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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 March 19, 2019

How to Ask for Help When You Need It Most

How to Ask for Help When You Need It Most

Nod your head if you’ve ever had to ask for help at work, at home or anywhere else. Now, nod again if you’ve ever felt shy or silly when doing so.

I’m sure some of you reading would have nodded twice!

Whether it’s not knowing the answer to a question in class and looking around to see if your classmates knew, getting stuck on a project at work and needing to get additional input from colleagues, or just being in a new city and needing help with directions, we’ve all been down this road before.

We may not know what to do, and clearly would benefit with some help, yet we won’t–or are afraid to–ask for help. We either very reluctantly do so eventually, or decide to suffer in silence altogether.

Why Are We so Afraid of Asking for Help?

So what stops us from seeking the help that we need? Sometimes it might be that we fear requesting assistance as we don’t want to seem weak, needy or incompetent in front of strangers, our peers or superiors.

Especially if you’re in a competitive work environment, there is an understandable fear that if you let your guard down, this information about you not knowing will be used against you. If you’re too open about asking for help, people may start associating you as the leech who’s always relying on someone, and you’ll start to appear incapable in front of your peers. And as much as you would like to play a fair and just game, the reality is that not everyone thinks that way. There will be overly aggressive individuals out there who will gladly walk over you to get to the top in their career.

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Not to mention, your reputation is at stake. If word got out that you had to seek help of some form, you’ll feel embarrassed or perhaps insecure. You might feel less confident about your abilities and worry about what others think of you. You’re afraid to attract that kind of attention at work.

Unfortunately, we all have a natural tendency to judge ourselves harshly–often thinking of situations much worse than they actually are in reality. As a result, we also miss out on a lot of potential knowledge or help. If only we were able to see past all that self imposed negativity! Or, at least learn how to manage such situations in a more confident manner.

Meet Paul

I have a friend by the name of Paul who runs his own company. He started at a young age and is already a very successful business man at age 40.

When I ask Paul to name something he does to stay focused and on track in life, he tells me that he has a life coach. He has regular monthly sessions with a life coach who helps him through different aspects of his life.

“It almost sounds like a counseling session”, I told Paul.

He simply replied, “Yes.”, with a smile.

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To Paul, the purpose of having a life coach is to give him perspective and to call out on areas of his life that he may have missed out on or neglected.

He see’s having a life coach as a benefit to his success, and not as a sign of weakness.

We’re Seeing It All Wrong

This got me thinking. Many of us automatically assume that going for counseling, taking self help courses, or seeing a life coach means that something unpleasant has happened or is happening in your life. The word help is regarded as a negative.

But the truth is, if we can turn “help” around to see it as a positive act, then going for any of the above would actually be an empowering act.

You need not be in some dire state to seek change. You also don’t have to be at some terrible dead-end or crossroad in life only to seek help. It may just be that you’re wanting to better improve your wellbeing, or to go through some self development to become a better you.

Everyone goes through periods of change in their lives. Whether it’s naturally occurring, or a ‘forced’ change, it’s always meant to improve our well being, and allow us to become better versions of ourselves. But we can’t always make or go through change alone, and that is completely normal. So we should embrace that fact and know that seeking help from someone or somewhere is a perfectly normal thing to do, and not something to be ashamed of.

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Help Is Not a Form of Weakness 

In Paul’s case, having a life coach helps give him an extra set of eyes so that he can envision his life and plans much clearer.

As a busy working professional, he has many responsibilities to attend to alongside being a father and husband. In order not to burn out or lose sight of his goals, Paul’s life coach acts as a reminder and offers him new insights to problems or situations that Paul may find himself in.

This is applicable to any form of help and not limited to what a life coach can bring to the table. Research has proven that having a support system has many positive benefits, such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills and a longer and healthier life.

If this isn’t enough to convince you, even the most successful people like Richard Branson and Warren Buffet require asking for help and have other people advise them.

Take athletes for an example. Behind every successful athlete, or any athlete for that matter, is a coach. He or she is there to train and guide them on their path to greatness. Coaches have the ability to point out blind spots and play on the athlete’s strengths. The athlete focuses on a current or specific training routine, but the coach already has a bigger plan mapped out and that one training routine that the athlete is focusing on, is but one of many more training routines that will eventually lead to the athlete succeeding and outperforming. Without the coach’s vision to map that out and guide the athlete, the athlete will be training blindly, and not maximising his efforts.

Seeking Help Is Strength

By taking an active step in seeking help or advice, you’re actually taking control of your life, and not letting external circumstances (such as what people think) affect how you behave and perform. It is courageous to accept your weaknesses!

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So if you’re at a point in life where you’re wanting some change to happen, or feel stuck in a rut, it’s time to turn your weakness into strength by seeking help.

Here at Lifehack, we’re committed to your personal development. We want to be your transformational coach, to pull you out of that rut so you can be up and going again. Even if you’re not feeling stuck or at a crossroad, there is always more that you can do to improve and upgrade your life.

Want to learn how to save more time than wasting it? Or how to find out what you should be focusing on at present? Perhaps you just simply want to learn how to ignite that spark of motivation within you again to either pursue new interests or to continue pushing ahead with existing goals.

Learning never ends. So no matter your age, we’re here to guide you towards becoming a better you.

If you’re keen to take that step towards becoming a better you, begin a journey of transformation with us here!

As we guide you through important lessons and Cornerstone Skills that will significantly change your life, you will live the life you’ve always wanted!

Featured photo credit: Andre Maliik via unsplash.com

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