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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

Freelance Writer, Marketer

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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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