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5 Ways To Network Like A Pro Even Though You Have A Busy Schedule

5 Ways To Network Like A Pro Even Though You Have A Busy Schedule

A lot of us have extremely busy schedules, with a million things to do and not enough time to do. It’s really unfortunate when a busy day isn’t as productive as it can be because of other people not respecting your valuable time, but thankfully there are some ways to get around others’ unprofessionalism. Here are five ways to network like a pro.

1. Associate With The Kinds Of People Who Won’t Waste Your Time

Value people who respect your time as much as you respect your time. Surround yourself with co-workers who are as timely as you are and understand the demands of a busy schedule. Too many are quick to idle around and slow to actually do the work. You need to weed those people out. To network like a pro actually network with true professionals who understand the importance of not wasting time and truly want to get things done.

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2. Schedule The Meetings

Don’t leave the time of the meeting up to chance except in very irregular circumstances. People need to hear that the meeting is definitively at 3pm, because if the time is more up in the air a lot of your co-workers will only start ambling in at half past three. That’s a half hour you just lost because of poor scheduling. Network like a pro by nailing down a specific date and time for all of your meetings, or you’ll regret it later. You can schedule by making a phone call or two, sending a personal card to everyone you want to come to your meeting or digitally through email or a LinkedIn group.

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3. Never Eat Alone

You may like quiet time in the middle of the day, but you should be aware that the lunch hour can be a great chance to get extra work done. Schedule work lunches with other professionals so that you can get some quality networking time in with them. If it’s someone you’re working on a project with, you can hash out details and coordinate schedules with them. If it’s someone in your department, you can discuss collaborating in the future. If it’s someone in another department you can discuss how to increase synergy between their’s and yours. It can even be a lunch with your office custodian or someone similar so you can show them some rare appreciation. The opportunities are endless, making lunch an opportune time to network like a pro.

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4. Host A Video Conference

It’s a lot easier to get people in front of their computer cameras at a designated hour than it is to get all of them into a room at the same time. Utilize web tools like Skype and Google Hangout to communicate with people who are as far as a continent away or even with people who are as close as a 5 minute’s drive away. For both groups, a video conference is the most convenient option. Communicating through services such as Skype or Google Hangout is a vital way to network like a pro.

5. Give Positive Feedback And Ideas

To be efficient you need to provide truly valuable feedback, not something you thought of five minutes before the meeting started. Spend a reasonable amount of time thinking about suggestions or ideas you’ll present at the meeting. It helps to create a document or slideshow presentation, even if you have no plans to actually present either of those at your conference. Hopefully, if you consistently offer strong ideas and good feedback at your meetings, others will offer you the same courtesy. The less stupid questions or half-baked ideas in the meeting, the less time everyone wastes. To network like a pro be sure to prepare thoroughly for your meetings.

Featured photo credit: Cydcor Offices via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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