tons of Podcast on pretty much anything. Focus on the Podcasts that are connected to your passion and will teach you new things. This leads to a broader knowledge base and igniting speaking topics to attract the people you want to connect with!

Listening to a Podcast on your commute to work or on your down time can open you up to new ways of thinking, ideas and introduce you to the kind of people you want to attach yourself to. When you become clear on who you want to connect with, it will become easier to decipher who you don’t. Listening in a couple times a week based on topics of personal growth will eventually get you there.

Check Out Stitcher Radio to select a Podcast of your interest.

3. Use Social Media to Your Benefit

Follow the kind of person you see yourself as & the things you see yourself doing in the future. (Using the newsfeed’s of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.) Those social sites are more than connecting with who you already know. If you love how a certain celebrity, business person or influential figure does their thing, hit like, get notifications or follow them. Keep updated on what they’re doing, how they do it and how they think. Most people are more open to sharing their personal lives on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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They are people just like us, who like to use these tools also to connect. This is an opportunity to reach out & be in the same social circle with them.

Doing this will fill up your timeline with things you’re about, believe and see yourself doing. This will auto program your brain to see more of it in the world and seek it out. If in your timeline you constantly see people talking about Housewives of *enter city here* or another posting of the Kardashian adventures. The vision you have for yourself will become blurry. Make it crystal clear, when you log into sites you already spend most of your waking time on with images, words and quotes that represent you and your journey.

You have the control to decide who takes up space on your timeline.

Join Online Groups

If you don’t know this already, there are private Facebook communities. You can usually find the quality ones through a paid program or by signing up to someone’s mailing list. Here’s how you go about it: follow the inspirational people on your preferred social media platform and when they put out something that is of huge interest to you, join their mailing list to get more info.

Usually, these public figures have private groups of more like-minded individuals. Jackpot! It’s almost like a secret society. Now you are immediately connected to an amazing group of people. Within the same interest you’re pursuing, who are either chasing the same dream or have the same ambitions. You get instant access to a community that will share their personal stories, tips of what they did in different situations and a resource to ask questions and get answers to.

A space where people genuinely want to help.

Once you start joining conversations and offering your own expertise, you will hit it off with someone and maybe even become bestie’s. Who know’s where this will lead…

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If you’re more of a face to face kind of person, check out Meetup.com.

4. Put Your Own Thoughts Out There

Let the right people find you! Brand yourself and who you are as an individual and they will come.

Start a blog and post regularly on social media to draw individuals in. Those who hear your message and will relate to it. Add your expertise to the world and create value. Once you speak frequently and knowledgeably about a subject, you will garner a following and people will seek you out to get more of what it is you bring to the table.

Create more allies, friends and connection all by stating really loudly and consistently what you’re about.

Pro Tip: Find the platform you are a creative genius on. Is it Facebook, where you can share longer post about your crazy inspirational stories that people connect with? Is it Instagram, where you can share your baking wins, travel adventures or just ‘a day in the life’ pictures? Is it Twitter, where you can fill the need to be a part of multiple dialogs to add your micro gems of knowledge? Choose your space and stick with it!

5. Cool People, Know Cool People

Who’da’ thunk?! To connect with the circle you already have. They may know someone, who knows someone, who is doing what you want to do. Use what you got! Sometimes you don’t even have to search far at all for a circle of friends who get you. You may even reconnect to a friend in the past, one who has grown into different interests than when you originally knew them.

Do some background work and check out your friends connections on LinkedIn and/or Facebook, see who you would love to get an introduction to — it’s not creeping.

Reconnect with your current network. Let your connections know what you’re up to and this, for sure, will help upgrade your social circle!

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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