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5 Simple Tricks to Transform Your Networking Skills

5 Simple Tricks to Transform Your Networking Skills

Networking is essential; it’s a crucial skill that needs to be refined, no matter what stage of life you’re in. It can help you professionally by landing you a job or a client and personally by enabling you to build up a strong social network, giving you certain recognition among your peers. Networking may be time consuming, but what you can get out of networking makes it worthwhile. To some, networking skills comes naturally; however, most of us have to work on refining such skills. If you’re a services professional, you can better understand the importance of networking, developing relationships and referrals. One of the most effective ways to improve your career prospects is to brush up on your networking skills.

Here are several tips on how you can transform your networking skills.

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1. You MUST follow up after meeting.

The simple way to follow up is that before your conversation ends, you should have already arranged a follow up. You can accomplish this by promising to email a press release or copy of an interesting article, so that you can avoid the awkwardness when you want to contact someone but have no reason to do it. While meeting someone, if you discussed a particular topic, maybe you could do a little further research and send them an interesting article or point out a new blog on the subject.

At an event, exchange business cards or contact details with your new contacts. The next week, always remember to follow up with an email or phone call. Put your efforts to maintain the relationship; otherwise, you haven’t really networked at all.

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2. You should use Social Media to connect.

With the frequent usage of web content over the last few years, there are millions of people who exchange their information through social media sites that offer email, news and updates on any topic under the sun. There are so many websites that facilitate networking among the professionals, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and InMail. These websites allow you to network with people who are not only from your profession, but of other professions as well. You can also connect with people who are senior to you; you are not limited to people of the same job status.

3. You must not overdo it.

You need to make a regular habit of reaching out to new people and connecting with them, even if you can’t find that many events to attend in your area. There’s always email, phone calls, and one-on-one meetings; you should strike a balance and ensure you don’t overdo it or people will start avoiding you. Also remember to keep in touch with your existing network.

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4. You should have an open mind.

There are going to be people who will decline your follow ups or will ease out of your first conversation. Don’t be disheartened. Learn to let it go. There are going to be people in your life who you will just not click with—accept it and move on. Someone you might not like could be a great networker and surprise you with how helpful they can be.They might become your potential avenues for building some good contacts, including your student alumni, family and friends.

5. You should not get discouraged.

For some, networking skills are innate, and for others, they have to be developed. You should not get discouraged if you have trouble networking. Instead, be observant of your mistakes and learn to correct them in the future. Also, get help from your friends who have excellent networking skills, observe them and imitate them in certain situations to get a boost of confidence.

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Remember, the key to networking is giving information, advice, your services, and your personality, and after this, you’ll be well on your way to establish strong, lasting business relationships.

Featured photo credit: www.sundaymag.tv via sundaymag.tv

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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