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How to Fake Your Own Success

How to Fake Your Own Success

There’s a tiny little gap between suck and success — that place is called “fake it till you make it.” Throughout my entrepreneurial career, I’ve learned how to artfully master this paradise. Even in my lowest moments — I’m talking being so broke I couldn’t even afford Netflix and boxed wine — these quick tips helped me climb my way up the success ladder and fool even my toughest critics.

Dress the part.

Don’t show up to happy hour in a three piece suit. But whatever you’re wearing; own it. Put on your best look. No matter what, you must be comfortable in your own skin. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you can conquer even the most awkward conversation or situation with ease.

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Speak just outside your listener’s realm of understanding.

Let’s say you’re at a cocktail party for your boyfriend’s law firm. Pick a topic that’s just outside the crowd’s realm of understanding. Don’t dive deep into corporate law. Chances are, your listener probably knows more about that topic than you do. On the same end, don’t go so far outside their realm that you find yourself talking about Beyonce’s greatest hits.

Allow one or two degrees of separation between topics. For example, you’re at a law firm. Law firms need to be organized, and stay on top of paperwork. Paperwork can be a pain in the butt, so bring up the digital atmosphere, and how going electronic with your filing heightens productivity.

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Speak with confidence.

It’s better to not speak at all than speak with hesitation. If all you can do is muster out a shaky voice, stay silent. No matter how earnest you are, insecurity isn’t convincing.

Don’t be a know-it-all.

You don’t know everything, and you never will. The most successful people accept this, and openly admit their shortcomings. Let’s say I went up to Mark Zuckerberg right now and asked, “Do you consider yourself a social media expert? Do you know everything there is to know about social media?” He would probably say, “No. That’s why Facebook is always changing.”

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Challenge the naysayers.

When you appear confident, some people will question you. They’ll try to catch you off guard, and make you look “less than” in front of a crowd. Focus on flipping the spotlight back in their direction. Redirect with questions like, “What makes you say that?” This will force your confronter to be candid about their thought process.

Get good at self-policing.

Know when to call BS on your own progress. Admit when you’ve fallen short and dropped the ball. When you call a spade a space; no one can hate too hard on your error. But, if you’re trying to cover up all your mistakes, people will easily find fault and question your authenticity.

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Conquer mini projects.

Set small goals that pack a big punch. Instead of saying, “I want to be a writer,” say “I want to be writing for Entrepreneur Magazine by December of 2016.” Then, conquer these goals.

Take long pauses, and think before you speak.

I used to be a fast talker. Like seriously — I would trip over my own words, trying to catch up with my own brain. As a young 20 something, I tried to rush in every last thought, just so my voice would be heard. In all actuality, this was doing just the opposite. When you take your time, people pay attention. Bonus tip: Eliminate passive language and unecessary adverbs.

Create a sense of mystery.

You want people asking, “Who is that?” For them to have this burning sense of curiosity, you need to stay somewhat mysterious. Don’t go throwing your business card every which way when you attend a function. Keep your contact information exclusive. Imagine yourself to be more important than you actually are.

If you believe you’re worth the success you crave, everyone else will too.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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